You’re going through your inbox, deciding which emails should be archived and which should be saved, and there is it: an email from a week ago (or even further out). Maybe it came in during an onslaught and this is the first time you’ve seen it; or perhaps, you remember thinking you’d come back to it — and then it fell off of your radar. Regardless, someone sent you an email, and you never responded.
Let’s get your first question out of the way: Do you still need to reply? While it’s tempting to blame it on your SPAM filter and pretend it never happened, the answer is yes — assuming the email comes from someone you know. (Naturally, I’m not suggesting you reply to every newsletter or cold email you receive.) According to Emily Post’s list of the “Top Ten Email Manners,” the number one rule of email is: “Always Respond.”
Here are four questions to ask yourself before you send back your reply:
1. It is worth saying why?
An excuse doesn’t make your lapse any better. In fact, it can backfire and make it seem like you think it’s no big deal. In other words, if you say, “I’m so sorry: I’ve just been so busy at work!” it won’t make your contact feel any better. But it could make him feel like responding to him is low on your list of priorities or like you think it’s OK to take 10 days to reply when things get hectic.
Read the rest of the article on Mashable here.