What's the face you make when someone forgets to do something? Maybe a 🥴 or a 🥱.
Anyway, we all hate it when someone forgets to do something.
To avoid it happening, you'll need to send a reminder email.
The trick with a reminder email is remaining positive and polite while not putting pressure on the person — because we all also hate being told to do something.
Best not try to be funny. A playful tone of voice doesn't always translate too well through email, so keep things simple!
How do you get it right? In this essential article, we explain you how to get things right in your reminder emails.
After explaining the reminder email format, we build up an example and provide 9 samples to help you master reminder messages for your personal and professional life.
Reminder email format
Before we get into the content, let's break down the reminder email format structure.
The purpose of a reminder email isn't about information; it's about action. So save detailed explanations and lots of information in your reminder emails. Instead, clearly state what you want them to do, why, and when.
In fact, long reminder emails and reminder messages can be confusing. So strip out all the unnecessary or irrelevant information and list what's required.
Here is a checklist of what you should include in every reminder email:
- Grab the reader's attention with a subject line
- Start with a professional greeting
- Explain the situation and what needs to be done
- Provide a way they can solve the problem (we love lists)
- Explain what they should do
If you’re already experienced in sending emails, this should be nothing new. Let's start with the subject line:
1. Subject line
Your subject line has to grab attention. It must also capture all the information you want to convey. Here are some examples of suitable reminder email subject lines:
- Reminder: Outstanding invoice
- Urgent: Can you send me the documents ASAP
- Action needed: Respond immediately with your offer
- Where is order number (insert number)
2. Reminder email body
Before we get into the details, consider your tone of voice.
We know it can be frustrating if someone isn't responding. It's doubly disappointing when you have to send a reminder. Still, we're 100% sure that being polite and professional is the right approach.
This demonstrates that you’re serious about getting a result and assertive enough to send a reminder email (which is good) but not upset or angry (which is bad).
We don't have the time to delve too deeply into the nuances of email greetings or introductions, but read our guide on how to start a professional email if you want to learn more.
Stick to the basics and use one of the conventional greetings:
Explain the situation
Explain the problem and be specific. Don't apologize for sending a reminder (especially if your payment is late!). But do go into as much detail as is necessary.
It's appropriate to include references and dates – because failing to do so could delay a response (and hold up a payment or project).
Provide a solution
Unpaid invoices can take an emotional toll, but we try hard to be kind in this reminder email sample. This approach works if you're a small business communicating with a valued client or customer, as it demonstrates you’re serious without damaging your relationship.
3. How to end a reminder email
At the end, you’ll want to request a confirmation your email has been received. If you don’t get one, you’ll know it’s either being blocked or annoyed, and you must find another way to contact the person. Don’t forget to add your contact details…
Also, include a call to action and push for a response and resolution.
Explain what they should do
Tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do. For example, if you want them to pay you, tell them. If you're going to set a date, include it.
We recommend requesting a confirmation they've received the email. Even if there's a delay in processing a payment, for example, knowing they've received it gives you the confidence it'll get dealt with. It's important to resist making threats or becoming angry. There may be genuine reasons why they've not responded, so cut them some slack. But, of course, if they continue to ignore you, it's time to escalate things...
Include an email sign-off
End your email formally and politely. Although you're the one who's owed something, it's best to remain professional and respectful by using a suitable thank you in your reminder emails.
- Best regards,
- Thank you,
If you need a reminder on how to end an email professionally, check out our guide.
9 reminder email examples
Here's the bit you've all been waiting for, the reminder email samples.
In this section, we illustrate how you can generate effective reminder emails that will get results.
It doesn't matter whether you want to request documents, demand you get paid, or ensure someone doesn't ditch your meeting — we've got the samples you need.
1. Gentle reminder email sample
It's always advisable to start with a gentle minder email. As we've explained above, there may be reasons why a message has been missed or an invoice still needs to be paid.
A gentle email reminder lets you push for an outcome politely but persuasively.
2. Polite reminder email to boss sample
Sending an email reminder to your boss can be a sensitive subject, but the principles are still the same. Keep it professional, polite, and persuasive.
Use this polite reminder email to a boss when requesting leave or asking for confirmation. Make a few edits, and this sample could also be a reminder email to an HR manager, professor, or colleague.
3. Sample reminder email for submission of documents
Work in a busy office, and you'll know how easy it is to forget to send documents. Contracts, reports, and plans can all fail to appear on the date and time agreed.
Unfortunately, understanding it happens doesn't make it easier when it does, so we've created a sample for you.
This sample reminder to send documents acts as a professional nudge in the right direction for a colleague, client, or contractor.
4. Urgent reminder email sample
Expecting an email, package, or payment that has yet to arrive? It's time to send an urgent reminder.
When requesting something urgently, get to the point quickly and clarify what is needed (the call-to-action) and when (the deadline).
If you're under pressure, it's hard to remain polite, especially when expecting payment (trust us), but try to be the better person. Sometimes, the individual you're messaging may not have caused the problem, so keep it 100% business and 0% personal.
5. Reminder email to client sample
Sometimes, a project can be held up if a client, contractor, stakeholder, or someone else fails to play their part. A gentle reminder email to a client can get your project back on track.
6. Event reminder email sample
Event reminder emails are necessary to ensure your event is a success. You'll likely be sending out quite a few of these, so this reminder email sample is reassuringly short, sweet, and to the point.
7. Meeting reminder email sample
Meeting requests should always be personalized. You can be more specific about the importance of a meeting and the implications of not attending compared to the event email.
This example can also be turned into an appointment reminder email.
8. Overdue payment reminder email sample
Payment reminders are (sadly) all too common, with late payers a problem facing all businesses. The key here is to remove emotion and resist the temptation to get angry. State the facts, give them the outcomes and tell them what you need them to do.
9. Reminder email to a recruiter sample
Don't shy away from sending follow ups and reminders after you've sent your job application. Don't quit, even if you don't get a response the first (second, third, fourth...) time.
The fact of the matter is that recruiters and bosses are busy and applications get lost in overly full inboxes. Thus you should also attach your resume to each reminder and follow up email.
Here's a reminder email template you can use to follow up on a recruiter:
Reminder email template
This completely customizable reminder email template can be shaped to work for any situation. To use it, work from the top down and fill in the gaps. If you don't need any sections, delete them. Easy!
Still wondering about how to write a gentle reminder email?
With Flowrite, you can turn short bullet points into a ready-to-send reminder email with AI, like this:
A gentle reminder of what we have learned
Let's finish with a reminder and refresh of what we've learned. Reminder emails are a business essential, so learning how to create them is important. Thankfully, doing so is simple – if you follow our advice. So stick to the structure and state precisely what you want to happen and when.
Finally, even though it can be frustrating to be kept waiting, keep all correspondence polite and professional – and never let things get personal.
Supercharge your communication with Flowrite
Write emails and messages faster across Google Chrome.
Share this article