EMAIL ENGAGEMENT LICENSED PROGRAMME
- Next trainer development cohort 10th - 14th June 2024

Quick email tip for faster replies

30th April, 2023

Quick email tip for faster replies

I remember a while back seeing a fascinating interview with Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

 

She explained her simple technique to get anyone from pop stars to politicians to talk.

 

It went like this:

 

Kay: ‘What’s going on?’

 

[PAUSE, interviewee talks]

 

Kay: Really?

 

[PAUSE, interviewee talks some more]

 

Kay: Uh-huh?

 

[PAUSE, interviewee spills the beans]

 

Simple, isn’t it?

 

But devastatingly effective.

 

Now of course she demonstrated the wonderful power of the pause.

 

But also the impact of humble questions.

 

And it struck me that we don’t use simple questions like these often enough.

 

Especially in email.  We prefer statements and directions to conversation starters.

 

And then we’re surprised when people don’t reply.

 

Compare:

 

‘Let me know your thoughts.’

 

with

 

‘What do you think?’

 

Or

 

‘Please provide feedback on the attached presentation.’

 

with

 

‘What’s your take on the data on slides 6-9?’

 

Which would YOU respond to faster?

 

In my experience, it’s harder to ignore a question than a statement.

 

Questions open a loop that we’re hard-wired to want to close.

 

So, will you try using more questions?

 

Can you turn your emails from a monologue to a dialogue?

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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