5 Ways to Make Sure Your Emails Actually Get Read

February 21, 2019

Career Advice

On an average day you likely read 200 emails, and you spend about two and half hours per day doing so, according to Forbes. That’s a lot of emails–too many emails. It’s no wonder people have to skim through their inboxes to survive. But how can you make sure your emails not only get opened, but actually get read? Here are some tips.

  1. Write very specific subject lines. A detailed subject line keeps the receiver and the sender on topic and is easier to search for later. This means you can keep the conversation going on one chain instead of sending sporadic emails that branch off into other topics and priorities.
  2. Keep it brief. While still being polite, get right to the point. The shorter, the better. Emails are not replacements for phone conversations. Keep it concise and suggest a phone conversation if there are too many details.
  3. Increase the readability. Bullet points, short paragraphs, and bolded actionable items make your emails easier to read.
  4. Don’t respond right away. Often our first response might not be our best response. Both the sender and receiver can benefit from a little breathing room. A delay could give someone a chance to simmer down if they’re feeling angry. Or inspire someone to be more proactive instead of relying on someone else’s email response. And it may even allow you to come to a better more thoughtful response. Carefully written, well thought out emails are more likely to be read thoroughly than hastily-written, indecisive blabbering.
  5. End with instructions, not questions. Instead of proposing a question at the end of your email, such as “Should we meet in person to discuss more?” just make a decision and propose something like “I can meet up tomorrow at noon to discuss more if you’re available.” This will prevent follow up emails and conversations that are dragged on far beyond their need.

Image via Marie-Chantale Turgeon/Flickr.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers


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