Looking for a better email reply from others?
How many times have you received a response to an email and still don’t get the answers you need? Here are some really simple steps which will give you better email replies, improve your workflow, and make you a Communications Commander!
Subject: What's This About?
Most all emails are questions, statements, or some form of information exchange. Typing “??” in a subject makes it impossible to know what the email is about. Just imagine when you need to refer to it in the future; You: “Hey did you get my email?” Recipient: “I got a lot of emails from you, what was the subject?” You: “Um, I forget? Something about a question I had.” As you can see, if you give your email an appropriate email subject, it will be easier to refer to in the future. Therefore, if you Want better email replies, simply create a good subject. Include a clear subject so that your email has value; Subject: “ABC Ad for Trade Show on June 1st?” Wording email subjects clearly helps both you and your reader stay on topic.
Giving Some Context: Lazy forwards adds confusion
Here’s a huge pet-peeve of mine, and something that will surely give you better email replies. Simply forwarding an email is the same as running past somebody’s desk and throwing papers at them. It really takes just a second to type in a sentence like “Here is the information you need, and attached PDF” or “This is what John is asking below”. That added note will help your recipient understand what to look for in the email you’re forwarding.
Attachments: File of just text??
If you are attaching a Word or PDF file that has just text in it, you’re asking your reader to do more work just to read some text. They now have to open up the file in an application. Just paste that text directly into the body of your email It’s a lot quicker for both you and your reader… Time is money! Also, if you are attaching an image, make sure it’s in a file format that your recipient can open. Not everyone has Adobe Illustrator, so send as a PDF instead.
Signatures: Your lawyers lied to you
Signatures are to be used only once in an email. Each time you include your signature in a thread, it makes it that much harder to read the full conversation. Having to scroll past dozens of signatures just to find a single sentence/answer again makes people work harder to read what you wrote and are referring to. And yes, it’s not actually “legal” to include those silly legal statements. Seriously. Stop adding your signature in every reply. We know who you are.
Before You Send: Read What You Wrote
A lot of us get caught up in the moment and we think that everything we wrote is correct and says what we meant. But does it? Is it clear what you mean when you refer to something as “those”, or “that”? Want Better Email Replies? Simple and concise sentences which repeat the name of things can help to clarify what the email is referring to.