How to guarantee a response to an email

photo by by MarcinMoga / Lolek

Someone just emailed me and asked me a good question (the answer to which will be in my next post). What was interesting is that they asked me the question in such a way that they were pretty much guaranteed a response. Their email went like this:

– Say nice things about my blog and establish a common ground.
– Ask question.
– Finish up with nice thing.

How could I refuse? This is like the sandwich technique of giving advice during speech evaluations at Toastmasters which goes: praise, criticise constructively, praise. Also it taps into social obligation: the emailer gave me a gift of praise, and now I am obligated to give back by answering their question.

So remember this technique when writing to people to ask them questions. I do it all the time at work:

– You are awesome and so is everything you do.
– Can you help me with this?
– Thanks, you’re awesome.

Then I always follow up with a thanks email when they do it, so they’ll remember I was grateful the next time I ask them for something.

Try it out!

3 Responses to “How to guarantee a response to an email”

  1. hermitC Says:

    Politeness+praise rocks! It gives you this warm feeling of acceptance, respect and importance. The nice ones stay in mind.

  2. Alex Vostrov Says:

    Hey, a fellow Toastmaster-game developer in Vancouver! Spooky. Which club are you a member of? I’m in Metrospeakers.

  3. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Hi Alex, yay! I’m a member of Club 59 in Kits Yacht Club. I live in Point Grey so it’s nice and close. I’ve heard of Metrospeakers.