Chances are you’ve experienced delays waiting for someone to respond to your email. That person may be overloaded or unorganized and yet you’re held responsible for the lack of progress. Here are two tips to get faster replies to your emails.

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First tip: Modify your subject line from being a topic title to instead being a question with the person’s name in it. Contrast a typical subject line: “Century project” vs “Al, what’s the ETA on the century project please?” The second subject line lets the recipient know that this email is requesting a brief reply, increasing the chances they’ll respond more quickly.

The second tip for generating faster, more favourable replies to emails is wonderfully simple. Emails are often impersonal and cold. That doesn’t mean we need to start with a paragraph of personal remarks causing the email to seem longer (making it less likely to get a response). Instead, simply adjust your opening salutation from, “Hi Karina,” to instead, “Good morning Karina”. Not only is good morning (or afternoon or evening) a warmer, more personalized greeting, but it also includes a general time of day. It’s a subtle reminder for the recipient that this is a current request from a real person.

Bonus tip: If those approaches still don’t get you a fast enough response, pick up the phone.

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