We’ve spent hundreds of hours working with clients to answer one simple question: Why didn’t I get a response to my email? Generally, one of these three mistakes is the cause. Don’t make these mistakes with your email.
Mistake 1: The purpose of the email is unclear.
Don’t make your reader dig for the purpose of your email. Get to the point in the first 2 sentences:
I hope you are well. I have two quick follow-up questions on the proposal that I hope you can answer.
Mistake 2: The email fails to reference a shared connection.
If you are writing someone you don’t know, make sure you mention the person who referred you. If you don’t have a referral, mention a shared interest or something you have in common: “I found your blog doing some research for an article I am writing on Email communication.”
Mistake 3: The action or response requested is overwhelming.
If you are asking for something, make your request as simple and specific as possible. Once you establish a connection with the recipient, you can make more complex requests, but don’t lead with an impossible question. The answer to your initial request should fit into one sentence.
Bad: Can you tell me more about your company?
Good: I have two questions about your company. Would it be best to send the questions by email or to give you a call?