Write Your Emails Backwards For Better Responses
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.
Access exclusive SMW+ content by marketers whose careers you can emulate with a free 30-day trial!
Do your emails go unanswered? Do you write lengthy explanations about what you need, only to be ignored?
If you want better response rates to your emails, you need to get to the point. Time Management Ninja points out a great technique to ensure that your emails are acted upon — write them backwards.
According to their study:
“If you feel like you need to write a book in order to explain your issue, then it shouldn’t be an email in the first place. You are using the wrong medium. That is why your emails are not getting read. They need to be concise and direct.
“Email should be short. And emails should be clear. And emails should be straight to the point. To write better emails that actually get a response, you need to be so direct that your messages cannot be misunderstood.”
Many of us make the mistake of burying the ask or the question at the end of a lengthy note. However, according to Time Management Ninja, the key tactic to getting your emails read and responded to is to:
“Put the action, request, or most important information in the first line of the email. In essence, you want to write your email backwards. Don’t wait until the end of your email to ask your question or to make your request. Instead, ask your question first.
Make it the very first line in your message. Then, add whatever short text you need to support the decision or response. This makes it easy for the recipient to know what you want, and even easier for them to respond.”
Even if the goal of your email is to provide information, put that “one thing” you want the reader to take away as the first line.
Make it immediately clear what the message is about, and easy for the recipient to read and respond. Write your emails backwards. You will notice a dramatic increase in your response rate.
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.