5 reasons why people aren’t responding to your emails and what to do about it

5 reasons why people aren’t responding to your emails and what to do about it

As a Microsoft Office productivity speaker, trainer and course creator, I’ve worked with businesses in all industries, and I’m often asked, “Why don’t people respond to my emails?”

Although there are many reasons, here are five of the most common reasons I have found as to why people may NOT respond to your emails and, more importantly, what to do about it!

  1. 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. Use bulleted points to draw the reader’s eye to what you are asking or requesting.

  2. Expectation
    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!

  3. 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. Craft subject lines that better reflect the content of the email – for example Three things we need to do before Tuesday’s client meeting.

  4. 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 far more insight much quicker than an email chain, plus it enhances personal connections.

  5. 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, or to summarise a phone or in person conversation. 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 or any of the Microsoft 365 Core 4 (Excel, Word, Outlook or PowerPoint), subscribe to my regular eNewsletter and also a receive a copy of my 39 Microsoft Excel Tips for Business ebook for free. Go to www.donnahanson.com.au/subscribe

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