Often we’ll receive emails about exchanging information but no clarity is provided on how this should be done. Would you like to meet in person? Set up a phone call? Correspond over email?
By putting the onus on the reader to interpret your request and follow up is a high bar and will typically only get a response in an authority driven situation. If you are cold emailing someone or requesting something from a peer, that is a sure fire way to not get what you’re looking for.
Instead, be very clear on what the next step is – this makes it much easier for your reader to say yes!
For example, if you are reaching out to a study sponsor to discuss a new program, don’t just send them a message saying:
Example: We would love to work with you and learn about the new program you have starting.
Instead, be specific:
Example: We are the highest performing research site in the Phoenix, AZ area and would love to establish a working relationship with you. I’d like to have a short 15 minute call to ask you a few questions and tell you a bit about us. My schedule is wide open this week, do you have time this Thursday or Friday?
Additionally, if you are coming to someone with a question – make sure to propose a solution. Rather than putting the pressure on him/her to respond with what they’d like to do, suggest something and then they can either confirm or deny your suggestion (a very easy way to get a response) and have a jumping off point to suggest an alternative.
Writing, “What do you think about this?” is typically an ineffective way to get a reply. Let’s say you are wanting to attend an upcoming Research Conference, you could say:
Example: Hi Jill – I heard there were discussions about booking rooms for the Research Conference. Would it be possible for me to attend?
Example: Hi Jill – I’ve been considering ways to improve my skill set and it looks like there are some speakers at the upcoming Research Conference that could be very helpful. I’ve estimated the cost of me attending at $1,500 which includes the ticket, hotel, and airfare. I would love to put together a presentation on what I learn and share it with the team. Do you think the company could sponsor me to attend?
While the first message is short, it is lazy and would require a few back-and-forths, the second, which slightly longer, is more compelling, complete, and prompts a single decision.