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5 Better Ways to Follow Up Than "Per My Last Email"

Talk on the phone

If you catch hold of the person you require follow up from, you can politely remind them about the email.

If necessary, pick up the phone and call to ask, just saying that you were about to type a follow-up email so thought of calling and asking first.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

5 Better Ways to Follow Up Than "Per My Last Email"

5 Better Ways to Follow Up Than "Per My Last Email"

https://www.themuse.com/advice/better-ways-to-follow-up-than-per-my-last-email

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

The way we follow up on email

In follow up emails, the phrase “Per my last email,” can be avoided, as it can sound a bit rude.

The Direct Approach

Just point directly at the request, by circling, pointing or directing clearly to the original request.

Restate the request

You can restate your original request, summarizing in one or two sentences.

If your original email was never read, this will be beneficial again.

Ask a question

Simply and directly asking about the request, or a question related to the request can make the respondent look at your original request and do the required work before you get a reply.

Talk on the phone

If you catch hold of the person you require follow up from, you can politely remind them about the email.

If necessary, pick up the phone and call to ask, just saying that you were about to type a follow-up email so thought of calling and asking first.

Drop in and ask

This might sound a bit intrusive but it is an effective tactic to drop by their workstation/cabin and ask about the response or action.

Whether you call, drop by or talk in the lobby, do send an email to keep a record of the discussion.

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  • Do. If the email is actionable and takes under two minutes, then do the task ASAP.
  • Delegate. Forward the right tasks to the right people.
  • Defer. Reply to the message at a better time.
  • Delete emails that are not important or that you can delegate. 
  • File. Add messages that contain information you will need to your archives.

Stop CC’ing everyone

To avoid filling the email box of staff members, only CC the relevant parties. Ask your team to respond to you individually instead of using the reply-to-all button.

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The psychology behind email

  • Realize that email triggers intermittent variable rewards. Our brains love pulling a lever (i.e. refreshing email) and knowing that the reward (i.e. the number of messages) will vary

When you do hit send, be precise

E-mail is not a substitute for conversations.

Avoid asking open-ended questions and save yourself from the “boomerang effect” (that’s when you invite more email into your inbox than you intended, as a result of having sent out an email in the first place). Be concise in your message and specify the TL;DR and/or requested action upfront.

Find the right downstream systems

The blockage is not email itself, but where all these messages should ultimately go, which requires setting up the right downstream systems.

As you process each message, give yourself five (and only five) options: responding directly or sending the item into whatever system you’re using to manage one of these four buckets.

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Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. D...

Create an Email Productivity System

There’s no “definitive” system. The best framework is the one that works for you. Ideally, it should model your work style, supporting the way you work. Bonus points if it’s low-maintenance, fast to set up, and adaptable as your work changes.

Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

Power Up Your Email with Plugins

Some examples:

  • Undo Send: for when you accidentally press the send button.
  • Canned Responses: create a template that you can reuse with canned responses.
  • Send and Archive: Automatically archive an email after replying to it using the send and archive button.

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