Some estimates say over 3 billion emails are sent every single day. That’s over 3,000,000 emails per second! Email has become the backbone of any successful business in 2013 and it’s no longer acceptable to do everything “offline.” Whether you’re in sales, business-to-business, or a client-facing position, sending endless unanswered emails can be a frustrating endeavor.
Here are 8 ways to ensure your emails get opened, read, and replied to.
8. Keep it short.
There’s no better way to be sure you won’t get a response than to ramble on endlessly. Remember that many people check emails on their phones, so keep your email as short and mobile-friendly as possible. Depending on your relationship with the recipient, forgo things like an intro/salutation so they feel free to shoot off a casual response back.
7. Put a question in the subject line.
Particularly if you’re emailing someone who may not be expecting to hear from you, asking a question in the subject line can encourage opening. Think, “What time works for you?” rather than, “What does your business need?” The more specific the better.
6. Send it at the right time.
Don’t blindly sent out emails at 3:00am on Sunday…they’ll get buried at the bottom of the inbox. Try and plan your email when you know the recipient will be in front of their computer – Tuesday at 2:00pm or maybe mornings before the day gets busy.
5. Copy someone senior.
This rule is a bit tricky but works well when used correctly. If you need a response from someone regarding something specific, copy other people on the email (the best case is someone you both know already.) You’ll have instant credibility and the recipient won’t want to look lazy by not replying, but be sure to address the body of the email directly to the person you want to respond.
4. Offer an incentive.
Whether it’s a newsletter, a coupon, or a free consultation, offer a reason to reply! Make sure it’s something the recipient wants and be clear in the very first sentence or two what you’re offering. Skimming is going to happen regardless of what you write, so plan ahead for it.
3. Say you’ll follow up.
The threat of an unwanted phone call or an endless stream of emails is enough to make many people respond. Mention something specific in your email (i.e. “I will call you at 11:00 tomorrow if I haven’t heard from you”) and make sure your follow up is another form of communication, if possible.
2. Actually follow up.
When you say you’re going to follow up, do it! Put it on your calendar and don’t let it slide. Not only does this show persistence but it proves you’ll keep checking in without a response. One or two voicemails is enough to make most people respond back.
1. Ask for a response.
Sometimes it really is that simple! If you don’t ask questions or as specifically for a response in your email you’re unlikely to get answers. Make your intentions known to the recipient and if they’re worth doing business with, they’ll get back to you.
Ryan is a Product Manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.