How can you go about asking for a reply in a formal email? Is it wise or unnecessary?
Many people get so busy that they eventually forget to reply emails. Oftentimes, delay in replying an email or total neglect of an email could be a result of procrastination or the content of the email. In such a case, you may need to politely ask for a reply to your email.
In well-structured organizations where they have series of reports and feedback to give, it is often observed that emails sent to such organizations do not get needed response. This could be due to the busy nature of those organizations.
Of course, some people do reply some or all their emails. However, many people do not end up replying their emails, even those emails in which it had been clearly stated that a reply was needed. In a situation in which the recipient of your email does not reply at all and their response is needed, you can politely ask for a reply to your email.
Reasons To Politely Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email
There are several reasons your recipient might delay in replying your email or neglect your email totally, forcing you to deliberately ask for a reply in a formal email. Consider the following important points carefully.
Your Relationship with the Recipient
This may sound awkward but it is true. Your relationship will probably affect the tone. Reciprocal relationships are natural. People naturally react to you with respect to how you relate to them and others. Are you the type that usually delays replying others? If yes, then people will naturally want to delay you too. This means you might need to politely ask your recipient for a reply in a formal email.
However, the first thing you should do is to work on yourself. Reply all emails that come to you. In situations where you are unable to give the needed response just acknowledge receiving the email and state when the sender’s request will be granted. For example,
Dear Monica Smith,
I received your email and your request will be granted by 2 pm tomorrow.
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You Probably Sent the Email to the Wrong Person
Always ensure that the email was sent to the right email address.
The Message was Poorly Written
You probably wrote the message in a manner in which the recipient could not relate with. The content of your mail was poorly constructed. Proofread any email you wish to send, use spell checks, check your grammar, and make sure the content of the email is simple and concise.
Don’t Want to Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email?
Here are simple ways in which you can write a professional email and get a reply without asking.
Provide a Reason why your Email Should be Replied
Most times people reply when you use the word because. There is a higher probability that your email will be replied if you provide a reason for it. For example, I will be happy to hear from you because the opening will lapse on Thursday night. Even if the reason given is absurd, you are likely to get a response.
Keep it Short and Simple
Internet users are always in a hurry to read and get out. Keep your emails really simple, concise, and go straight to the points. Sending too many requests in a single email is terrible, limit your requests, if possible do not make more than two requests in a single email.
Having too many requests in an email makes it difficult for the receiver to reply. If you have to send an exhaustive message kindly state, at the beginning of the email, that your email will be lengthy. This will officially prepare the mind of the reader.
Use Bullet Points
If you need to write so much in an email, then put them in bullets points. Try not to waste your recipients’ time. He or she probably has more priorities than trying to figure out the meaning of what you have written. Take it one point at a time, and make your email easy to digest.
Check how you spelled the recipient’s name and how other words were spelled. Sometimes, people get emails and sometimes never return to it due to wrong spelling and bad grammar.
Close your Emails with an Appealing and Polite note
The last part of the email is always the part where you show how concerned you are about the time the reader invested in reading your email, and there is no other way to prove this other than closing the email with appealing and polite words.
For example, thank you, sir.
Always include your signature in your emails. Your signature carries your name and contact address. Your signature helps the recipient to know who sent the email as well as where the email is from.
Asking for a Reply in a Formal Email
After writing a good email using the simple tips guiding an effective email writing, and you still you do not get a response; then it’s time you write formally asking for a reply to your email. Here are some important things to do when asking for a reply.
- Do not be in a haste to do a follow-up. Wait for a few days, you may wait for about two days. If you do not get a response then you can send a message reminder. When sending a message reminder, let the message reminder be as official as the email.
- Be sure to come up with the right intention.
- If it is urgent, say so and explain briefly why it is urgent.
Dear Mr. Jonathan Sean,
I am yet to get your response as regards the names sent to you for promotion. Kindly give your reply, as your response is very important to us.
Thank you, sir.
Use Polite Words to Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email
Try to keep your cool no matter how annoying the situation may look. Try not to sound harsh, if you do the recipient may actually not reply you at all.
Consider the Recipient’s Point of View
You should also consider that your recipient is not idle but also involved in other activities. Send him or her a reminder that considers his or her own activities. For example
Good day Mrs. Grace Jacob,
I am yet to get a reply from you. I understand that you are a very busy person. Kindly find time out of your busy schedule to reply me.
Thank you for your time.
Do a Follow-up
After taking the above steps and you still do not get a response, it is time to do a follow-up. Follow up smartly. Do not follow up in a way that seems annoying. Give a time frame before you send the next follow-up email.
You should ask for a reply to your email anytime you are getting an unnecessarily delayed response. As long as you are able to achieve this politely, it will not negatively affect your relationship. Also, ensure you do it professionally as explained above.
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.