Ding. Notification. Alert. The Type-A person in me cannot handle leaving any email unread. In fact, there is nothing that pains me more than missing an email. It does something to my soul. I feel as if i have dropped a ball somewhere or impacted someone else’s ability to deliver on their commitments or complete their work. I view email as a vital business communication tool, and that to keep business moving, you must be able to respond to email right away. In this digital age, I expect a prompt response via email
— and most of my colleagues and clients do as well.
That is why there is nothing that causes me to respond even faster to an email than an subject line that includes FRIENDLY REMINDER, FOLLOW UP REQUEST, or FINAL REQUEST.
And I've found follow-ups get me a response, too.
I find it interesting that some people have a view that they only need to respond promptly to people that are above them. I challenge that line of thinking, because I believe that you should give the same level of attention to the people who work for you, if not more. My rationale is that although there are people above me and they may make noise, it is those that are on my team that are truly depending on me for coaching or answers to complete their work. I have a responsibility to them to keep them moving so that our business can continue. Further, I cannot give those above me accurate and prompt answers if I do not support my team by being responsive.
Ask yourself these questions: Have you ever sent someone an email and made a note to follow up because you know they won’t respond on the first try? Or have you not sent an email because you feel it’s a waste of time because they probably will never respond? I know I have, and it causes me more work and, quite honestly, frustration. I strive daily to not be a roadblock for my leads, teams, and clients.
So yes, some may call me obsessive, but if you send me a follow-up email that is clearly a follow up based on the subject line, I’m going to respond immediately.
First, because I hate causing extra work for people. But also, because I hate that I missed it the first time. And I've found many people are the same. We all want to be our professional 'bests', so we are going to reply to that "final request" real quick.
What's your no. 1 piece of subject line advice? Leave your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!
Chatty (Charlitta) from Charlotte is a Type A, expressive-driving Gemini that loves her husband and son. She is on a mission to make the world a better place. She is a Principal Consultant with Slalom, the author of Black Boy Joy and Chief Mom Officer of the Me3 Project.