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When to Follow Up on an Email?

Wanting Prompt Email Replies

Have you ever wondered when you should follow up on an email to which you really want a response? What would be the most appropriate “waiting period” to send a follow-up email? I know there have been times that I’ve been waiting and checking for a response.

The last thing we want is to be perceived as being too pushy, demanding, or worse — needy. For example, “Why has my email yet to receive a response?

Many assume they are being purposefully ignored. To this, I always caution to not jump to conclusions. There are so many reasons why the response didn’t come quick enough for you. The least of which the person you are waiting on may not check email as often as those you do.

Other No Response Considerations

  • Could your email have been spammy and therefore blocked or sent to spam?
  • Did you have a typo in the address?
  • Is the person out-of-town, possibly on vacation?

The fact is some onliners are laxer and not responsive to emails or even your attempt at a kind follow-up. However, in most cases, my experience shows these folks are just busy doing other things and living their lives. So it isn’t anything personal.

Or they did reply, and their email inadvertently landed in your trash. So always check your Junk or Trash folder to see if the response you seek is there before worrying about a lack of response.

Follow Up Timeframe

When I follow up depends on several factors.

  • The importance of the subject.
  • If the subject is time-sensitive.
  • Whether the topic is personal or business-related.

What I also try to determine is if the response is more important to me than it is to the person I am waiting to hear from. This helps to put things into perspective.

In general, I tend to follow up two days after my first email. If the topic is not that important, I may do so three days or even a week later. I let my follow time-frame show the level of importance of the content within.

Finally…

Some folks are non-responders. Or, maybe they are trying tacitly to tell you something? Food for thought.

If all else fails, give them a call to find out what’s up. Are you convinced that the recipient is ignoring you?

Then, move on to those who show the courtesy of a response when you email them. Those are the folks who are worth your time and energy.

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