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5 Ways to Get Faster Email Responses

5 Ways to Get Faster Email Responses

Faster Email Responses

    After putting together a course on How To Email Important People and speaking with nearly 200 individuals about their email habits, I’ve noticed a few common problems that people have with email.

    The number one complaint is that people don’t get responses to the emails they send out.

    Here is an sampling of the statements I heard:

    “I can’t tell if my emails are being read or not. I hate it when people don’t respond.”

    “I don’t know when or if my emails are being read. Sometimes I feel like I’m spitting words into an electronic abyss.”

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    “I can’t guarantee people are just throwing my emails away, but if they are reading them, they certainly aren’t responding.”

    Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few suggestions. Here are five ways to get faster responses through email.

    1. Write shorter emails

    People love to procrastinate. And anytime a long email hits our inbox, that’s another excuse to procrastinate.

    It’s hard to send a fast response to a long email because it requires time to read, time to digest, and time to respond. Moreover, most long emails include multiple questions or topics, which can make it tough for the reader to determine what is important within the message. This confusion often leads to more procrastination.

    On the flip side, it’s quite easy to send a short reply to a short email. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, a shorter email will always receive a faster response.

    If you want faster responses, then make it easy on the reader to respond. Ask them one question, talk about a single topic, and keep it short.

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    2. Write fewer emails

    If you send people emails all the time, then they get used to seeing a message from you in their inbox. There is no sense of urgency associated with your message because they know that if they don’t reply… well, you’ll be sending another email soon.

    Don’t take advantage of the fact that you can email anyone at anytime. Teach people to value your emails by only sending one when you have something valuable and important to say.

    3. Ask for a response

    It sounds simple, but many times we forget to do so.

    We clearly explain the situation in our email — maybe we even provide a few action steps — but we often forget to clearly ask for a response.

    As the writer of the email, the next step always seems clear to us. For the recipient, however, it might not be so obvious. In the middle of a busy day — and we’re all busy — we need to be told what to do rather than guess at it. Make the next step clear for the reader by kindly asking for the action you want.

    4. Start with a deadline

    Another reason for delayed responses is a lack of urgency.

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    As a society we have adopted a method of using deadlines to make up for our tendency to procrastinate. As a result, we often decide which tasks we are going to perform based on when certain projects are due.

    When it comes to email, this means that you need to state a clear deadline or risk waiting for a response until the recipient has “free time” — which is rarely.

    When you write your next email, try including a deadline in the first one or two sentences of the message.

    For example,

    “Hi Mark,

    Below is the TPS report for this Friday’s meeting — I would love to have your thoughts by Wednesday at 1pm. …”

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    We’re conditioned to use deadlines. If you make it clear when you need a response by, then it’s much more likely that you’ll get the response by that date.

    5. Only email one person at a time

    If at all possible, never send an email to more than one person at a time. Even if it takes a few extra minutes to email everyone individually, you’ll find much better responses because of it.

    The reason for this is that people push responsibility off of their own shoulders and onto the group whenever possible.If you send a message to five people, then each person always assumes that the other four will do whatever tasks are outlined in the message. The result, of course, is that nothing gets done.

    If you have to message a group of people all at once, then do your best to assign tasks to specific people in the message. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting for a mystery man to step up and take action.

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    Last Updated on June 19, 2019

    6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

    6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

    I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

    Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

    It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

    1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

    It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

    Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

    When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

    2. Trust the Muse

    Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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    When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

    “The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

    The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

    If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

    The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

    Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

    3. Remember to Be Authentic

    Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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    How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

    For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

    One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

    Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

    Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

    4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

    I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

    One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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    Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

    A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

    Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

    5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

    It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

    We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

    If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

    You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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    6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

    As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

    The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

    Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

    Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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