Waiting For The Email Response

Waiting For The Email Response

A common scenario in the world of remote working is waiting for a response for the email one has sent, looking for the information, input or conversation that is required from a coworker or a client.

While we start to think that we are being ghosted, it is common for people to delay email responses as they are juggling work and personal commitments, and our email does not make it to their top 10 list of must-do work. We can keep a few things in mind while reaching the person again in a follow up email.

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  • Almost half the emails are not opened due to their subject line alone.
  • The subject line has to be short, preferably four words to have a better response rate.
  • Avoid writing ‘follow up’ or ‘checking in’ in the subject line as it can make the person feel that he or she is being blamed for not responding on time.
  • The subject line can also preview the main content of the text, so the person knows what is there in the email.

Being clear without being rude is an art, and one cannot beat around the bush in an email with an ambiguous response. Asking a question creates the next step in the process, and is crucial.

That being said, one also needs to give the recipient an ‘out’ option, demonstrating how you understand their position and presenting yourself as humble and humane. This will make them feel less cornered, increasing the chance of their replying back. Example: Please let me know if you are too busy to provide the requested feedback or if you need more time.

  • Moderately positive emails have a higher response rate than boring, neutral ones.
  • A neutral tone can be considered rude or demanding while a cheery, appreciative tone with subtle amount of flattery helps getting the job done.
  • Keeping the language short and simple, with the word limit being 75 to 100 words yields the highest response rate of 51 percent.
  • It also helps to be persistent in your follow ups, as asking for what one needs reduces anxiety and helps with one’s self-esteem.

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Subjects With Keywords

The first thing that the recipient of the email sees is the subject line, therefore it is critical that the subject clearly states the purpose of the email and what is needed to be done with it.

Military personnel use these keywords to prioritize and categorize:

  • ACTION - compulsory for the recipient to take action
  • SIGN - requires the signature of the recipient
  • INFO - for informational purposes only, no action required
  • DECISION - requires a decision of the recipient
  • REQUEST - seeks permission or approval
  • COORD - coordination by or with the recipient is needed

How to Write Email with Military Precision


We Use Email The Wrong Way

Email is essential in a workplace and yet can suck our productivity in a uniquely annoying way. On an average workday, we check our email 15 times, which leads to wasted time and distractions.

Email isn’t even the best way a person can communicate, as it does not provide the recipient with our intended tone, intentions and purpose in an exact way.

Stop. Does That Message Really Need to Be an Email?


Ignore your inbox when you wake up

Responding to emails as soon as you receive a notification gives others the impression that you’re at their beck and call. It also prevents you from reflecting on your own priorities for the day.

Email Killing Your Productivity? Here Are 9 Ways to Fight Back.


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