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When to Expect an Email Reply?

What are your email reply expectations?

How soon should you expect a reply to an email?

Should you send another email if you don’t receive a response to your initial inquiry? If so, when? Should you pick up the phone and call or send a text?

Yeah, do that if you want to be really annoying. But, if the issue was that important, you probably should have placed a phone call first, right?

Fast is Not Fast Enough

I’ve had the above happen when I didn’t respond to an email within 30 minutes — 30 minutes. Unfortunately, not everyone checks their email every 5 minutes or is available to answer them as quickly as many folks would prefer.

Okay, so let’s get this out there — we aren’t talking about business email response time – we’re talking about personal email conversations. However, onliners should attempt to respond to their incoming personal email within at least a day, no more than two. Promptly responding to emails is simply a courteous thing to do.

Keep In Mind Others Schedules…

Remember that sometimes people are busy, away on a trip or vacation, or have computer problems. Maybe your email got mixed up in the spam they received and was accidentally deleted. That does happen.

If you are on @yahoo, @hotmail, or @gmail — you need to whitelist your contacts and regularly check your junk/trash folders. Freebie email services are notorious for misidentifying spam. The responses you are looking for could be one of them and the reason for the appearance of no response.

On the other hand, what if you do something spammy and your email goes into their junk/trash? Things such as having no text in the Subject: field, embedding huge graphics, or typing with all kinds of formatting could trip some spam filters.

Because of this, your email will be misidentified as spam. They can’t respond to emails that are not in their inbox.

When Should I Follow Up?

Sending a follow-up is up to your discretion and the situation. If it is to someone you know is online all the time, send a follow-up the next day asking if everything is okay to show your concern.

Refrain from accusing the other side of ignoring you like many jump to do. Instead, sending a quick “just checking in” to see if they received your email should hopefully get you the response you seek.

Still not sure what to do? I have a bunch of articles about email etiquette response time for your reference in my archives.

Get the word out...