The # 1 frustration with using email is . . . .

The #1 frustration with email is ’getting no response to your email when you send a message that clearly requires a response (or the response is too slow)’.

When this first showed up in surveys from my clients I thought it was a dissatisfaction with how many hours and minutes and seconds it was taking for the sender to get a response from their reader. And then I saw some research which shows that 24.8% of receivers feel they must respond within 15 minutes but only 11.2% of senders feel the same way. So, this frustration is obviously not a simple matter of minutes and seconds.

What I have come to realise that there is actually another reason. You see, whenever you have a conversation with somebody face-to-face or on the phone, you have an interaction and feedback, even if it’s an argument or a dispute. But when you start a conversation by sending an email, you don't get the same feedback or validation. You send an email. There's no response. You ask yourself “did they get my message?”, “are they ignoring me?”, “are they away?”, have they died?”

Email is a very frustrating way for us to communicate and the main driver of this frustration is with ‘not getting a response’.

So, what can we do about it?

The truth is that the majority of your audience are not reading your emails. You see, the huge volumes of email everyone receives these days means the inbox is like a social media feed - people are scanning their inbox like they’re browsing their Facebook page. The great challenge with sending email today is that you have to get attention, engage interest and then stimulate a response . . .  all in less than 2 seconds.

If you want to get their attention, you’ll need to write great subject lines to stand out in a busy inbox. This takes some real skill and a good deal of practice. An effective subject line actually has 3 components.

  • ·a desired outcome

  • ·a timeframe

  • ·a clear concise description

As Kaloyan Yankulov has written “when people don’t open your email, they have voted against your subject line, not your body copy”.

Email response infographic.JPG
Steuart Snooks