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Email overload – getting people to respond

Posted Tuesday August 23rd, 2011, 9:30 am by

Getting people to respond to urgent emails can be difficult.  Why?  Last week Stewart Hirsh of the Trusted Advisor posted a thought provoking post on why do people not respond to emails – Action Required: Read my email please!

Thought I’d would share the five tips I posted in response.

1.  In the subject-line add the words ‘Action needed by (eg Noon 28 August 2011).

2.  Create an image of yourself as a trusted person so that when the recipient sees an email from you they know it serious and needs attention.  That means avoiding sending frivolous emails like jokes etc.

3. Many people don’t open emails from PAs.  Sad I know, but in the UK this happens.  If you do use a PA/Assistant, make sure even if they prepare the email, that it comes from your mailbox.

4.   Call then a few days/hours latter (depending on the urgency).

5.  Give up conventional emailing and either resort to the phone only or use social media if they are on it eg LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter. Interestingly some people will ignore ordinary email but respond to messages sent via social media.

What are your tips?

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  • My tip is to know the preferred communication medium of the person you are targeting and communicate with them that way.