Send More Effective Emails By Ending Them With These Two Steps

Send More Effective Emails by Ending Them With These Two Steps

If you email a client about a project and never hear back from them, it might be because your email leaves things too open-ended. To make it easier for the recipient to reply, suggest the next step. Photo by Patrik Nygren.

Over at the InVision blog, freelancer Robert Williams explains a common problem freelancers have with clients, but it can apply to other work situations, too:

Inevitably conversations with new clients would reach a point where we needed to discuss solutions, and I thought by letting the client dictate what they wanted from me, I was allowing them to get exactly what they were looking for.

But the reality was this was a steaming pile of crap. By ending my emails like this, I was dropping a wheelbarrow full of work on my client's desk and saying "Here. You deal with it."

For a better chance of a reply, Williams suggests sending emails that end on an action:

This next step was different for every email, but it always followed the same 2-step structure. I would include:

  • My suggested next step
  • What we could do in the event they don't want to do that

…A good rule of thumb: if a client can just reply "sounds good" to your email, you're right on.

Again, it's mostly aimed at freelancers dealing with tricky clients, but it's a good rule of thumb for sending work emails in general. Check out the full post at the link below.

The right way to end an email to a client [InVision blog]


    I like this idea. Another tip I have picked up on is to avoid using the word "just". So if you do need to follow up, DON'T start with: "Just following up..." as the "just" part is a condemning word that draws attention to the fact that you might be annoying. Stay strong and just say: "Following up on this email...".

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