Tip of the Week: How to Write an Email that Will Actually Get Replied To

June 1, 2016

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re watching your inbox, waiting for a response that probably isn’t coming? This is a problem that’s all too common, and it’s because the average business owner could very well be stymieing their own progress by sending emails that are too long, too wordy, or even too brief. A study by Boomerang suggests that there are four ways to make emails more viewer-friendly.

Keep it Simple
One of the easiest ways to improve your chances of a response is to keep your emails as simple as possible. Boomerang found that emails written at a third-grade reading level were more appealing (53 percent) than those written at a college reading level (39 percent). Using this information, you can hone in on the subject matter and make it both easier to understand and easier to read. Granted, the context of the email will largely determine what kind of content is found within, but regardless, the typical email (like those seen in an update or a follow-up) should be short, sweet, and to the point.

Tone it Up
Words are a great medium to convey emotion. Boomerang found that creating a slight sense of dissatisfaction or happiness can help to incite a response to an email. The difference could be anywhere between 10-to-15 percent compared to neutral or passive emails. In this situation, it’s more important than ever to make your enthusiasm or anger feel believable. Therefore, you should avoid being overly negative or positive, because if the receiver manages to read between the lines, they’ll realize that the email is actually quite empty and that you’re not being genuine with them.

Mind the Length
When typing up an email, consider its length. Would you want to stop what you’re doing during the day to read a mountain of text? You can’t expect to keep someone’s attention for that long, and considering how many emails business executives receive every day, you can bet that the super-lengthy ones get swept under the rug and forgotten about. If you want to maximize the chance of your email being responded to, try to keep it between 50 and 125 words. This will provide somewhere around a 50+ percent chance of receiving a response.

Keep the Subject Line Short
Long email subject titles are a sure sign of an email that’s just begging to not get read. Therefore, in order to achieve the highest chances of securing a response, you should attempt to limit your email subject headings to about three or four words. This provides a 48 percent chance of being responded to. Also, be sure to provide a subject, as messages without a subject heading only receive a response about 14 percent of the time.

These tips can help you craft emails that will have the highest chance of being replied to. You won’t have to worry about missing out on a great business deal due to a message slipping through the cracks and being ignored. What are your strategies for getting your colleagues to read your emails? Let us know in the comments.

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