If someone expects a reply to an e-mail, should it be stated in the e-mail? And, what about a general e-mail that has been addressed to a large group for informational purposes — do these e-mails require a reply? Or what if you don’t want a reply — as in no reply necessary?
Do I ask for am e-mail reply or state no reply required?
As far as stating you expect a response, the recipient should know you desire a response by virtue of the content of your e-mail. If you are clear about what you need you should not have to state “I expect a response…” and risk sounding demanding or bossy.
Keep in mind that part of clarity in communications is being clear about your expectations. For example:
“Can you get back to me?”
“I would really appreciate your input!”
“I look forwarding to hearing from you.”
Or a statement similar to this to make it clear you are soliciting a response.
Don’t Add to the Clutter
Discretion should be used when responding to e-mails. There are clearly times when a response is desired, required and expected. While other times, responding only contributes to the Sender’s inbox clutter. Learn to determine the difference and reply to those e-mails where you know the Sender is seeking confirmation or information from you.
When someone takes the time to send an e-mail, especially in business where communication and responsiveness are key, common courtesy dictates that you respond on a timely basis. As a matter of fact, folks believe e-mail to be instantaneous and therefore expect a lighting fast reply.
To not respond because the Sender didn’t ask you to or because you are too busy, can be perceived as you ignoring the them and that’s not good for business. Responding promptly helps build relationships and avoid misunderstandings. Not to mention that fast responses show you are service focused. The last thing you want to happen is have competitors out perform you in this area!
Off the Hook with Group E-mails
As far as informative mass e-mails, I would assume a reply is not expected unless specifically solicited by the Sender. The exception would be if you have a specific issue with something in the e-mail that you feel the Sender needs to be aware of. In that case, only reply directly to the Sender — do not Reply to All.
What about trying to minimize those replies that you feel clutter your inbox? Simply type at the end of your email before your closing something like “…no reply is necessary, just wanted to keep you in the loop.” But realize that those words on their own may not prevent a reply if the recipient feels they have something they want you to be aware of.