Written by: Bernie Reader of Yesware. The original article can be found here.

It takes just one day for an email to be a lost cause.

Drawing on data from over 500,000 sales emails sent by Yesware users in Q1 2014, Yesware found that if your email is going to be opened, 91 percent of the time it's opened within a day after you sent it.

Furthermore, 90% of emails that received replies were replied to within one day after they were opened. During that first day, over half of opened emails were replied to within three hours.


email life span


What it means: It pays to be proactive. Any replies will most likely occur the day it was opened, so don’t sit around waiting for a reply if you haven’t received a response within a day or two. Email them again.


Why Follow-Up Emails Are Worth It


Deciding when and how to follow-up with people who don’t respond to your initial email can be tricky. It’s not easy to strike the balance between adding value and being annoying. So it makes sense that the majority of sales folk may choose not to follow-up at all.


70 Percent of Unanswered Sales Email Chains Stop After Email #1


unanswered sales email chains

Yesware found that 70% of unanswered sales email chains stopped after the first attempt. Only 19% went on to email a second time.

That’s a lot of missed opportunities.

According to Yesware’s data, if you don’t receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to the second one. Still no reply? Take heart and keep sending: There’s still a 25% chance that you will eventually hear back from the recipient.

Emails to First Reply

What this chart illustrates is that by continuing to send more emails, you create more opportunities for your recipient to reply. It is a study in scale. Greater volume of emails should correlate to greater total response, and the chart above shows this to be true.


Bottom line: It pays to follow-up.



The lifespan of an email is incredibly short, which makes your follow-up messaging incredibly important. Remember that:

- Most emails are toast after 24 hours. If you haven't heard back by then, reach out again.
- Follow up emails are worth the effort. You have a 21% chance of getting a reply to your second email if the first goes unanswered.
And as always, be sure to keep experimenting, iterating, and improving.