One Very Simple Tip to Increase Your Odds of Getting an Email Response

February 21st 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Before you sit down to craft your next email, keep this in mind: you're more likely to get a response if you write like a third grader.


A new report from the makers of the mail plug-in app, Boomerang, found that email response rates vary depending upon the quality of your prose. Apparently, writing at a third-grade reading level — in simple, concise language — is the most effective strategy.

At the third-grade reading level, 53 percent of emails received responses on average. Compare that to emails written at a high school reading level (45 percent) and worse, a college reading level (39 percent), and you'll start to get the point. People prefer simple text over erudite disquisition.

But not too simple. Emails written at a kindergarten reading level received replies 46 percent of the time on average. That's still more than the high school and college reading level, but it's clear that writing like a 9-year-old is the best practice for email success.

Other helpful email tips from Boomerang.

Emails that contain expressive, opinionated language have a higher response rate than those that strike a more neutral tone.


Keep your emails short — between 50 and 125 words — and the subject line shorter (three to four words).


Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. If your aim is to get a response, asking questions is probably one of the most effective methods to achieve that goal. Why not?

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