You’ve just emailed someone who is a Very Important Person to you.
They don’t respond immediately? “No big deal,” you say to yourself.
2nd day: No response. “Hmm,” you surmise, “maybe he’s out of town and just not checking his messages.”
3rd day: To boost your faltering ego, you speculate. “His spam catcher must have caught it by mistake.”
4th day: Insecurity sets in. “Well, I guess I’m pretty low priority to him.”
5th day – Paranoia engulfs you, and you feel miserable. But, as usual when our self esteem is attacked, it turns to resentment against the perpetrator of misery. “How do you like that? The *#@! rat is ignoring me!”
Don’t be one of those thoughtless non-responders. Remember, YOU are a VIP to certain people, and your E-mail is important to them.
Never let the sun set and rise twice before acknowledging someone’s msg – even if it’s just a few words. You ask, “But what if I don’t have the time to deal with it just now. “But don’t I somehow lose “prestige” if I answer immediately? Answer: Definitely not if you shoot back just half a sentence, “Hi Linda, received your msg. and will respond shortly. Thanks.” How long does that take? Use your own words, of course, but you get the idea. You ask, They will greatly appreciate it – and respect you for your thoughtfulness. (Then, if you take the 5 days to give the more lengthy response, they’ll know it’s because you’re busy. Your half sentence shows them respect.
If you’re REALLY busy and don’t have time for even a one liner, make a “stationary” response you can click on. How about, “Hi, I received your msg and look forward to responding in a few days. I’m a bit under the gun right now” – or something like that in your own words or degree of formality.