Every email should be responded to within 24-48 hours. After this time, the synergy of communication is lost. For business-to-business emails, you should respond to your clients’ email messages within twenty-four hours. For project management emails, the same timeframe is expected.
Unanswered emails are the result of the recipient needing more time to make an informed response, responses that ultimately never get sent. Also, unanswered messages have a precedent of becoming a tacit “no.” Unanswered email also cause frustration in the broken chain of communication…a host doesn’t know if they should go ahead and fill an extra seat at a business dinner, or even worse, a prospective client doesn’t feel like their business need is a legitimate interest. By the end of the day, it is important to try and respond to all emails within 24-48 hours to keep the synergy of communication moving.
The most important thing to keep the line of synergy going in email communication is to have a “limit” to emails. After five or six emails, it is best to pick up the phone and make a call. A person-to-person conversation often circumvents some of the nebulousness that is associated with a text-based idiom.