Figuring out how to send a reminder email can be challenging. Reminder emails are critical for nudging customers when necessary. But they can be tricky to write. You have got to consider tone, content, greeting, among other things.
Sending email reminders can be necessary for your business. For example, if a customer has booked an appointment with you it is common practice to send a reminder.
Usually, this would be between 1-3 days before the appointment. Perhaps you just think your client has forgotten about your business case and you need to remind them.
The tone in emails can be a tricky beast. We want to be friendly and considerate, but sometimes we need an answer. We need the recipient to do what we have asked them to. For example, confirming an appointment.
This guide created by our team at Trafft will help you learn how to send a reminder email that gets results. We will show you how to write in a friendly tone that is going to spur them to action.
When to Send a Reminder Email
How long is too long before sending a reminder email? How short is too short?
There is no one clear answer to this.
When you should send the email depends on the event taking place. If it is an email reminder for an appointment, you will need to remind them beforehand.
Afterward would be pointless.
But if it is for a due bill, it is polite to wait until after it is already overdue. Generally, if it is something due on a specific date, you would send an email reminder one day after it was due.
Reasons to send reminder emails can include:
- Missed deadline
- The recipient has not taken action
- An event occurring soon
- No-show at an appointment
- Payment overdue
- Renewal or expiration
How to Send a Reminder Email – A Guide
Read on for a best practice guide if you want to learn how to send a reminder email that gets results.
Keep in mind that often people do not mean to forget things. We all know how cluttered our inboxes can get.
So sending a gentle reminder does not mean we are telling off the customer but, instead, helping them out. It can also tell the recipient about your recent changes and what you have been up to.
Knowing how to write a reminder email is where it gets tricky.
You can create a friendly tone through your choice of greeting and wording. Make sure you outline exactly what you need from the recipient but doing it with softened wording is ideal for a friendly tone.
The Subject Line
First things first, how to write a reminder email subject line.
If you do not write one, people are likely not to open the email as it seems unimportant. They may even send it to spam.
The subject line does not need to be clever but instead, informative. Tell them what the email is about. Adding words such as “answer required” or “please confirm” adds authority. The recipient will be more likely to open the email.
Be as specific as possible. The reader may get many emails per day or hour! They may have multiple appointments. So in the subject line, note the name of your project or company.
The next step is writing the greeting.
A classic snail-mail letter starts with “Dear ____”.
In the world of email though, this is becoming much less common. You can start a friendly rapport right from the start with the right greeting. We suggest something like:
- Hey, Jane
- Hi there
Shorter is Better
We live in a fast-paced society.
People do not want to read screeds of information. They just do not have the time and will simply delete your email instead.
When writing a reminder email, remember that short emails are easier to scan.
The reader can skim it and get the information they need. In this way, you have a higher chance of getting a response.
If you need to convey more information, break it up into short paragraphs of 2-4 sentences. Any longer, and they may tune out.
An example of a short, gentle reminder would be:
Hey John, This is a quick reminder that you have an appointment tomorrow with Harry Earnshaw at 10 am. There is no need to reconfirm your appointment - we look forward to seeing you tomorrow! Cheers, Earnshaw Doctors
This polite reminder email would not be time-consuming to read, nor does it come across as too direct.
It is simply reminding you about your appointment. Useful and quick.
See how it is only two sentences? You do not need to write paragraphs to get your point across and exchange information. The recipient knows the time, date, and who the doctor is.
Do Not Beat Around the Bush – But Be Kind
No one wants to read paragraphs of text while still wondering what the point of the email is. When thinking about how to send a reminder email, be direct. Get to your point quickly and make it clear.
Remember though, to be friendly as well. The email itself implies they may have forgotten their appointment or deadline. You want to come across like you are trying to be helpful, not punitive. Be careful not to stray into the “overly effusive” territory as this seems fake.
Start your email with a positive comment. E.g. “It was great to see you here in January” and then go on to your reminder. This maintains a friendly and agreeable tone. If you cannot think of something specific, then the weather is a good option. “I hope you are keeping warm/staying out of the sun” can be a pleasant comment to include.
Then get right to the point you need to remind them of.
Context is important. There is no use reminding them of their appointment tomorrow if you do not tell them where and when it is. If they have forgotten, they may not even know what the appointment is for.
Do not provide context through multiple paragraphs. Just give the necessary information only. Think about what they would need to know if they had entirely forgotten.
A good way to provide context is to forward the appointment confirmation or previous email and write your email at the top.
Then they can scroll down to see what the context is. Putting this previous email in another format can help differentiate it from your new email. For example, coloring it green or putting the text in italics.
Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is important and any professional email should have it. It is an essential part of sending reminder emails. It means the recipient finishes reading knowing exactly what they need to do.
A call to action is an instruction. Make it as specific and short as possible. Here are some examples:
- Please call me today to get this resolved.
- Come in tomorrow for a free quote.
- Get in touch to reschedule your appointment.
The CTA will give the reader a way to resolve the issue. For example, if their bill is overdue, the CTA may tell them to call you if they need more time. If they forgot an appointment, it will tell them to email you to reschedule.
Your email must have a sign off sentence.
This should be quick and to the point. Match the tone to your opening. If it was informal, make your sign off informal, too.
Close the email with some sort of valediction. Valediction is the opposite of a greeting, it says goodbye. Common valedictions include “Kind regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thanks”. You should sound natural. There’s no point in sounding stiff.
Your name should follow this.
When considering sending a gentle reminder, you must first have an email provider.
Many popular email providers have a reminder app. Gmail reminders are quite popular and it is useful that there are reminders in Gmail if you are already a user. Other popular email providers are Yahoo, Hotmail, and Outlook.
Why not use a reminder app that can do much more than just send reminders?
Trafft has this feature but also schedules appointments. This can help smaller companies with the scheduling of appointments and events.
It has special features for marketing, client management, and sales management. It can also accept online payments which can be a smoother process for clients.
Ending thoughts on how to send a reminder email
A great reminder should be specific, short, and friendly. Do not forget that timeliness is important, too! There is no point in being reminded of an appointment you have already missed.
When you have finished your email, read it over as though you have just received it. Does it make sense? What is the tone like? You could try reading it out loud, too.
When reading it over, do not be afraid to edit. If the tone is off, you can often change it with just a few words.
Email is vital to business today. It is a marketing tool and can be used for reminders, meeting requests, and notes. Web apps can transform emails into an excellent tool. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn to send a polite reminder email. Now, go forth and incite action from your emails!
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