How do I get people to reply to my emails?
As a productivity presenter and trainer, I’ve worked with businesses in all industries, and I’m often asked, “how do I get people to reply to my emails?”
Here are the five reasons why people may NOT reply to your emails and what to do about it:
One of the questions I asked was “What is the 1 thing that if you knew it, understood it or felt it would make attending this session valuable to you?”
- Lack Of Clarity
Somewhere in the message it’s not clear that a response is required. The solution – make what you are asking clear in your emails. Using bulleted points draws the reader’s eye to what you are asking or requesting.
No expectation of a response date is indicated, for example, I need this by Friday. The solution – set an expectation of when you need to a response. A handy tip is to use the flag feature in Microsoft Outlook to flag the message to pop up and reminder the reader they need to respond!
- Too Many Things
Because of the instantaneous nature of emails it can be easy to try and cram several questions, requests or actions into one email often making it overwhelming to the reader. When we are overwhelmed the easiest thing to do is do nothing! The solution – simplify your emails by keeping questions items or requests to ideally no more than three per email. Try crafting subject lines that better reflect the content of the email – for example Three things we need to do before Tuesday’s client meeting.
- Too Many Emails
This is the story of so many of our lives! How do you make YOUR email stand out in a sea of electronic messages? The solution – consider whether a telephone call or an online meeting would get the result you need faster. A telephone or online meeting enables you to have a conversation and can often provide more insight than an email chain, plus it enhances personal connections.
- Doing Other Things
Not everyone has their email open all day at work, and really nor should we! Most people have things they need to do than respond to emails. The solution –recognise that YOUR priorities aren’t the same as someone else’s. If you need a response in the next five minutes, don’t email them. Use email for questions, actions or requests that you are happy to receive sometime that day or the next morning for example. If you expect others to respond to your timelines, you are likely to be disappointed!
If you want to get more productive with Microsoft Outlook, take a look at my short online webinar designed to fast-track your productivity with Microsoft Outlook and help manage your email at the same time! https://tinyurl.com/WebOL