Um….Did You Get My Email?

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Yes, it’s so irritating not to get a quick reply to an email. We’re so accustomed to instant responses that it’s frustrating to wait. Maybe our email went into spam? Maybe it has been hijacked by the MAILER DAEMON? And we all feel that way, so the people you don’t write back to feel that way about you as well. So how long is OK to keep people waiting?

In pre-internet days (some of us remember, right?) many professionals had a 24-hour rule for returning phone messages. It wasn’t always easy, but it was the mark of respect to respond within a single day. How many of us follow the 24-hour rule with email? What practices do you follow for timely responses? At what point do you feel disrespected when you don’t receive a response?

A day is probably a good rule of thumb. If an email is too complex for one-day turn around, consider a quick “I received your email but need some time to work on responding.”

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