What Can You Do to Receive an Answer to Emails

If you want to receive an answer to your emails you would need them to be read first of all. I know this information doesn’t help but, dooh, if an email is not attractive enough starting from the subject, you have a greater chance to be ignored.


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What can you do to receive an answer:

  • Write in a simple language. The more you complicate it, the more chances are to lose your audience;
  • Use an attractive subject, specific, actionable, but reasonable. If the subject is bad the recipient might not even open the email. Don’t use a subject such as “Open this email, you have no idea what you are missing!” when you send emails to the CEO;
  • Don’t be annoying. Well, this may be a little difficult in some cases;
  • Put that email on a diet, get rid of the useless fat;
  • Write brief and to the point, not 300 words stories. If the story is required, send in as attachment with a relevant title such as “the exciting story of the troubled excel” or “my 2nd floor neighbor – the corporate sweetheart”;
  • The shorter the message, the greater the chances of getting a reaction to it. The longer, the greater chances to be overlooked as “unread”;
  • Address people in a precise and personal manner: John, this is what I want from you;
  • Choose the right time of day to send the email. If for example, the recipient is a morning person, you’d better synchronize;
  • Write something provocative, something that makes you open it;
  • Use phrases that would require a short answer or approval such as: “OK”, “Agreed”, “NFW – No Freaking Way!”;
  • Use a verb in the email subject: “Please check if next week’s potty training appointment is OK!”;
  • Check for spelling errors, even if you wrote in your native language;
  • Set a deadline for the answer. If there are some actionable tasks, the email gets more chances to getting read and answered to;
  • Look for patterns in the email you didn’t get an answer to;
  • Be polite;
  • If none of these works, just call and say you need an answer.

“Emailing is my life”, I know, that’s why you are so busy. But you could cut off some of the useless ones and get better at writing, with every email sent. The less emails you send, the brief, efficient and to the point they are, the less inconclusive ones you’ll get back.

What NOT to do in order to receive an answer to emails:

  • Don’t spam, even if it’s useless stuff. If you are a manager, there’s a risk that all the emails you send are considered spam by the subordinates, then you get an exemption from the spam rule in this case;
  • Don’t create a habit of sending dumb and dumber emails, just for the sake of it. If you do, no matter what you send in the future, even the important ones, get treated as “junk”;
  • Don’t press reply to all if it’s not necessary. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion, filter only the relevant audience;
  • Don’t write emails about nothing. If you use a bombastic language and by the end of the message the recipient doesn’t know the purpose of it, you are simply wasting time. Your time, but especially the receiver’s;

If you have to write a very long email, think about the option of having a real conversation with that person, it might be more efficient. Last but not least, if it’s urgent, grab the phone and call, don’t send an email telling somebody their car is on fire.

Good luck censoring emails!

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