How to write a successful reminder email
Writing a successful reminder email can be a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you want to make sure your message is assertive enough to elicit a response, but on the other hand, you don't want to come across as rude or aggressive.
With so much at stake, it's essential to have a well-crafted reminder email that strikes the right tone and conveys your message clearly. Read on to discover practical tips on how to write an effective reminder email that is persuasive, professional, and polite.
Start with a friendly greeting
Start how you mean to go on—begin with a warm greeting which is both professional and personal. However, this does depend on how familiar you are with the person you are emailing.
If this is a friend, colleague or someone you have conversed with before a simple "Hello (their name)" will suffice. If you are emailing a client requires a more formal tone, such as a payment invoice or an upcoming zoom meeting with a client "Dear (their name)" or even "Dear Sir/Madam" would work better.
This is one of the most important factors in successful reminder emails. To create a gentle reminder email that is not abrasive or aggressive sounding, keeping the tone respectful and polite throughout is important in ensuring a calm response from the recipient. If they feel offended or upset by the email, they may not respond or if they do, their response could be in a rude fashion.
To avoid this use "Please" throughout your email, keeping the sentences brief and factual if the subject matter concerns sensitive topics. If you are familiar with the reader and the subject is less serious, then you may also want to include a nice sentence somewhere in the email. For instance, to sign off you could say:
"Hope you have a lovely evening and are enjoying the good weather!"
Gently remind them of the task
Politely remind the recipient of any to-dos on their side by using call-to-action terms. These could include "Follow this link to pay now," or "Click the link below to confirm your reservation" or "Please respond to this email with a date or time that works best for you."
This asserts that an action is required on their part while maintaining a polite tone throughout the body of the email that encourages them to reply imminently.
Provide a reason for the reminder email
Providing a reason as to why you're following up can emphasize the urgency for your reader and help to elicit a response. This is best used towards the beginning of the email, for example:
"Just a reminder about the upcoming meeting we have scheduled on Friday..."
"This is the last reminder about your overdue invoice. Please pay the invoice immediately using..."
Clarifying why you are sending the follow up email can prevent any irritation from the recipient and help them to understand the purpose. If the reminder email is sent before the deadline, the tone can usually be more relaxed. If the deadline has passed and the response required is time-dependent, your tone can reflect that.
Letting the recipient know that you can reach out to them at any time is a great way to soften reminder emails, especially if the subject matter is concerning money or sensitive topics.
That will also help you to say more in the loop about what the reader is doing and whether they have seen your emails or not. This small but subtle phrasing works fairly universally and could be a simple line at the end of your email:
"Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions."
End of a friendly note
Adding to the above point, offering help is a great way to leave the email on a positive note which is important if you want a constructive response back from your reader.
A simple, professional sign-off is always effective, but you want the last line to ensure that the reader knows you are available to contact in case of any confusion. Leaving your contact details at the very end of the email is also a helpful tip that will make your reader feel as though you are dependable and therefore comfortable enough to respond.
To measure email response rates, compare the number of emails delivered to the number of email responses.
Tips for writing friendly reminder emails
In today's fast-paced world, it's not uncommon for emails to be overlooked or forgotten. As a result, it can be frustrating when you're waiting for a response from someone.
However, there are ways to write friendly reminder emails that can help jog the recipient's memory without sounding pushy or rude.
Use a friendly tone
This point has been reiterated a lot throughout this article and for good reason! A friendly reminder email prevents a lot of unwanted backlash and drama from both ends building good client/colleague rapport by keeping the communication positive!
Keep it short
Be concise and to the point ensuring you get your point across efficiently and with as minimal clutter as possible. Many readers will scan through emails to get to the point immediately, so the less words, the better.
However, do not sacrifice any buffering polite words that keep the tone friendly for the sake of this.
Personalize your message
Using the reader's name helps to add a personal feel that helps them to understand that they have a personal responsibility to reply to the email and take action.
If you know the recipient, adding in other topics may also be useful in keeping the reminder email friendly and upbeat. For instance, if you were emailing a colleague you could say:
"Great job on the presentation last week! I was just emailing to
Use a clear call to action
Give the reader clear instructions about what their next steps are and what you are hoping for them to achieve after this reminder email. This prevents confusion and further delay. Adding in direct call to action terms with links makes this easy and hassle free for the recipient.
Time it right
Knowing when to send the reminder email can be tricky, as this is personal to every situation. Whether it is before or after the deadline, ensure that you leave them enough of a gap to respond to the email and take the required action. This can vary depending on the task you require from them, so you should factor this in mind when planning your reminder emails.
Common reminder email mistakes to avoid
There are also some absolute don'ts when writing a reminder email. Vagueness, a lack of urgency and an overload of emails can all turn a reader off of responding to your emails, or even noticing them. Capture your reader with a concise, to-the-point subject line and ensure you avoid some of these common mistakes.
- Being too pushy
- Not personalizing your message
- Being too vague
- Not providing value
- Sending too many reminders
- Not testing your emails
Boost response rates with friendly reminder emails
Sending reminder emails is a great way to boost response rate and engagement. Whether you are preemptively reminding someone or the deadline has already passed, a well-written reminder email can often be all the recipient needs to then form a response.
Ensuring your tone is polite, clear, personalized and to-the-point will help to make your reminder email successful. Focus on getting your point across with emphasis on any to-dos from the reader's side, also helping to build a solid, trusting relationship between you and the reader.
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