If you are waiting for a response from someone, you can let them know politely by being direct and respectful, having a compelling call to action, and avoiding generic phrasing. These communication ideals work no matter how you are communicating – by email, text, or phone.
Understanding the idea of a good call-and-response message and knowing how to write one are two different concepts. If you’re looking for feedback in your next message, here are some ways that you can politely tell someone you’re waiting for a response.
Be direct, but respectful
When writing out your text or email, or when preparing to leave a phone message, it’s important to understand that you are working with limited space and even more limited attention.
Did you know that roughly 47% of emails are judged solely on their subject line for whether or not they’re worth paying attention to? It’s also very easy to skim a long text or become disinterested in a wordy voicemail. In these cases, less is more.
When composing your message, get to the point quickly and provide only the necessary details. That way, your recipient has a direct and purposeful understanding of what you wanted to say and what you need from them.
- Hello, [Name], I’m [Your Name]. I’m calling to ask some questions about [project] we’re working on. You can reach me at [Number] during business hours.
- [Name], this is [Your Name]. Do you have more details about [project]? I’d appreciate learning more.
Have a compelling call to action
A call to action asks your recipient to do something: click here, read this, buy now, respond to this. Incorporating a clear, concise, and easy-to-answer call to action in your message can increase your chances of getting a response. Try something like:
- Please inform me of the feedback you have on [project].
- I would like to meet on Tuesday. Let me know what times work for you.
- Please forward this report to me as soon as possible.
You may also try phrasing your call to action as a question:
- What are your thoughts on [project]?
- When can I expect an update?
- Is there anything else I need to know about [project]?
Your call to action should make it clear what the next step in the process or the next part of the conversation should look like and how your recipient can get there.
Avoid generic phrasing
While the most common way of prompting a response to a message is using some version of the phrase, “I look forward to hearing from you,” this may not be the best approach in all cases. This phrase and its iterations are incredibly generic, which may lead to them being skipped over or ignored outright.
Instead, try to be specific to your recipient and use some variation in your writing:
- Thank you for collaborating with me, [Name]. I’d like to hear more from you soon.
- I value your quick consideration and response.
- Please reach out soon!
If you know that you’re going to need a response to something immediately, don’t be afraid to include a specific timeframe in your request. Being on a deadline isn’t rude as long as you are calm and respectful of the recipient’s time.
It can be difficult to make direct requests in any setting, whether you’re working or trying to coordinate with friends. There’s nothing wrong with expecting a response, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Be respectful, use a call to action, and personalize your interactions, and you’ll be one step closer to getting the feedback you want and need from your next message.
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