Top 10 Ways to Get People to Read and Respond to Your Emails

Email is the most frequently used communication tool in business
today. It’s easy, fast and you can communicate with others while on the
go. Less intrusive than a phone call or a text message, it allows for
convenient communication and quick turnaround.

Most of us receive hundreds of emails a day and so do our clients and customers. That’s the main reason why messages can get lost or ignored in the email shuffle.

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind if you want to make a good
impression and increase the likelihood that your emails will get a
response.

Make your subject line specific. Just like you read a
headline before deciding to click on an article, recipients evaluate an
email’s importance by its subject line. Keep the subject brief,
relevant and specific. After meeting someone for the first time, I
always try to include their first name in the subject line and how I
know them. For example, “Hi Ron, we met at the charity fundraiser last
Saturday,” is more eye-catching than, “Following up,” or “Great meeting
you.”

Related: How to Write an Unforgettable Thank-You Note

Keep it brief. Most people are time deprived and
don’t enjoy reading long and laborious emails. Stick to the topic at
hand. If you have a lot of information to discuss, you’ll save time by
calling the person instead. For informal communication, it’s more
efficient to use the subject line only. “Free for lunch tomorrow?” Then
add (EOM) to the end of the subject line — short for “end of message.”

Include bullet points. Whenever you have a list of
specific questions, try using bullet points. This will make your email
easier to read and easier for the recipient to respond.

Praise the person. When emailing someone you don’t
know well or a VIP, it’s helpful to include where you met, who referred
you, or how you know that person. For example, when I get an email that
reads, “Dear Jacqueline, I enjoyed reading your book, Poised for Success. Please send me more information about your seminars.” I am more apt to respond quicker than if a person writes, “Hi, please send me more information about your seminars.”

Simmer down. It’s important to be aware of how you
come across in an email. As the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything
nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” In other words, think twice
before sending a harsh message. If you’re angry, upset or frustrated,
take time to cool down. Remember, messages may be copied, forwarded or
printed so don’t send anything you might later regret.

Related: 6 Things You Should Never Say During a Speech

Double check for typos. Before you click the “send”
button, proofread your email. Keep an eye out for errors in grammar,
spelling and punctuation. For a more important email, read it aloud to
be sure it conveys exactly what you want to say. A poorly composed email
can make you appear unprofessional, careless or uneducated.

Guard email addresses. If you must send an email to a
large group of people, be sure to respect the privacy of the
recipients. If the recipients aren’t acquainted, use the “BCC” option —
blind carbon copy. That way, the only email to appear will be that of
the sender.

Don’t abuse the “reply all” feature. While the
“reply all” feature can be useful, it can also frustrate and anger those
who don’t need to receive the reply. Reply only to those who need a
response. 

Ask permission before sending large attachments.
Many people loathe having their email bogged down with lots of photos
and huge attachments. Get permission from the recipient before sending
large files or use a file sharing service such as Dropbox.com

Give the recipient time to respond. Some people
don’t check their email multiple times a day. If you need a quick
response, pick up the phone and call or use keywords such as, “PLEASE
READ THIS” or “URGENT,” in the subject line to help the recipient
identify important messages easily.

Above all, mind your manners. The most important things are those we
learned when we were children. When you ask for something, say
‘please.’  When someone gives you something or does something special
for you, say ‘thank you.’ Your online reputation is a part of your
personal brand. That’s why The Golden Rule never goes out of style:
treat others the way you would like to be treated.