Writing respond-able emails is an art. It’s not just the subject line or the email content; it’s when the email is received, and how you follow-up on the email. Lucky for us, there are several tools out there to help manage these processes and help you get more responses.
Compose a “respond-able” email
The actual email content is ultimately the most important factor. If your email is too long, asks too many questions, and has too many complex words, you are less likely to get a response. Tools like Boomerang, which can be downloaded into both Gmail and Outlook, will give you a respond-ability analysis as you write.
Templates and canned responses
Do you find yourself writing the same email over and over? Save yourself some time and turn it into a template that you can use when you really need that email answered. Gmail and Outlook both offer the ability to create templates. You can also get this capability with add-on tools like Boomerang and Mixmax.
Make answering easy
If answering an email is easy and takes almost no extra effort, you’ll be much more likely to get that response you are looking for. Mixmax (for Gmail) allows you to send polls and schedule meetings within the email message. Your recipients simply have to click once, and voilà! You have your response.
Send emails at the right time
When an email hits an inbox is so important. You don’t want your message to get ignored at the end of a busy week, get buried with Monday’s rush, or get delivered late at night. Write your email when it’s best for you, and schedule when it will be sent. Both Gmail and Outlook have this feature. You can read more about it in our post “The Small Details: Email on Your Schedule.”
Reminders for unanswered emails
An important part of ensuring that you receive a response is following up on unanswered emails. Losing track of emails that are pending can be cumbersome. Gmail (as well as several other tools) offers “nudges.” For example, you can get a notification that an email you sent 3 days ago is still unanswered. You can then rest easy, knowing Gmail will alert you when you need to follow up.
Knowing whether or not an email has been opened can make following up on an email much more effective. If you know the email wasn’t even opened, you can resend with a different subject line, have it delivered at a different time, or make other changes to see if you can get that email opened. If you know the recipient opened the email (and when), you can time the follow-up and word it in a way that won’t be too pushy or off-putting, but still brings it to the top of their inbox. Try tools like Boomerang (for Gmail and Outlook) and Mixmax (for Gmail) for email open tracking.
Use other mediums
Finally, if your emails continue to go unanswered, your answer might just be to try another medium. Slack can be a great communication tool in office settings, and it integrates with most email tools. You can push an email to slack (either in a DM or a #channel) to get your message across in a new way.
There are so many tools right at our fingertips (and right in our inboxes!) that will help to make sure any email you send gets a response. Try a few of these out and implement the options that work best for you.