How to make sure your emails get the best response possible.

Many of the tactics people use when they write follow-up emails aren’t very effective. Worse, they can be really annoying, says Anisa Purbasari Horton, Editorial Assistant for Fast Company’s Leadership section and a working journalist who frequently reviews and edits submissions.

It’s best to assume that the person you’re writing to probably has more pressing matters than answering your emails, she writes. She offers a list of dos and don’ts to think about when composing a follow-up email:

  • Make it as easy as possible. People already struggle with their inboxes. So make it worth their time to reply.
  • Be polite and respectful of their time. There’s nothing wrong with following up but there is something wrong with writing emails that scream, “I have no respect for your time.”
  • Don’t be unnecessarily pushy or passive aggressive. “I’ve lost count of the number of times people have marked their emails high priority when they’re clearly not,” she writes.
  • Include specifics and a call-to-action in your subject line. Emails that don’t look important probably will be relegated to trash.
  • Don’t use a vague or generic subject line. You live and die by your subject line. “Just checking in” is an email-subject-line recipe for “ignore.”
  • Only send your email to the person concerned. Ask yourself who needs to receive the information you’re sending and only send it to those individuals.

In a relatively short time, email has become a staple of our business lives. And thus, drafting a good follow-up email is a skill well worth mastering. To see all the email dos and don’ts, read the full article.