It is truly stunning to experience the number of people who don't return timely and important emails in politics.
Building relationships with new people is tough, and email is a quick and easy way to do it. But many will fail to reply.
You don't look like a pro when you're impossible to get ahold of, when you fail to reply to a timely request.
It's also true that new people you meet might send out a response that's not tailored to you. Use it as an opportunity to make a personal connection, hit reply anyway. Say thanks for the information. Confirm that you got it. If you have a thought about what they've written, tell them about it. There's more of a problem in not hearing from people than receiving too many responses.
I've been attending political conferences lately and I will send a group email to 50 people who signed up at an event, and no one will reply. I then thought it was the group email, so at the next conference I took the time to write personalized individual emails to each person, another group of 50. I received three replies.
You look like a chump when you don't reply. And whatever social anxiety you might have in replying to an email from several weeks or months ago, suck it up and reply anyway. People are more gratified to hear from you than resentful at the time you took to reply. If you're delinquent on replying to someone, do it anyway. It's easy, it's quick.
Reply to emails or you look like a chump.