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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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    James Clear

    James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits. He shares self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.

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    Last Updated on June 3, 2020

    19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

    19 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore

    What is success?

    Is it wealth? Is it happiness? Is it fame?

    The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and that one size does not fit all[1].

    Here are 19 different definitions of success. Not all of these will resonate with you, but chances are at least a few of them will. Use these or find inspiration here to create your own definition of success that can be applied to your unique life.

    1. Success is always doing your best.

    Success can be achieved when you try your best in all aspects of everything you do, even if that doesn’t lead to big results. If you’ve done your best, you should feel proud of your efforts.

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    2. Success is properly setting concrete goals.

    Be realistic and concrete when setting goals. Success does not come from setting abstract goals. If you know where you’re heading, that is a success in itself, even if you don’t ultimately arrive to the planned destination.

    3. Success is having a place to call home.

    Home is where your heart soars. You are always successful when you can call a place home. Home doesn’t have to be a specific structure. It can be a country, a city, or even a person. If you have a place you feel comfortable and safe, you’re already achieving something great.

    4. Success is understanding the difference between need and want.

    If you can meet your monthly obligations and fulfill your basic needs, you are successful. Being able to identify when you absolutely need something and when you can do without it often leads to financial stability and is a great way to succeed.

    5. Success is believing you can.

    If you believe you can, you will succeed. Self-belief doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so if you’re able to tell yourself that you can achieve the goals in your plans, you’re doing great.

    6. Success is remembering to balance work with passion.

    Work without passion creates undue stress and empty achievements. Focus on what excites you. If you’re happy at your job, that’s great. However, even if you aren’t, you can balance your formal job with hobbies or volunteer work you’re passionate about.

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    7. Success is taking care of your needs.

    Remember to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Self-care is essential if you want to have any meaningful impact on the world around you.

    8. Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no.

    Success only comes with a balanced life. Part of balance is learning to say no. Saying no doesn’t mean you are selfish; it simply means you have priorities and know what you need to give your attention to at any given time.

    9. Success is knowing your life is filled with abundance.

    Love, health, friends, family…life is filled with abundance. Recognizing this is an important step to feeling grateful for all life has given you. If you can feel this, you are already experiencing success.

    10. Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away.

    You will only succeed if you help others succeed. Learning to give instead of always take is part of creating a world we all want to live in. When you help others, you will also create an environment where others want to help you.

    11. Success is overcoming fear.

    Conquering a fear makes you feel invincible. Even if it’s confronting just one small fear each week, that is certainly something to feel proud of. The bigger fears will take more time, but any work you do to overcome fear will lead to success.

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    12. Success is learning something new each day.

    Successful people understand that learning never stops. Take time each day to converse with someone with opposing views, read an interesting article on a topic you know little about, or watch a TED talk on new research. It doesn’t take long to learn, so get started now.

    13. Success is learning that losing a few battles can help you win a war.

    Successful people choose their battles wisely. When you know which battles will ultimately help you achieve your goals, you will be successful.

    14. Success is loving and being loved back.

    Opening your heart to others is difficult and can produce fear. Having the courage to love and accept love from others is a step toward a fulfilling life and great success.

    15. Success is standing your ground when you believe in something.

    Successful people never give up on things they believe with all their heart. You may hold views that many people disagree with, but if you’ve done your research and know that it’s the right belief for you, you shouldn’t let it go without a fight.

    16. Success is not giving up.

    Perseverance creates grit, and grit achieves success. Even if it takes years to achieve a goal, persisting is key if you want success.

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    17. Success is celebrating small victories.

    Anytime a goal is reached or an obstacle is overcome, take time to celebrate, even if it’s something small. All goals require smaller objectives to be achieved first, so each time you complete one, take time to appreciate the work you put into it.

    18. Success is never letting a disability hold you back.

    Disabilities do not define a person’s success. The body and mind will compensate. Just because you can’t do absolutely everything doesn’t mean you can’t do something. Do what your body and mind allow and always push yourself. That is true success.

    19. Success is understanding that you control your destiny.

    Your destiny is controlled by you and you alone. Take responsibility for your actions and their consequences and you’ll find that you naturally become more successful.

    The Bottom Line

    Success can be defined in many ways. If you are experiencing happiness, love, or adventure in this moment, you’ve already found success. Keep it up.

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    Featured photo credit: Dino Reichmuth via unsplash.com

    Reference

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