My inbox has as many mails as the night sky has stars. That's why I did not respond to your mail. Not because I didn't want to and not because I didn't like you. I'd love to be able to hit that reply button right after I read your mail. Could you please help me with this? Below are some tips.
- Write short. Response time is approximately proportional to mail length. This includes any attachments to your mail.
- State your request clearly. What do you want an answer to? Make it easy to answer your request. Best case: a yes/no question.
- Skip the formality. Skip the boilerplate. "Hi Julian" is a good start, your name is a good way to finish the mail. Everything in between should be unique.
- Do tell me how your day was if you feel like it. If I know you, I care about you and appreciate you telling me. Don't ask me how my day was. I will feel I need to reply and it will take me longer. It's also perfectly fine to not tell me how your day was.
- If the purpose of your mail is general chitchat, maybe we should talk on the phone instead.
- Don't be rude. Your email deserves an answer, unless you tell me explicitly that it deserves an answer.
- If I don't answer within a few days, do send me a reminder in the same mail thread. See if you can state your request more succinctly in your reminder.
- Don't contact me on Facebook, SMS, Skype or similar with the same request as your mail. These services don't provide an overview of outstanding messages and I therefore don't treat them as a task list. Your message will be lost in cyberspace.
I'm aware that this post may make me sound like a self-important and condescending person. I really hope I am not. I'm just someone who want to spend less time reading and writing emails, and avoid making people angry because I don't respond to their emails. I guess you want the same.