An Easy Way To Get Responses From People Who Never Answer Your Emails

An Easy Way To Get Responses From People Who Never Answer Your Emails
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A key part of writing an email that gets a response from your busy coworkers is formatting. Here’s the format you should use to make it easier to get the information you need in the time you need it.

Image from Marco Verch.

Whether your colleagues are flooded by emails, busy with meetings, only answer part of your email or are simply lazy, Kat Boogaard, writing at The Muse, gives an example of the format you should use to get a quick response.

Hey Josh,

Just reminding you that I’m still missing your graph contributions for the report that’s due at the end of the month. Here’s what I still need from you:

  • Client Growth Chart
  • Client Industries Chart

I need these from you by the end of the day on Monday, November 28 at the latest. Thanks!


This format is effective because it gives context as to why you’re emailing them, outlines exactly what you need and when you need it by. Keep these three components in mind when writing so your coworkers instantly understand why they should care and what they need to do to help you. It also gives you a trail to refer back to if they don’t deliver.

The Most Effective Way to Follow Up When You Need an Answer ASAP [The Muse]


  • This really works. Started using this method over a year ago and I was amazed at how even a simple thing like bullet points for what you needed seems to get the results. Just don’t number or put a letter next to the bullet points. Many workers switch off thinking they have too much on when they see a number above 3 or 4.

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