Why no one’s finishing (or responding) to your emails

by Will Rotondi

While it’s true that we’re more attached to our mobile devices than ever before, we’re also making our digital lives much too frantic. We have a tendency not to finish articles we start reading (especially if they’re long); and, if our attention spans were pitted against that of a goldfish, they would probably lose.


Now apply these factors to the last few emails that you’ve sent. It doesn’t matter if they were to coworkers, business partners, or prospects – chances are, if you kept them short and sweet, they got a quick reply. If you took the time to draft up a novella, you probably had to wait for a full response (or casually nudge those people later to make sure they’d at least received what you sent).

That’s probably because in a world of instant communication, we expect instant (or, at the very least, fast) replies. So when someone doesn’t write us back, we worry that they either didn’t get our message, didn’t want to respond, or weren’t sure how to respond. In reality, they probably looked at what was written, saw it was too long, and sent it to their mental trashcan – especially if they review and prioritize emails on a daily basis.

So, assuming I haven’t lost your attention, here’s your takeaway: try to be brief in all of your digital correspondence. Hold that temptation to word vomit at bay. You may think that more = transparency, but it actually ends in disinterest. Brevity isn’t just the soul of wit; it’s the soul of new business.

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