In business, as in life, we do our best to keep up with commitments. But sometimes things slip through the cracks. Reminder emails are a simple way to call attention to important events and prevent a simple oversight from becoming a problem.
What is a reminder email?
A reminder email is a short, polite email intended to bring the recipient’s attention back to a subject. In short, it’s an email that reminds the reader about something. In a business setting, you can use reminder emails to ensure projects are completed on time or to request action from customers.
Send emails built for commerce
From templates and reporting to automated workflows, Shopify Email has what you need to grow your business—all within one platform. Create strategic campaigns delivered to the right customers at the right moment, no experience necessary.
When do you need a reminder email?
Reminder emails can be preemptive, corrective, or purely for documentation. These are some occasions that may call for a reminder email:
- Recaps. Sending a recap after a meeting is an example of a preemptive reminder email. Recap emails can include notes from the discussion and outline any action items, like everyone’s role in assembling an operational plan. This helps team members remember their upcoming deadlines by providing a written record.
- Follow-ups. Follow-up emails are a way to check in with someone after a missed deadline or dropped conversation. You can also use a follow-up email to say thank you or check on the status of a job application.
- Confirmations. A quick reminder email can be an effective way to confirm an upcoming meeting or appointment. This is especially important for external partners or customers who may not have access to your business’s shared calendar.
- Promotions. You can use email reminders to let your email subscribers know about opportunities they may want to take advantage of, such as upcoming promotions or a countdown reminder to mark the end of a sale.
- Renewals. For subscription businesses, an email is a clear way to remind customers about an upcoming renewal. Reminder messages reduce the risk of a customer becoming upset by a surprise charge and canceling the service.
- Event emails. This email confirms details for upcoming events—both internal ones like an office party or external ones like a webinar for customers. Event reminder emails should include relevant information such as the event schedule, event name, location, time, and any necessary steps for preparation.
- Payment reminder emails. If a client misses a payment, the first step is to send a polite reminder email that includes the invoice number and the payment due date. If the client does not respond to an initial payment reminder, you may need to adopt a firmer tone. Remain calm and professional while following up to request that they pay the invoice immediately.
Elements of a good reminder email
To write a successful reminder email, focus on clear communication and maintain a polite, professional tone. If you use a reminder email template, be sure to update the templated text with the correct information. These are some elements to keep in mind:
- Subject line. If you’re beginning a new communication, you’ll need to write a short, clear subject line related to the contents of your message. Be informative and direct, even if the email is about a sensitive subject, like a missed payment. Avoid subject lines like “Hi” or “Checking in” that don’t provide the reader with any context.
- Tone. Whether you’re reminding a colleague about an upcoming Zoom meeting or following up about a missed deadline, assume that the recipient has good intentions and use a friendly tone. More often than not, the recipient simply lost track of their communications—they may even be grateful to receive a gentle reminder email. For customer emails, you may choose to use exciting language to encourage a specific response.
- Content. Include everything that the reader needs to know in the body of the email. This may include event details, deadline information, or payment instructions.
- Desired action. If your email is requesting a specific response, make sure that it’s clear. For event reminder emails, you may choose to highlight this in the email subject line by including a phrase like “action required” or “additional information needed.” Marketing emails should also include a call to action, like directing customers to your website to browse or make a purchase.
Ecommerce Email Marketing 101
Learn how to build an engaged email list and automate your email marketing campaigns for maximum impact on your bottom line.
Examples of reminder emails
If you’re struggling with writing a reminder email subject line or content, here are a few email samples to generate ideas:
Subject Line: Last Chance for Strawberry Jam
Just a friendly reminder: Our strawberry jam is this season’s must-have sandwich accessory, and it’s selling fast!
Place your order by midnight tonight to secure your preserves and spread the love.
Click here [LINK] and use the code BERRYSEASON for free shipping.
Subject Line: Tonight: Celebrity Birds of New York City Webinar starts at 8 p.m.
Thank you for purchasing a ticket for our webinar, The Celebrity Birds of New York City.
The lecture begins at 8 p.m. To join, follow this link [LINK] and use the code DUCKS to enter the meeting. Please sign on 10 minutes before we begin to avoid any technical difficulties.
Don’t forget to download the iBird Plus app on your smartphone before joining.
See you tonight,
Reminder email FAQ
How can you avoid your reminder email being marked as spam?
Follow email etiquette's formal rules to reduce the risk of being marked as spam. Use a trusted email service provider and a recognizable sender name, and avoid writing subject lines in all caps or using excessive punctuation, as these are both spam triggers. You can use tools like GlockApp or Litmus to conduct an email deliverability test and see if your email might be marked as spam.
Should you follow up on a reminder email?
Whether or not to follow up on a reminder email depends on your relationship with the recipient and the subject matter of the previous email. You can always follow up on an overdue payment or a missed deadline. Sending too many reminder messages about sales or special offerings, however, can become annoying, and you’ll risk losing email subscribers.
Can I automate reminder emails?
Automated reminder emails may be appropriate in some situations. Keep in mind: You should write your email reminders based on the situation they’re needed for, as the reason for the reminders might differ.