Best Work Yet | Susan Gregory

How to write emails that get responses

Last month, Boomerang by Gmail published research that provides the real numbers behind the types of emails that get responses.   If you want a response, write an email with:

  • Between 50 and 125 words

Emails of only 10 words receive a 36% response rate, whereas emails of 100 words get 51%, on average.

  • One to three questions

Forty percent of emails with no question receive a reply, compared with 60% of emails that have 1-3 questions or more, and 50% of emails that have 8 or more questions.

  • A slightly positive or negative tone

According to Boomerang’s article, “Flattery works, but excessive flattery doesn’t”.  A slightly positive tone, for example by using the word “great” will get a 15% higher response rate than an email with a neutral tone. Interestingly, a slightly negative tone is also 15% more likely to get a response than a neutral message, for example by using the word “bad” in a complaint email. However, if you sway to far in one direction or the other, response rates drop.

  • A subject length of three or four words

Emails with no subject line get a reply 14% of the time, compared with emails that have 3-4 words, which receive replies 48% of the time.

  • A third-grade reading level

Emails written with a third-grade reading level receive replies 53% of the time, compared with only 39% response rate for emails at a college reading level.

  • Your opinion!

Opinionated emails get a response rate of 50%, compared with 42% of objective emails.

And, if you’d like more tips on how to handle your email, check out our Get Organized With Outlook workshop.


Categories: Communication,Courses,Using Outlook.

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