How to get people to respond to your messages


When you send messages to people from your organization, do they respond right away or even at all? If you're struggling with this, there's things you need to change. We recognize it isn't easy to connect with people in today's busy digital world. This article will highlight some things you can do to create more effective communication for better business outcomes.

In this article:

  • Have something to say that your audience cares about Go
  • Be clear and concise Go
  • Be human Go
  • Match your audience's preferred mode of communication Go
  • Respond in a timely manner Go

Have something to say that your audience cares about

When you get someone to respond to your message, it means they see some kind of value out of the interaction. As an organization, should the goal be a 100% response rate? No, that's unrealistic for any communication channel, but especially business ones. Customers decide to move on of their own volition. Others may not be in the same situation they were when you originally connected. The list goes on. Instead of 100% response rate, you really want to go for a near-100% view rate. That is challenging enough.

If you can get people to actually see your message, then it's about what is in those messages and what circumstance that person is currently in that determines if they care enough to respond. Some of it you control, some of it you don't. If you contact people out of the blue with something random or irrelevant, they're just going to ignore you. It's a waste of your time and theirs, even if a small amount.

It's easy to ignore things you don't care about and hard for the inverse.

Be clear and concise

Messages from organizations should have specific goals. The same goes for the people reaching out to your organization. Organizations exist for the reason of providing a product or service. Both parties understand this, so it's important to acknowledge that. It's not recommended to have a bunch of unnecessary dialog. It may be ok to ask someone how they are doing, but even that is a stretch if it isn't also accompanied by the actual message intent. When you beat around the bush with fluff content, then all of the sudden drop the hammer BY THE WAY are you interested in closing the deal we talked about? It feels dirty and people see right though approaches like that and is a turn off.

Be upfront, be clear, be concise. Your audience will appreciate it. This doesn't mean you can't have personality, though. More on that in the next section.

Be human

If you are to be clear and concise, how do you avoid having bland messages that are void of character? It can be a tricky question and depends largely on the existing relationship. It's mostly a matter of what words you choose, not how many words you choose. You can be concise without being robotic. Really it just comes down to talking like it's human to human, even if one of the humans represents a brand/business. Use the words to would use if you ran into someone in person. People are more likely to want to respond to other people than automated systems.

Even something simple like adding the name of the person who sent the message to the end can give that feel. Keep in mind that this advice is for when you want to have dialog, not so much if you're using specific promotional language. You still want to be concise with that, but you aren't so much looking for a response as a specific call to action.

An example of the same message worded in two ways:


Your last appointment with XYZ Chiropractic Care was at 2:00 PM CST on Tuesday 8/15 and you have not scheduled another visit. Go to (website) to get it scheduled at your earliest convenience.


Thanks for visiting us at XYZ Chiropractic. If there's anything we can do for you in the future, we'd love to help. You can always book an appointment here (website) when you're ready. Thanks! - Paul

People can tell the difference between auto-generated messages that don't get combed over and ones that were given some more thought, even if they were automated behind the scenes. In the first message above, there's irrelevant information about the exact time of the previous visit and no mention of actually helping the person from having another visit. The second message implies a reminder to schedule another appointment, which is the business intent for the message, but shows the actual goal by showing you want to help them. It's small. It's semantics. It's important.

Match your audience's preferred mode of communication

If you want someone to respond, your odds are better if you know how they prefer to communicate. This is different for everyone, so make sure to capture what that actually is. If you can ask them in advance, great! If not, take note if they have ever reached out to you before. If they email you, odds are that's what they like. Same as if they called.

One thing to understand with assessing this, though, is how many options you give them. Do you only list an email somewhere for customers to contact you? If so, well you can't take much stock in the fact that people only email you. It's also not recommended to only provide one method for communication. In that scenario of email only, think about how many people you don't hear from simply because they don't want to email. It's hard to calculate what you're missing, but you are likely missing.

For many organizations, there's typically three channels that are given out for communication: Call, email, and possibly a web contact form to fill out. Those are all great options, assuming someone is on the other end to respond. What about texting, though? In your experience as consumer in this world, have you thought about how little organizations promote the ability to text them? Wouldn't that be nice? We think so, hence this entire plug for Rather Text, the website that enables texting for organizations.

The point is, give people options for communicating with you and then respect those preferences. You're much more likely to have meaningful communications with someone if you do.

Respond in a timely manner

If you are an organization, your ability to capture someone's attention is fleeting. Let's say someone does get in touch with you, whether you sent the first message or not. It's critical to be timely with your responses because you only have a small bit of time where that person is in the moment with you. If you take too long, they'll go somewhere else for their needs without a second thought.

There's not a lot to write on this topic because it's so straightforward. Every organization and industry has their own thresholds for what is acceptable, but you want the number of minutes to be as small as possible for the highest chance of customer satisfaction.


If you read this whole article and are thinking to yourself, "yeah that all seems obvious." Great! You have a good grip on reality and how to communicate with others on behalf of your organization. These ideas aren't complicated or novel, they're just largely ignored or half-implemented.

If you're intentional about the structure and content of your communication, then you'll have a great chance at having meaningful interactions with the people you are communicating with.