Even the most organized people sometimes need help remembering tasks on their to-do lists. A client might overlook an appointment or forget to finish ordering a product. Customers may also miss an event if they forgot to add it to their calendar. 

Email reminders are a simple way to jog the recipient’s memory and spur them into action. But writing effective emails that avoid the spam folder is a delicate art. The most potent messages offer help or motivation without seeming too demanding. These strategies and marketing tools will help you strike the right balance and achieve your goals. 

Introduction to email reminders 

An email reminder prompts action or helps someone remember an upcoming event. Businesses and professionals often use these messages to improve accountability and productivity. 

Here are a few common reasons to send reminder emails: 

  • A client hasn’t responded to your project proposal. 
  • A customer has abandoned their shopping cart. 
  • Some people you’ve invited to a workshop haven’t RSVP’d. 

You can also use email reminders for industry-specific purposes. For example, healthcare organizations often remind patients to fill out digital paperwork. Many online retailers send email reminders to customers with abandoned shopping carts. Fitness centers can also remind members to register for upcoming classes.  

Types of reminder emails 

There are several types of reminder emails, each with a different purpose and tone. Consider the scenario and recipient to choose an appropriate message. 

Gentle vs. urgent reminder emails

Reminder emails fall into two broad categories: gentle and urgent reminders. 

Gentle reminders encourage the recipient to act without seeming demanding or harsh. These messages use friendly, polite, and often indirect language. 

Use a gentle reminder email when you want to keep a positive relationship with the recipient. Say, for example, you need to remind a long-term client to pay an overdue bill. You might write, “Hi, Jared. I just wanted to touch base about the March invoice. I know it’s a busy time of year, so I don’t want it to get lost in your inbox! Can you set up the payment when you get the chance?” 

By contrast, urgent reminders use strong language to inspire immediate action. They include time-sensitive requests and clear calls to action. These messages also get straight to the point and avoid fluffy language. 

Use urgent reminders in critical situations. For instance, you might want to remind clients about an expiring sale. You could send this message: “Last chance to save! Order your fishing gear in the next 24 hours before our summer sale ends.” 

Personal vs. professional reminder emails 

People send personal reminder emails for casual or social purposes. These messages typically target family, friends, and acquaintances. Writers can address these familiar audiences with informal language and humor. 

Professional reminder emails focus on work-related events and tasks. They’re directed at colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders and tend to use formal and polite language. 

Event, meeting, and appointment reminder emails

Many businesses and professionals use reminder emails for future events. They include the date, meeting location, and other relevant details.  Clients often appreciate appointment reminders, while most employees need meeting reminders. These messages increase attendance and help readers plan ahead. 

Submission and deadline reminder emails

Well-timed reminder emails help people recall upcoming deadlines and encourage submissions. Use these messages to encourage clients to place orders or request custom services. 

Payment and overdue invoice reminders

Sooner or later, someone will forget to pay their bill or send an invoice on time. An overdue payment reminder email nudges them to settle their balance immediately. These messages help businesses maintain positive customer relationships and a predictable cash flow. 

Recruitment and interview reminder emails 

Connect with potential employees through recruitment and interview reminder emails. Recruitment messages invite talented professionals to apply for specific positions. If they advance to the next stage, send them interview reminder emails to confirm the details. These emails streamline the recruiting process and help you hire top talent. 

Crafting the perfect reminder email 

Writing a reminder email can seem challenging. You may worry that you’ll annoy the recipient or appear impatient. But don’t stress. Anyone can write effective reminder emails with these essential ingredients. 

Informative subject lines

Start by writing a clear and concise subject line. This heading should engage the reader and reveal the purpose of the message. Time-sensitive language and capitalized words can also inspire a sense of urgency. 

Here are a few examples of attention-grabbing subject lines for reminder emails: 

  • Last call: Submit your reimbursement requests TODAY
  • Confirm your dental appointment now
  • Did you forget your shopping cart? 
  • Your subscription renewal is due tomorrow
  • Action required: Payment overdue for February invoice 

Appropriate email greetings and sign-offs

Begin every reminder email with a friendly and polite greeting. Use “hi” or “hey” for casual messages and “hello” for formal ones. These salutations make a positive first impression on the reader. 

Close your reminder emails with courteous sign-offs. Here are two examples: “Thank you for letting us serve you” and “I look forward to your response.” These phrases end the message on an appreciative note, which may inspire the recipient to act quickly. 

Polite and clear email bodies

The email’s body should include a concise and clear message. Explain why you’re contacting the recipient and what you want them to do. Provide relevant details, such as meeting locations and project deadlines. 

Specific call-to-actions

Every email reminder should include a clear and specific call to action (CTA). This phrase or sentence tells the recipient what to do next. Consider using visual elements to make this instruction stand out. For example, you could make your CTA bold or include it in a separate paragraph. 

Use these CTAs as inspiration: 

  • Click the link below to submit your payment.
  • Confirm or reschedule your appointment. 
  • Order now to save 50%. 
  • RSVP today to reserve your spot! 

Ethical considerations of reminder emails

Reminder emails raise many ethical concerns. Follow these tips to use these messages responsibly: 

  • Allow customers to unsubscribe from your emails.
  • Encourage recipients to contact you with concerns or questions.
  • Offer assistance and use open-ended questions to strengthen your relationship with the recipient.
  • Send reminder emails sparingly.

At the same time, be sure to avoid common email reminder pitfalls:

  • Bombarding your audience with too many urgent messages
  • Couching your request in vague or passive language 
  • Not including a clear deadline 
  • Sending last-minute reminder emails 
  • Using aggressive, pushy, or threatening language 

Automation and efficiency in sending reminder emails 

You don’t need to spend hours writing reminder emails. Automation software lets you send these helpful messages more efficiently. 

Constant Contact is a leading email marketing platform. The software sends automated email reminders based on specific triggers. For example, you can share a meeting reminder three days before the event. You can also send automated email reminders when clients leave carts abandoned or forget to renew a subscription. 

Constant Contact also integrates with popular calendars and event management systems. Combining these platforms lets you send Gmail and Outlook email reminders to customers and colleagues. 

Constant Contact also tracks and measures the effectiveness of reminder emails. You can use this technology to watch the open rates for Gmail email reminders. You can also track click-through rates, engagement, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). This information can help you identify areas of improvement and make your messages more engaging. 

Overcoming challenges with reminder emails

Email reminders can help you achieve your goals, but they’re not magical solutions. Here are three common obstacles you may encounter when crafting these messages. 

No-response scenarios 

Even the best email reminders can get overlooked or ignored. These scenarios can be stressful, especially if you need the recipient to respond to a critical request. 

Reduce the risk of no-response scenarios with these strategies: 

  • Include a deadline in the subject line.
  • Write a specific call to action.
  • Use attention-grabbing visuals and language to maximize your impact. 
  • Send a follow-up email if you haven’t gotten a response in a reasonable timeframe. 

Dealing with delicate situations and difficult recipients 

Professionals often need to send reminder emails in challenging situations. For example, you might send a follow-up message to a colleague who has missed a significant deadline. Or you may need to remind a hostile client about an overdue invoice. 

Tactful communication can help you navigate these scenarios effectively. Always phrase your requests politely and sympathetically. Avoid accusatory language, which can make the reader feel resentful or misunderstood.

Designing reminder emails for different devices 

Approximately 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Small screens can disrupt formatting, making reminder emails challenging to read. 

You can prevent this issue by choosing an email marketing tool that offers mobile-optimized templates. Constant Contact offers this helpful feature. 

Sample templates and examples for various scenarios

These reminder email examples can inspire your next message or marketing campaign

Gentle reminder email sample 

Kroger reminder email
This reminder email uses friendly language and a clear CTA to prompt action Source: Kroger

This Kroger email gently reminds the customer about their expiring coupons. The company uses positive language, such as “friendly reminder” and “best-customer savings!” It also highlights a an urgent deadline to use coupons to reap rewards. 

Polite reminder template for superiors and clients

Use this customizable template to write a polite reminder email to your boss or customer: 

Hello [Recipient’s Name]

I hope you’re having a nice day. I’m writing to follow up on [X] and see if you need any help or information from me. 

Please reach out if you have any questions or need clarification. We can also schedule a meeting if you prefer to speak in person. 

Thank you, 

[Your Name]

Urgent reminder example for immediate action 

H&R Block email
This email uses repetitive CTAs and time-bound language to convey urgency. Source: H&R Block

H&R Block sent this urgent reminder email before the tax filing deadline. The email uses capitalized words and time-bound language to emphasize how little time remains. It also repeats variations of “file now” five times. This strong CTA urges immediate action. 

Follow-up reminder after no response

Follow this template to send an email reminder after your previous messages haven’t gotten a response:

Hello [Recipient Name], 

I’m following up on my previous email about [X]. Have you gotten a chance to look over the message and consider [X]? I need a response by [date] to move forward with [X]. 

Please get back to me with your response as soon as possible. Thank you!

[Your Name]

Academic reminder template 

Academic professionals often send reminder emails to students and colleagues. This template can help you get started: 

Dear [Recipient Name], 

This is a friendly reminder about the approaching deadline for [X]. Please submit the assignment by 5:00 p.m. so we can start the project’s next phase. 

Feel free to drop by my office hours or email me with any questions. 

All the best, 

[Your Name]

Best practices and tips for reminder emails

These best practices will help you craft worthwhile reminder emails: 

  • Use professional language and strong verbs to inspire action. 
  • Send reminders at strategic times, such as two days before a deadline. 
  • Personalize your emails to boost engagement and build rapport. 
  • Use artificial intelligence tools to create persuasive subject lines and email copy. 

Legal requirements for reminder emails

Companies must comply with legal requirements when writing reminder emails. The General Data Protection Regulation requires businesses to get permission before sending marketing emails to European Union citizens. The CAN-SPAM Act also states that companies must allow recipients to opt out of their emails. Research these laws carefully before sending email reminders to customers. 

Improve productivity with effective reminder emails 

Many people rely on email reminders to remember appointments, bills, and other responsibilities. These simple messages help individuals stay organized and complete tasks on time. They also boost efficiency and productivity by improving workflows. Learn more about this strategy by completing an online course on email marketing. You can also read our guide to email and social media marketing calendars for monthly inspiration for email reminders.

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