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How to Boost Response Rates with Friendly Reminder Emails

Improve your email response rates with these tips for crafting friendly reminder emails. Learn how to engage your audience and get the response you need.

Life is busy and sometimes your email inbox can be an overwhelming place. With a surge of emails being sent out every single day, it is not surprising that many people have missed payments, deadlines or forgotten about upcoming meetings through simply missing an email. A lot of email marketing therefore slips through the cracks and a follow up email can help to prevent that.

Reminder emails serve as a way to prevent this, whether this is in a professional setting or a more casual format.

Either way, it is important that the email is written in a friendly tone with care taken to ensure there are no negative reactions from the recipient, especially if this is concerning a delicate subject, such as a payment reminder.

Reminder emails are used as a follow-up to a previous interaction and typically used when you require an action from somebody.

This could be reminding you of an upcoming event, requesting a status update from you if there has been a lack of communication or even a follow-up on a missed deadline. A polite reminder email is a great way to garner the recipient's attention and prompt them to take action in one way or another.

When should you send a reminder email

Reminder emails are used in a variety of situations. Generally speaking they are either used to remind someone before something happens, or they are used to follow up with someone after a due date has been exceeded, or after something has happened.

Whether this is a meeting reminder amongst colleagues, an appointment reminder to clients, a payment reminder, a prompt to customers or even just a reminder to a friend of an upcoming event.

When worded correctly, reminder messages serve as a great way to gently elicit a response from people without the due date suddenly knocking on your doorstep and you're out of time.

Why are friendly reminder emails important?

Research suggests that over 330 billion emails are sent and received per day. This staggering figure should emphasize the importance of follow up emails as many emails are accidentally skipped everyday. To ensure a response from someone, it is best to pre-plan - expect to have to send a reminder email at some point, whether this before or after a due date.

Reminder emails can also help demonstrate to the recipients that you genuinely care about them. Maintaining good, virtual customer relationships is very dependent on the tone and the manner in which you address the client - a positive, gentle reminder email can go a long way in boosting the recipient's trust in you and building a positive client relationship.

Friendly reminder email examples

There is no one-size-fits-all reminder email template, generally speaking, they have to be carefully curated according to the specific reason for the follow-up in order to be effective. However, the most universal type of reminder email and a type that can be applied to most situations is just a simple, polite reminder email.

Typically, these emails are short with a polite tone and serve as a gentle reminder for a simple request. The formality in this circumstance is dependent on how well you know the recipient. If there is no deadline, then these emails can be even more relaxed by using phrases such as:

"Did you get a chance to look at my last email?" "Just a quick reminder..." "Just a friendly reminder..."

On the other end of the spectrum, if there is a strict deadline (e.g the email is a follow up to an appointment reminder or is an event reminder email), then you may want the tone to be a bit more urgent.

Regardless, it is important that you stick with a polite tone and choose your wording carefully. Appointment reminders should be informative, detailing the date and time of the appointment with minimal jargon surrounding it to ensure the point comes across clearly and effectively.

A payment reminder email will probably be slightly longer in length, with attachments of legal repercussions and factual evidence to support it, while keeping the tone respectful.

If the event is more informal, like a music event or office party, you can use wording that reflects this.

Sending a reminder email to a colleague can have a different tone depending on how well you know the person, how frequently you work with them and how urgent your request is.

This could be anything from a zoom meeting reminder email, simply containing the password and link in case the previous email got lost, or it could be more of a professional email reminder, which usually consists of more details or attachments. If you require an urgent response from them, some useful phrases could be:

"The team is awaiting your response." "We need these details before being able to continue with the project..." "Your response is required as soon as possible."

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Components of a reminder email

Most reminder emails consist of a few key components. Each of these components should be carefully crafted to emulate a polite, friendly tone that is respectful regardless of how overdue the deadline is or how urgently the response is required. This includes the:

  • Email subject line
  • Opening
  • Body
  • Closing

The subject line should be used to grab the reader's attention and immediately alert them to the issue/event/appointment you are reminding them of.

Keeping the subject line concise and summarizing the overarching theme of the whole email immediately grabs the reader's attention and helps to prevent your email being lost in the flood. Without an informative subject line, the recipient may not even open your email.

Additionally, the subject line can help the reader to understand the contents of the email before they have even opened it, meaning they can immediately open the email with a baseline knowledge on what it will entail.

Always start with a polite, respectful greeting, regardless of the severity of the reminder. After the initial greeting, the opening to the email should always include a few short, concise sentences detailing the exact purpose for the follow up email and why it is necessary.

The clearer and more concise the wording, the better. Get to the purpose straightaway, to ensure that the recipient mentally registers the reminder instantly.

The body of the email should contain all the details the recipient needs to form their response. To avoid the situation dragging on any further, you should include all relevant information, attachments and details that you included in the initial email—an easy way to reduce any back-and-forth questions.

To close the email, consider including a call to action term, leaving details of how the recipient can respond, how soon their response is required and what they should do in terms of next steps.

If the reminder email is reminding someone of an upcoming meeting, an event or an appointment, meaning there are no further to-dos from their side, a nice, simplistic sign off is always effective.

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.

Be polite

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.

Offer help

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 remind you..."

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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