How To Reply To Different Types Of Emails

Do you receive lots of daily emails? If so, you need to know the value of good email responses.

There is proper email etiquette to follow that ensures the recipients are happy with what they get back from you.

At the same time, you have many types of emails that require different responses.

It’s hard to know the right way to respond, meaning you don’t always get the desired outcome.

Today, you’ll learn helpful tips on how to reply to email messages coming through your inbox.

More than that, you’ll understand why this is important and how much it benefits you.

A quick and detailed response email could help you diffuse an icy situation – or it may aid you in capturing a new lead.

We’ll explain all as you work your way through this guide!

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What is the importance of email responses?

Response emails are important as they build and maintain relationships with clients, colleagues, or friends.

Knowing how to reply to emails will help you:

  • Build trust with the recipients
  • Foster a sense of reliability
  • Improve communication
  • Avoid misunderstandings
  • Improve productivity/efficiency

In simple terms, email responses are crucial when looking at effective communication and relationship management.

If you don’t reply to email messages in the correct way, you can run into a whole host of problems.

What is the difference between a good and bad response email?

A good response email is one that happens quickly and provides the reader with as much information as possible relevant to the email they sent.

As a basic example, you get an email from a prospective customer asking to book a consultation.

The best way to respond is to immediately reply to them with details of your availability and how to book.

A bad way to reply to email messages is to let them sit there for ages.

You receive a new message from someone, yet don’t send out a reply until the next day.

The longer you leave it, the worse it becomes.

Likewise, bad responses either don’t relate to the original message or fail to address everything the sender mentioned.

In the example above, a bad response could be delayed and would include a message stating you can’t book consultations via email.

It doesn’t seem that bad, but the recipient is probably sitting there thinking “Cool…can you tell me how to book a consultation then?!”

What are the different types of emails you’ll respond to?

Generally, most professionals will regularly receive these emails:

  • Customer/prospective customer queries
  • Customer complaints
  • Customer orders
  • Client bookings
  • Requests

The majority of email messages you receive will fall into these categories – or they could straddle two of them.

Request emails are the most open-ended and could be sent to you from customers or colleagues.

It can include things like requesting help with a product/service or requesting your assistance with a project.

Regardless, you need to understand the best ways to reply to email messages from everyone.

Don’t worry, all will be revealed below.

What are the different types of emails you’ll respond to


How to reply to different types of emails

As soon as a message appears in your inbox, you need to know how to send mail responses to that person.

In this section, we’ll provide some actionable tips on how to reply to every email message you receive, ensuring you get the desired outcomes.

Respond in a timely manner

The number one tip is to get your responses out there as quickly as possible.

The longer you leave someone waiting, the more annoyed they’re going to be.

I’m sure you’ve been in situations where you sent an email and didn’t get a response for days.

How did it make you feel?

You probably went through multiple stages of frustration, anger, and annoyance, which translates to how you feel about the individual/company sending the email.

This is particularly important when replying to sales inquiries.

One study showed that companies who reply fastest get 35-50% of sales.

If you aren’t quick enough, you miss out on leads!

You’ll find some extra tips on how to respond swiftly later in this guide.

Personalize your response

It’s important to add a human touch when you reply to email messages.

Address the sender by name, so it doesn’t look as though they’re getting a generic automated message.

(In truth, the message could be automated, but you’re making it look more human).

Making the emails personal will show the recipient that you’ve actually taken the time to read their message and come up with a response.

It greatly affects the way they perceive you and your brand.

Read the email and cover all the points raised

Similarly, you must cover all of the points raised in your email message.

Whatever type of email it is, you must address everything inside or you’ll get a disgruntled response back.

People don’t want to spend all day/week playing email tennis sending and receiving messages again and again.

Instead, read the entirety of the email and reply to it with as much info as possible.

Keep it to the point, but ensure every question/query/issue is tackled.

Format the email correctly

All of your emails should be formatted correctly so they’re easy to read and respond to.

Whether you’re sending out a global reply or dealing with direct replies, the format makes a huge difference.

Your email should include:

  • A clear subject line that explains the content of your response
  • Paragraphs to break up chunks of text and make it easier to read
  • Bullet points or numbers when addressing the recipient’s original points/explaining what someone needs to do
  • Closing remarks that sum everything up and direct the reader to other links if they need extra assistance

We actually have an Email Line Subject Creator tool that instantly gives you 10 possible ideas based on a simple prompt.

You’ll find it very useful for immediately building trust with customers/leads by letting them know exactly what your email is about.

Show some emotion

Again, this goes back to the personalization point in a way.

Showing emotion in mail responses can help you seem more human.

This is especially important when replying to business emails from leads or customers.

If someone has a complaint, show empathy to demonstrate that you understand why they’re upset.

If you’re replying to mail from a colleague who’s thanking you for helping them, show some appreciation.

You get the idea; a little bit of emotion goes a long way.

It stops you from looking like a robotic drone and makes you more relatable and kind.

Always proofread before you click send

Finally, do one last check of your mail message before it ends up in someone else’s inbox.

You can’t edit a message that’s already been sent!

Spend some extra time proofreading to avoid any obvious spelling or grammar issues.

We’ve actually got a handy tool to help with this – it’ll highlight any errors and suggest changes to ensure your email is grammatically perfect.

At the same time, read through the email you are going to reply to once more.

Double and triple-check that you’ve covered all the points and answered any questions the sender asked.

When you’re 100% sure the email is perfect, click send.

The best tips to reply to email messages effectively

You’ve seen how to reply to email messages, but these tips will make everything much easier.

Here are a few things and tools that’ll aid you in achieving your goals:

Automate your responses

As we have mentioned many times already, speed is everything when you reply to emails.

Therefore, creating an automated response to some emails is a genius way of getting one step ahead.

It’s highly effective when you’re out-of-office and receive emails too.

The sender gets an instant reply, explaining where you are and when they can expect a response.

This is far better than not replying for a few days/hours without giving context.

At least the original sender knows what’s happening and can prepare for a response when you’re ready.

Using an email automation platform like MailChimp can help you create lots of different automated responses for specific types of emails.

When you get sales requests, you can send out an automated reply – that’s also personalized.

It’s all about helping you respond quickly without actually needing to do anything.

Use Optimo’s Angry Customer Email Reply tool

AI tools are highly beneficial when deciding how to respond to emails – particularly ones from angry customers.

If someone has an issue with your business/service/product, it’s crucial to respond correctly.

Our Angry Customer Email Reply tool will take your email and conjure up a response for you.

It’ll turn a negative situation into a positive one – and all you have to do is press a few buttons.

We’ve got an example of the tool in action below:

Use Optimo’s Angry Customer Email Reply tool

Forward all emails from your other address

Have you recently changed from one email address to a new one?

It’s common practice, particularly for startups that transition to proper business addresses.

While you should update your contact information across every possible platform, there’s still a chance someone may have your old email.

In this case, head to your account settings and forward all emails from your old address to your new one.

This is very easy to do, and you can see a quick video of how to set it up via Gmail:

If you use another email platform, simply go to your account settings and search for forwarding.


The benefit of setting this up is that you don’t miss emails.

Someone might message you using old contact details, yet they never receive a reply.

Immediately, they hold a personal grudge against you for the rest of their lives.

With email forwarding, you never have this issue.

Set a reply-to address

A reply-to address (sometimes called a reply-to email address) will dictate where the reader’s response is sent.

It’s useful in situations where you reply from one email address but wish to carry the conversation to another one.

For example, someone writes a complaint email and sends it to your general customer service address.

You read it but need more information to deal with the complaint.

So, you send a reply but include a reply-to address for a more dedicated customer service agent.

When the reader replies with more information, the message is sent to that specific customer service agent who will be able to handle the complaint.

This is a useful tool for ensuring emails get seen, dealt with, and responded to by the right people in your organization.

Turn notifications on

Yes, you should have some automated replies for certain emails.

However, you still need to know when an email comes through.

Turning notifications on via your account settings will help.

It’s a simple and obvious tip, yet it can’t be ignored.

This way, you will always be notified when a new email comes in, so you can respond as quickly as possible.

Start replying to different emails with more efficacy today

Use all of the advice in this guide to get better at replying to emails.

Remember, good responses will be:

  • Prompt
  • Personalized
  • Address all points made by the original sender
  • Correctly formatted
  • Error-free

Ensure your responses have a human touch as well, so people don’t think they’re talking to a robot.

Feel free to utilize any of the tips and tricks listed above to further improve the way you reply to emails.

Optimo’s Angry Customer Email Reply, Email Subject Line Creator, and Proofreading tools will all help you achieve the best outcomes from every reply.

If you’re keen to further harness the power of Optimo and its range of AI tools, check out the full capabilities here.

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