How to Write Emails that Get a Response
A significant portion of your day is spent reading and responding to emails. It allows projects to keep moving when our co-workers are unavailable or on the other side of the world. Drafting emails that get attention is important. Use these tips to create emails that are opened and encourage your recipients to reply.
Precise subject lines
The first thing your recipient sees is the subject line. Avoid using the general subject lines such as checking in or following up. Subject lines with a few key words will make your email stand out and make its message clear. It’s not necessary to put a full sentence in the subject line, but the major key words will get the message across.
Use basic email structure
Sticking to a general set format for emails make them easier for you to draft and easier to read. The following standard structure help you to write quickly.
• a compliment or pleasantry
• the reason for your email
• a call to action
• a closing message
Stick to straightforward language
The easier your email is to understand, the easier it will be for the recipient to quickly respond. Cut out adjectives and adverbs that can cloud the meaning behind your writing. Make your sentences clear, and comprehensive. Emails are all too easily misunderstood. Simplifying your sentences to avoid clouding your message, or confusing the reader.
Keep it short
Shorter emails help you and the recipient. A helpful practice is limiting your emails to five sentences. Ideal email length varies depending on your industry, but keep your emails under 200 words in length. Shorter emails help you by taking less time to write and making them easier to reply to by the recipient.
Consider using bullet points or a numbered list to organize your email structure. This formatting maintains the reader’s attention. Bullets allow you to use fewer words to get the same message across. They don’t require you to write out an entire sentence.
Make your request clear
Clearly state what exactly you want from the recipient and structuring your request as a question. Don’t assume the recipient will know what to do. It also will make it easier for them to reply. Provide the instructions for them to complete your request. Put the question at the end of your email. You can use something along the lines of “let me know when it’s completed” or “let me know if that is good for you.”
Is an email best?
If you are struggling editing and rewriting an email to make your points clear, this may indicate an email is not the proper medium. A phone call, a virtual conference, or an in-person meeting may be necessary. Especially if it is highly time-sensitive or requires multiple answers to complicated questions.
A significant portion of your work week is spent writing, reading, and responding to emails. When you consider that reading and responding to emails can eat up so many hours. These simple tips can make those emails effective for you and your recipient.