I thought I had concluded this series but then received a helpful article from ‘Boomerang for Gmail’. I referred to this service last time. You can join here. The article made interesting reading so I am adding an appendix to my series.
How to get a response
They provided some interesting statistics which are well worth reading. On the basis of analysing millions of emails (I think) they have produced a list of 7 useful points about how to get a response to your emails. Being statistical these are not rules and may not apply to you, but they are worth considering.
I give the summary here but suggest you look at the full article:
- Use shorter sentences with simpler words. 3rd grade reading level works best. Gave 53% response; higher than other levels, whether more or less intellectual language usage.
- Include 1-3 questions in your email. 60% response.
- Make sure you use a subject line. Aim for 3-4 words. 48% response.
- Use a slightly positive or slightly negative tone. Both outperform a completely neutral tone. 5-15% better responses than to ‘neutral’ email.
- Take a stand! Opinionated messages receive higher response rates than objective ones. 42-50% response.
- Write enough but not too much. Try to keep messages between 50-125 words. 51% response.
- Send emails during lunch time or early mornings for a better response rate. (Nb This point is not in their summary list but is revealed in the comments submitted)
That really does end this series I think! I am encouraged by the number of people who have found this series useful. We all face the same challenges it seems!
Next time I shall look at the Ministry Health Check I am using to help teams evaluate their ministries with the poor. This is proving to be an effective tool as I help local teams to develop an Action Plan to improve their ministries.