Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to get people to respond to email

People are getting busier and busier, and it is becoming somewhat of an art to actually get people to read and respond to emails.

Here are some quick tips to make the experience better for both the sender and receiver:

  1. Make emails as short and concise as possible.

  2. Important: Write a concise, relevant subject line!

  3. Separate your short sentences into paragraphs with a space between them.

  4. If you are making multiple points, or asking multiple questions, put them in a numbered list.  Better yet -- write separate emails with different subject lines.

  5. Make sure it will fit on one screen of a typical email program. (a lot of people don’t like scrolling)

  6. Use bold and highlighting to draw attention to the really important parts.

  7. Edit your emails multiple times, and cut out unnecessary words and sentences.

  8. If your email requires a response, try summing up by asking one simple question at the very end of the email.


People are great at writing long, rambling emails, but seldom seem willing to read, understand, take action on, and reply to messages they receive.

If everyone started following a few of the above tips, we all might just understand each other a bit better :)