Elevate your freelancer-client communication by learning how to send a reminder email. Use our guide, template, and examples to get maximum engagement.
In the fast-paced world of freelancing, sending a good reminder email isn't just about being polite. It's about employing excellent client communication methods to keep things on track and build trust. And a solid reminder can save you from endless back-and-forths.
In this guide, we're diving into how to send a reminder email, including the best times to send them, how to keep them friendly yet effective, and top tips to consider. Plus, we've thrown in some freelancer-specific examples to further clarify the concept.
What’s a reminder email? 🤔
A reminder email is a professional correspondence sent to someone, such as a client, to nudge or remind them to carry out certain actions. These emails typically fall into two categories:
- Recap emails that include a follow-up action
- Reminder messages
Here are a few common scenarios where you might send one:
- To follow up on an invoice or payment
- To check in on a missed deadline
- To remind someone of an upcoming deadline
- To remind someone that they haven’t completed a specific step in a process, like sending a testimonial
- To send an event reminder email
When should you send a reminder email? ⌚
Communicating well is a soft skill that takes practice — and sending reminder messages is a great way to gain this experience. The right email balances being helpful while not nagging the reader. You don’t want to bombard someone’s inbox with unnecessary emails, but you do need to move work along to meet deadlines.
Here are a few great instances for sending a reminder email:
- Upcoming meetings and events: Send a reminder 1–2 days before a meeting, giving everyone enough time to get ready. For events, start 3–4 weeks ahead and send a few more in between. This keeps the details fresh and the excitement building.
- Missed deadlines and payments: Ping the person 1–2 days after the due date. It’s still fresh in their minds, and they’ll know you’re waiting on them.
- An upcoming deadline: This one depends on the project. Smaller tasks don’t need much heads up, but bigger projects do, so use your judgment.
- For a job application: Wait around 5–10 business days before dropping a follow-up email. This gives the hiring team enough time to review your application.
- For a job interview: For upcoming interviews, a quick check-in a day before will do. If you're waiting on feedback, stick to the timeframe they gave you. And if there’s still radio silence, give it another 5–7 business days before following up.
How to write a reminder email: 6 steps 🪜
When writing a gentle reminder email, try to balance professionalism, politeness, and persuasion — find that sweet spot. You don’t want to seem too pushy or too friendly since you do want them to attend to the email’s information.
Here’s a simple six-step guide to help you create an email that offers this balanced tone:
- Start with a clear subject line: Craft a subject line that’s straight to the point and grabs attention. Think of it as your email’s headline — this is your chance to let the recipient know action is needed. For freelancers juggling multiple clients, clarity here can really make a difference.
- Use an appropriate greeting: Kick things off with a greeting that sets the vibe. Want to keep it light? “Hi there [name]” or “Hello [name]” both work well. For something more formal, try the classic “Dear [name].” It’s all about matching the tone to the relationship.
- Provide context: Next up, lay out the why. Be specific about what you’re reminding them of, be it deadlines, payments, or dates. Drop in relevant details like the company name or any references. This paints a clear picture and brings them up to speed.
- Offer solutions: If relevant, offer suggestions or recommendations. And remember to stay polite — there could be a legit reason they didn’t get back to you. Offering solutions shows you’re proactive and easy to work with and encourages them to take the next steps that you just clearly outlined.
- Make your request: After setting the scene, hit them with your request or reminder. Spice it up with a call-to-action (CTA) if needed, especially if you’re dealing with missed deadlines. Highlighting dates and potential consequences can add a sense of urgency.
- Sign off: Wrap it up with a friendly and professional closing. Something like “I really appreciate your effort as we finish this project” or “Looking forward to hearing from you” keeps the vibe positive. And don’t forget to end with a polite sign-off, like “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”
Do’s and don’ts for sending reminder emails 🙋
As you follow the above guide, add even more oomph to your messaging efficacy by following these best practices — and avoiding common mistakes:
- Do close the email with a clear CTA to ensure they act
- Do use an email template to streamline the process
- Do use an email automation software if you send out reminders frequently
- Do conduct A/B testing to determine the most effective email content and time of day to send reminders
- Don’t sound too apologetic — this might make them avoid taking responsibility
- Don’t rant about off-topic items, as this could distract from the main message
3 reminder email examples 🔍
Here are a few reminder and follow-up email examples you can use for inspiration or as templates.
Example 1 ✏️
Subject: Project plan sign-off required
Hi there Amy,
I’m writing to find out if you’ve received our project plan. It’s really important as we need approval before any work can start — and we’d love to begin by August 25, 2023.
I’m attaching the document here for you to review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Could you also confirm that you received this email? I appreciate your cooperation!
Example 2 🧾
Subject: Outstanding invoice
I’m contacting you regarding your outstanding invoice that was sent to you on April 14, 2023. As mentioned, our standard payment terms are 28 days. The amount due is $400.
If you’re experiencing any difficulties when making a payment, please get in touch with me using this email address.
Could you confirm you’ve received this email and let me know when we can expect the payment? As per our policy, we may not be able to continue with our services if payment is not received within five business days.
Thank you for your attention to the above,
Example 3 (template) 🪟
Hi [recipient’s name],
It’s [your name] here, from [company name]. I’m writing to remind you of [the overdue payment, document, invoice].
To make things easier, I’ve provided details of everything needed from you below:
[details in bullet points]
Could you confirm that you’ve received this email and let me know when I can expect [payment, response, approval]?
And let me know if there’ll likely be a delay, as I need to update the [customer, stakeholder, client] involved.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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