5 Tips to Get People to Respond to Your Emails

5 Tips to Get People to Respond to Your Emails

How many emails do you get a day? How many do you ignore? The answers to these questions should help make it clear why getting people to read what you send is so tough. There are a few simple tips you can follow to increase the likelihood of not only getting your emails read, but getting a response. Whether you’re emailing a high-level exec at your company or an important professional contact, follow these five tips.

1. Pay attention to time of day

Email is great, because it feels like a non-intrusive way to get a hold of someone. The thinking goes that it doesn’t matter when you send the email, they’ll get it when they have a free moment. But it doesn’t quite work like that. In fact, we all have email usage patterns, where we look at and respond to emails during certain peak hours, and getting your message to the inbox when someone is actively emailing means you have a better shot at being seen.

2. Be short

Don’t start the email with a long diatribe about who you are, where you found someone’s email address, or your life story. Just get straight to it. In journalism, there is the concept of putting all the essential elements of the story in the opening paragraph, not burying them deep down in the fifth. Do the same here. And literally, keep your email to as few words as possible. A really long email is going to be scanned so quickly that there is virtually no chance that your actual reason for reaching out is going to be seen.

3. Be clear about what you’re asking for

We’ve all received those emails, the ones we finish reading and say to ourselves, “I have no idea what this person wants.” Having a goal or desired action from your reader is essential, because if someone doesn’t know what you want, he or she likely won’t respond. So what’s the goal? Do you want a person to meet with you? Do you want him to connect you with someone? Or do you just want her to click a link to learn more about something? Make sure you specifically mention what you’d like the action to be, and  be as polite as possible in doing so.

4. Make it about them

A busy person doesn’t have time to read about what your company does, what your job search is like, or what you really need right now for your business. Instead of dedicating a lot of words to yourself, make it about the other person. What can you do to help them? Why will responding be beneficial or easy for them? If you can quickly tell your reader how you can make their life easier, they may be more inclined to learn more.

5. Subject lines matter

We put so much time into our emails that we often forget about the subject line. But subject lines for personal emails are just as important as they are for work emails. It’s easy to skim right over or ignore generic subject lines, so avoid subject lines such as ‘Introduction’ or ‘Great meeting you’, because they will not help you to stand out. Instead, get creative!

Now that you have packed your knowledge briefcase with these tricks of the trade, you’re ready to drive higher open rates, boost your click-through, and reap the rewards. So the next time you sit down to write an email, keep these five simple tips in mind, because otherwise, not only won’t your audience read it, they won’t do a thing to respond.

What do you think?

It’s easy for emails to get lost in the fray. How do you make sure yours don’t go unanswered?  I’m interested to learn how you cut through the noise with your emails and hopefully free up a little bit of your time.  Comment your views below and join the conversation.

This article was written by Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Fast Company; Forbes; Huffington Post and Inc.

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