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5 Tips for Writing Emails That Will Get Responses

You’ve asked for the information over, and over, and over. But your emails go unanswered — or you get the wrong (or incomplete) information. It can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention a waste of time as you craft additional follow-up emails that, once again, are ignored.

Here are five tips you can use to get people to read — and respond to your emails:

#1 Be specific about what you want

Your request may seem clear to you, but your reader may not be as familiar with what you need.

#2 Make it easy to read

Try a bulleted list of the items you need and their corresponding due dates.

#3 Make it easy to respond

  • Include a hyperlink so they don’t have to look it up.
  • Ask them to “Hit ‘Reply’ then type your answer in the subject line.”
  • Ask them to “forward” items to you as opposed to re-creating them.

#4 Set a realistic due date that is relatively soon

If you ask for a small test that’s due in six months, the item falls off of people’s to-do lists.  Instead, send the request 5-7 days out, and they’ll be sure to get it done.

#5 Flag critical items by writing a special note for that direction

For example,  “Be sure to sign the last page AND initial each page.” Or, “Just a reminder, the photo must be attached as a .jpg in order to be accepted.”  By reminding them, they’re more likely to see it as they skim over the directions.

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Written by Laurie Richards

Laurie Richards is an accomplished international speaker, strategist, and
organizational consultant who works with leaders, executives, entrepreneurs,
salespeople, and other professionals to improve communication at every level. Known
for her practical, interactive, and entertaining approach, she helps clients strategically
plan outcome-based presentations and improve everyday communications to directly
affect the bottom line (including new business pitches, state-of-the-organization
addresses, sales presentations, and meetings). Richards holds degrees in
communication, business management, and psychology. She holds a variety of certifications in micro-expressions and psychological profiling.

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