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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 December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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