Email is king when it comes to communicating in the 21st century. Being able to successfully rule over your kingdom (inbox) is imperative if you intend to have a long and successful rule. While drafting a flawless, concise email along with the perfect subject line can be tricky, the trickiest skill of all, is how to follow up on that email, for a response, without being annoying. Here are some of our favorite tricks of the trade.
Don’t Overthink It
We often get too caught up in our own heads and make mountains out of molehills. Do not make a follow up email into a bigger deal than it is. You wrote an email that needs a response–it is okay to reach back out for one. We are all have been on the other end of the screen, extremely busy and simply forgotten to reply to an email.
You are not being a pest, you’re way too savvy for that. You wouldn’t have reached out in the first place if you were not sure that your email was of value, and that its recipient would think the same. While your email should no doubt be polite and professional, do not be afraid to make it abundantly clear what you are hoping for in return. If you need a response, ask for it. If this is a time-sensitive matter, put a timetable on it or explicitly ask them to set one for you. Be confident in what you are asking for by reminding them what it is and why their response is beneficial for the both of you.
Send the email you wish to receive. Okay, maybe I tweaked that one a little bit, but you get my point. Being aggressive over email is no way to get what you want. Even if you are completely frustrated by the fact that you have to follow up and still have not received a response yet, do not spell your frustration out in words. Always give the recipient the benefit of the doubt and a way out. Phrases like, “I know you’re insanely busy, but when you get a chance…” or “Kindly checking in on this-wanted to make sure you got my last email” will always bear a greater outcome than, “Still haven’t heard back from you” or the ever popular passive aggressive threat, “Looking forward to your speedy reply.” Do not send a follow-up email that you would not want to receive from someone else, and furthermore, only send follow-up emails that you, yourself would be inclined to respond to.
Let It Go
In the wise words of Elsa, know when it is time to let it go. You are sometimes going to meet people that you really hit it off with while networking. They will seem super eager to collaborate or exchange knowledge in person and then give you nothing but radio silence when you reach out to them online.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. This situation can come up a lot and for a lot of different reasons. They could have received your email and realized they actually are not able to help you in the manner they said they could. They could have completely oversold themselves in person. Or they simply might not be that into you. Whatever the case may be, it is important to know rejection is sometimes just the name of the game. Let go of the opportunities or lines of communication that have gone stale and stay focused on the leads and collaboration ventures you tangibly have.