Accelerate Response Times by Sending Super-Short Emails

 
short emails
short emails

This post originally appeared on Ridiculously Efficient.

I’ve been conducting a little case study over the past several months on email length and response times, and I’m excited to share the results. I used Gmail Meter to analyze my email, and I found a surprising correlation between super-short emails and fast response times.

How short is short? Really short — like under 30 words. Here’s a graph of my emails by word count. Note the red bars, which reflect my emails sent. Most of them are under 10 words.

sent-emails

Now take a look at the time that elapses before I get a response to those emails: almost always under an hour, and usually within 5 minutes.

responses

There’s another correlation I want to point out. Look at these charts again, but now examine the other end of the spectrum — the longer emails. Note how many emails I receive that are over 100 words (the last two blue bars on the right).

sent-emails

Think this affects my own response time? You bet it does. Check out the cold, hard data. Even a ridiculously efficient person like me puts these emails off for anytime between an hour to a day.

responses

TL;DR

Many entrepreneurs are familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, and the 2-minute rule.

Craft your emails so that processing them would take under 2 minutes.You’ll be amazed at how quickly you get responses, and how much time you cut out from your email routine.

 

Marissa Brassfield

Marissa Brassfield is a productivity expert, branding consultant and communication efficiency specialist who helps entrepreneurs and high-performance teams become ridiculously efficient.

Marissa has worked with some of the most visionary entrepreneurs on the planet. She’s dialed in to the frustrations these results-oriented, interrupt-driven individuals have with bureaucracy and suboptimal team performance. Her coaching helps entrepreneurs counteract growth-killing practices and unlock unparalleled performance from their support staff.