In a perfect world, every e-mail we send to a potential print client would be read and get a response right immediately. The unfortunate part is that most potential clients are too busy to even look at all their e-mails, much less act on them.

With some simple tweaks, eliciting a response in 20 seconds is possible. Just remember the three biggest reason prospects ignore e-mails:

1. They never got your e-mail in the first place. Spam filters are becoming more and more aggressive. Messages with attachments (especially large ones), lots of links, graphics and other gimmicks are likely to get blocked. Keep your e-mails simple and image free, even in your e-mail signature. They’ll have a lot easier time getting past spam traps and filters.

2. You didn’t give prospects a strong enough call-to-action. No one cares about your company’s long track record of success. Prospects are too focused on their own problems and issues. Use your e-mail message to emphasize common issues and triggering events you can solve. Make them want to engage with you! Give them a strong call-to-action that tells them what the next step is with you. That will help start the sales conversation.

3. It seemed like too much to deal with at the moment. Your goal is to make your e-mail sound not just compelling, but also easy to act on. If your e-mail seems like something that’s going to take recipients away from what they were thinking about, the chances are good they aren’t going to bother. Give them a clear specific call to action that you’d like them to take after they read your e-mail. Do not litter the email with many messages or links. Tell them what you want them to do using a simple sentence. Then make sure that what you’ve asked them to do doesn’t take more than a moment or two.

Even following these steps, you will never achieve a 100% response rate on your prospecting e-mail campaigns. If you can take the time to incorporate these tips into what you do, however, you’ll see an enormous improvement.