How to Get Clients and Prospects to Respond to Your Emails

22 May 2016

emailI make it a habit to take the time to respond to everything I receive via email – even inquiries for free advice. I may be one of the few, but I have to admit that it really bugs me when people do not offer the same courtesy.

There are few types of emails I find receive the lowest response rate. Among them:
-proposals (and proposal follow-ups)
-payment inquiries (typically when the payment is past due)
-quarterly social media reports (probably because of the amount of data within it)

Regardless of the nature of the email, if I do not receive a response to something of importance, I’ve discovered a formula that typically gets them moving.

Here’s the trick. When I write an email, which is often a follow-up message, I reiterate what it is I am requesting and wrap the email by stating that I will call if I do not hear back by a specific date/time, just in case my emails aren’t being received.

Like clockwork, I typically get a response within a few hours. I’m not certain the psychology behind this, but if I had to guess, it’s simply that it’s so easy to ignore an email. And no one wants a phone call about something they would rather not deal with, otherwise why would they have ignored my email in the first place?

For us, this tactic has about a 90% response rate. I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re awaiting an email response.   (Unless you’re one the folks I have to track down! Now you know my secret)!


Comments

  1. Rachel: This is a smart formula. Do you print out the email and add it to a to-do app as a reminder to call at a certain time?

    • Rachel Strella Says: May 24, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Once I send the follow-up email, I make a note in Trello for my team to follow-up, if I haven’t heard back. Most of the time I can delete the follow-up note, though. It’s an effective strategy!

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