Answering Questions
When you answer a question, it’s a good idea to reference the question
itself. Your reader might be able to find the question in the chain of
connected e-mails linked below your reply, but many e-mail systems
automatically truncate the chain. Also, it’s possible the person who
asked the question has become so busy that he or she has now forgot-
ten the context of the question. To make your answer easy to read and
understand, use a subject line that references the fact that your reader
asked you something and then restate the question in brief. After you
do that, your answer will unfold naturally and logically. Here are two
examples, one showing how not to do it and the other written in the
language of success:
134 The Language of Success
think that IE 7 will pose any problems, but we do need to test it thor-
oughly in our environment before anyone starts using it. At this point,
our IT folks haven’t finished the testing process. They expect to com-
plete it within the next two weeks.
In the meantime, please do not download IE 7 to any computers that
will connect to our corporate network. This includes your company-
issued desktop and laptop computers and any systems you have at
home that you use to dial in to our network.
If you believe you have a need for using IE 7 because of new function-
ality or for some other reason, please contact me or Megan Chen via
email first. Briefly describe why you need it. We’ll do our best to ex-
pedite the assessment for you.
Thanks for your help in keeping our operating environment stable
and safe.
SUBJECT: Marketing
Lead generation from search engines, even those where we pay for top
placement, has gone down over the past 18 months, so that it is now
about equivalent to the number of leads generated from our print ads
in specialist journals.

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