email button keyboard

 

Email is a wonderful tool for communicating some things.  I think back to earlier in my career when I wrote small books in an email.  It was a great way to express myself, but I doubt anyone ever read them.  Email is great for sharing basic facts with a large number of people – “the meeting has been moved to Thursday in the large conference room.” — but is decidedly unhelpful for having meaningful conversations.

From Fast CompanyStephanie Vozza offers terrific suggestions on how to get your emails read.  Stephanie writes:

1. ASK FOR A RESPONSE IN YOUR SUBJECT LINE

It sounds simple, but sometimes all you need to do is ask for a response. If an email needs a reply, alert the person in the subject line, suggests St. Louis-based professional organizer Janine Adams. “The one thing that gets me to reply to an email is when the person puts ‘—RESPONSE NEEDED’ at the end of the subject line,” she says. “It’s very effective.”

2. CHANGE THE SUBJECT LINE WHEN THE TOPIC CHANGES

The topic can change, especially during a long back and forth thread, making the original subject line inappropriate. “People tune out and stop reading when their need to know has been satisfied, thinking the email replies no longer apply to them,” says Dianna Booher, author of What More Can I Say? Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It. “So they miss important details and action. By updating the subject line on that thread, you re-engage all readers.”

3. DON’T SKIP THE GREETING

When the email starts without addressing the recipient by name, they could easily assume it was sent en masse and doesn’t require a response, says Peggy Duncan, author of The Time Management Memory Jogger: Create Time for the Life You Want. “Also, your email could easily be perceived as a demand as opposed to a request,” she says. “And adding a greeting is simply more polite.”

4. START YOUR MESSAGE WITH A CLEAR REQUEST

Don’t bury the purpose of your email; start it by describing the response you want and your deadline, says New York-based professional organizer Lisa Zaslow.

“For example: ‘Please let me know by the end of the day if you can meet for lunch on the 21st,’” she says.

Stephanie also recommends keeping the email short – between 50 and 125 words.  An old rule of thumb used to be that if the reader had to scroll to read, s/he wouldn’t.  People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

Read the full story at 9 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Get People To Respond To Your Email

 

Advertisements