Over the past few weeks I have sent a number of important emails to several different people regarding completely different topics. Out of all the different emails I sent, two people responded. At first I thought my emails were not going through, but they were. Now, since I sent out those emails I have made able to make contact with most of the individuals. They all received the emails but were “too busy” to respond.
Let me be the first to tell you, I know how busy life can get making it difficult to take the time to think out a response to someone. As a result, I have made a personal policy that I will respond to every email during the business week within 24 hours or one business day. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean I will respond with a carefully thought out response, sometimes I will simply send an email to someone saying, “I received your message but have not yet had the time to read it fully or prepare a response. I will get to it as soon as I can. If you do not hear from in a few days, shoot me another email to remind me!” You could even copy and paste that and send that to people.
By doing a quick response like that you are:
- Acknowledging the person’s concern and you are personally telling them that you will get to it as soon as you can.
- Eliminating any awkwardness they may feel by sending you a follow-up email. You directly ask them to remind you if you forget.
- Establishing communication so that they know they have reached the right person and their email is not floating around somewhere in cyberspace.
I am human and am not perfect, but I would say 98% of the time I will follow this rule. Ideally, I try to send a response back to the email addressing whatever needs to be addressed, but sometimes, when life becomes hectic, this quick “I’ll get to it soon” response will do just fine. And, if you are absolutely swamped, turn on your Auto-Response! Don’t make people wait.