Improving Email Responsiveness: What You Need to Know
“Some days, there's nothing more annoying than an email miscommunication. You spend time pulling together a thoughtful message, and one of the following things happens:
- The other person fires back a quick reply which makes you question if they even read yours.
- They write something cryptic and so you have no idea what they think.
- They don't reply at all.” (McCord)
Does this sound familiar? We’ve all been there! Now let’s discuss some ways to mitigate this issue! Before replying, consider your original email and the language you used. Sara McCord, author of How to Write an Email That Actually Gets Replies (It’s All About 2 Key Questions), suggests putting yourself in the shoes of the recipient and asking the following questions:
- Why am I receiving this?
Did you know that the average person spends nearly 1/3 of their day checking emails? Consider your own inbox – how many emails do you scroll past? This is common especially when receiving a general update that does not garner a response, however, when you are sending an email to someone for a certain reason, that needs to be made clear from the get-go! Consider asking a question to start off the email! See below for an example.
I'd love your thoughts on the second change I made to project, outlined below. For context: I've made the following three changes (attached):
- [Change 1 description]
- [Change 2 description]
I also had the following thoughts: [explanation].
What do you think of [the point two paragraphs higher]?” (McCord)
- What should I do next?
Get ahead of your reader and tell them exactly the kind of feedback you are looking for in the beginning of your email. It is important to highlight the reader’s next step right off the bat so they can provide you with the feedback you are looking for. See below for lines that you should ALWAYS include in your email.
- What do you think of [this approach]?
- I need [something the other person has] in order to move forward with [something else]
- Could you send back your [thoughts/ideas/requests] on [exact matter] by [date]?” (McCord)
Share these tips with your friends and improve your organization’s email responsiveness! Always remember to keep your reader’s point of view in mind
*Information courtesy of How to Write an Email That Actually Gets Replies (It's All About 2 Key Questions)