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3 Phrases You Should Use to Follow Up Instead of “Not Sure if You Saw My Last Email…”

By | Alyse Kalish |

Fun fact: According to a recent Adobe survey, people say the most annoying phrase they’ve ever seen in email is this:

If you’re also nodding your head and saying, “Hell ya, can’t stand when people say that,” you’re in the right place.

See, no one likes it when others are passive aggressive, over email or really anywhere. And while the intent of this phrase is harmless—to get the person to respond to said past email—it ends up coming across as annoying, distrusting, and sometimes flat-out rude. Plus, it’s less likely to make the person actually want to respond.

So how can you follow up on emails the right way? Here are some more reliable phrases to try:

1. “To Meet Our Deadline/Stay on Schedule, I Need Your Answer by [Deadline]”

Rather than beat around the bush—“Not sure if you saw my last email, but it’s pretty great, and you should take a look because…”—just get to the point.

What do you need from the person? And when? And why? By being direct and giving a reason, you make it basically impossible for the person to ignore you (especially if a bunch of other people are CC’d and can see your request).

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