I recently wrote an e-mail chock full of feedback for an enterprising friend’s soon-to-be business. He wrote me back a couple days later. The first line of the e-mail said, “YOU ARE A LEGEND!!” The rest of it explained that he was grateful I’d put in so much effort. And he wanted to give my feedback it’s due diligence, but his schedule didn’t allow for that until the following week.
He pre-mailed me. And I loved it.
A pre-mail is a short e-mail that basically says:
a) I received your e-mail, and
b) I’ll reply by __________.
(But snazzy it up, will ya?)
It’s assumed these days that people are busy, but taking the time to write a quick note, especially when you know someone is anticipating your reply, makes a world of difference. It quells worried thoughts like: Maybe it went to their spam.
In other words, it’s thoughtful.
Perhaps you’re muttering to yourself, “She’s encouraging a culture of instant replying! Just because e-mail happens 24/7, doesn’t mean my response to it should be!”
I’ve got your back, though. I actually think that the pre-mail is a way to get out of the cultural expectation that responses for e-mail should be received in 24 (or 12 or 2) hours or less. It’s a way to exercise thoughtfulness and work on your own terms. And you know how much I love a win/win…
Photo credit: 3RadioA2