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Communication E-mail Responsiveness

My manager told me to coordinate a project with a co-worker who is in another branch. I emailed this person several times and never heard from him. When I called, he said he routinely throws out email from strangers, and mine must have been one. How common is this, and how can it be prevented?

With all of the junky mail, or junk e-mail, that pours daily into most e-mailboxes, it is not surprising to find that some recipients are using the delete button a little prematurely.

This is particularly common with email from an unrecognized sender. Deleting e-mail on this basis is not automatically a great idea, but the fact is that more people are doing it just to keep their heads above the virtual verbal tidal wave.

If you want to make sure that your email is actually received by a recipient who does not know you, one step is to use something called a telephone. It can be used before the email to set the stage, or after sending it just to be sure that it has arrived.

Another step is to make better use of the message box. If you put in a simple "FYI" or any other vague statement, too many people have found that such snippets are a prelude to junk, and so they are tossed. Next time, put your boss's name in the message, such as by saying, "Per Bob Boss's suggestion," or put in a statement identifying the project itself. In addition, if a recipient knows you, but possibly not your email address, you should put the word "from" and your name in the message box. Email is certainly not a perfect form of communication, especially when people don't read it.

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