Get your emails answered

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 10 years now. We do not get younger… 😒

Emailing our way up to the right people has been key to where we are now. By no mean, I consider our current situation to be a complete success, and there are many more battles that need to be won before the rooftop party at the top of the world. But contemplating the list of people we managed to get an answer from, I believe we understood something about how to get our emails answered.

In this short blog post, I’m sharing a few tips with you. I’ve been willing to write this one for some time now, and I’m delighted to finally do it.

Be friendly

The first tip to get your email answered when you cold email someone is to be friendly, in opposition to being formal. I don’t mean too friendly but… avoid “Sir”, “If you had time” or “could you please”. Write like you would to your dad, that’s probably the right tone.

Be concise

You’re asking for someone’s time, whose time you consider worth something. Don’t waste it, be sharp and to the point. The perfect email is 5 lines long, including “Hi Mickael” and “Have a great day!”. That leaves you with 3 lines to say something worth answering.

Be clear

Explicitly say what you want. “Are you available for lunch on Monday or Tuesday?”, “Do you have 30 minutes for a call?”. Don’t beat around the bush, ask!


If you dared finding someone’s email and write to her, you care about it. Your time is also precious, you wouldn’t have wasted it, would you? And chances are you think what you’re proposing is worth that person’s time, otherwise… don’t write to her.

Now that you went this far, bug that person until you get an answer, you deserve one. I like to send “🙂” to make the conversation pop up 48h, after my initial email, “😟” an extra 72h later, and I usually conclude explicitly asking: “Is it that you are crazy busy at the moment, or you have no interest in what I’m proposing whatsoever?”. I rarely get ignored passed that line.

wrapping up

Meeting the right people and passing the right doors is key to a successful project. Those people tend to receive a hundred of emails a day, are busy as hell and have no time to waste. Make it easy for them:

  • Be friendly, so they want to meet you
  • Be concise, so they read you
  • Be clear, so they know what to expect
  • Insist, so they can say “Sorry, I wanted to answer to you the other day but XYZ”

You know it all. Thanks for reading!

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Alexandre Bourlier

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