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5 Quick, Actionable Ways to Get People to Respond Quickly to Your Emails

on 21 September 2022


Posted by Wayne Pope
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Let’s face it, writing emails are a part of life. It’s hard enough finding time to write them but what’s more annoying is having to chase them up because the person that you've sent it to has yet to reply.

We've put together this quick 5-point checklist of things you can do right now to get people to respond in a timely manner.

1 - Make sure they know its urgent

This may sound obvious, but a lot of times emails don't get a prompt response because although the recipient knows you want a response, they have a million other things to do. Whenever possible be clear when you need their reply, or include in the subject "Important", "Urgent", or "Response needed". You need to make sure you convey the urgency otherwise they (humans being lazy) leave it, as your email is just one among many others.

2 - Peer pressure

Don't put everyone into the "To" Field, instead if other people are involved make sure you add them as CC.  Quick reply rates go up when one or 2 people are in the CC, as we tend to respond faster to an email sent to multiple people. It acts like a form of peer pressure and is more likely to get a response due them being under the spotlight amongst their peers.

3 - Keep it short, simple, and relevant

Nobody has time to read long emails, especially if you are asking something of them. They don't want to spend time trying to dig into what you need from them. So make it very clear what you need. Keep it relevant to them, so that it resonates with them and motivates them to get back to you as fast as possible.

4 - Sign off the right way

Believe it or not, how you sign off at the end of the email has an effect on how people respond. A study done by an email AI analyser for Gmail found that "Thanks in advance" was the most effective sign-off, with a 66 per cent response rate, beating "Thanks" (63 per cent) and "Thank you" (58 per cent) by a slim margin. It's unknown why but perhaps we’ve come to be conditioned that no one is actually “sincerely” sending their “kind regards”. With "Thanks in advance" we feel obliged to complete a task we’ve already been thanked for.

5 - Follow up 24 hours later

Yesware which provides email software did a study of half a million emails and found that if you didn't get a reply on the same day, sending a follow-up with 24 hours increases your chance of getting a response that day by 21%.


Bonus point!

Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler won the prize for his work that was centred around this concept. “If you want to get people to do something, make it easy and remove all obstacles” he wrote in his book Nudge. “At the end of the email you just put exactly what you want the person to do,” says Mawby. “Don’t dress it up at all”. Don't overload them with information, and try to keep the content as simple and short as possible.


Are you fed up with chasing clients for information, the constant ping pong of emails back and forth? Find out how Glasscubes can save you time by automating mundane chasing and get timely responses.



About this author: Wayne Pope

Technical Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience in the online software industry, Wayne brings an in depth technical expertise in collaborative tools, technology, and best practices.