Strategies for Follow Up Emails: Getting Them to Respond

By: First Union

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Strategies for Follow Up Emails: Getting Them to Respond

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Often you'll send out a follow-up email be it to a colleague or a client for instance and you may wait days for them to reply. For some reason, whether they are too busy or just not interested in getting right back to you, this follow up email remains unanswered. Are you potentially doing something wrong as far as your language/wording?

In an ideal world, that initial email requesting information or outlining expectations will get the job done and therefore a follow up won't be necessary. However, we don't always live in that ideal world. So what can you do to get a timely response as a result of your follow up effort…

BE MORE DIRECT

Invoking that first email stating your request is a good way to remind someone that you do need a reply. Of course, don't be hostile about it, but rather, be concise and get to the point. State something along the lines of I am checking in on the email below (and include that email in the thread so that they do have it front and center/).

RESTATING THE PREVIOUS EMAIL

Perhaps the first email wasn't clear enough and thus left them somewhat confused and ultimately hesitant to respond. You might then want to try and restate the point of that first email differently.

Reiterating a request can be effective as far as providing more information by way of what you're looking for from them and also serve as a reminder that they do have to get back to you on the said matter.

ASK QUESTIONS

By beginning a follow-up email with a question, you are more apt to get their attention right off the bat. You could say something like: Are you able to get me the information about XYZ? Or, what are your thoughts concerning the project? Questions necessitate answers, so beginning with one is a great way to get them thinking about those answers they need to provide.

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