Writing Request Emails: 3 Solutions to Help

Writing request emails can be very tricky at times, especially depending on the person to whom you are writing.  Many of us work in large, international companies and communicate with colleagues from all over the world.  We all depend on others for information that we need to do our job effectively and on time.  It can be difficult to ask someone for something that is very important to you, but might not be important to them.  It’s important to be careful how you request things in English, as some phrases could seem rude.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing request emails:

3 reasons to avoid being direct when writing request emails

1. Damaged relationships.  Your directness could be taken personally.  This could lead to a damaged relationship between colleagues.
2. Increased costs.  If you think someone is being rude to you, you are less likely to help them quickly, if at all.  This could slow down the speed of information exchange, delaying projects and thus increasing costs.
3. Decreased Quality.  If someone reads a direct email and gets offended, it could cause the recipient to not focus on the important topic of the email and not get you the exact information you need.  Then you will have to ask at least one other time for more information, which leads to valuable time being wasted.

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3 solutions to use for more polite emails

1. Begin your email politely with phrases such as:

“I hope all is well today.
Thanks for the email and information.” (responding to an email)
I hope everything went well with the meeting last week.” (referencing a known event)

2. When requesting something, use the following phrases:

“Could you please send me the _______?  It would really help me finish the ____.
I would appreciate it if you could send me the ________.  This information will allow me to _______.
Would you be so kind as to send me the _____?  It is important that I have it by Wednesday in order to ______.”

3. End your email using a polite close with a sentence like:

“Thanks for your time and have a good day.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.” 
Thanks for your assistance and enjoy the rest of your day.”

3 outcomes to help your business when writing request emails

1. Improve business relationships.  You improve rapport with the other person, which will lead to smoother and more comfortable interaction going forward.  People like to help those who are polite to them.
2. Receive information faster.  You will get the information you need in a timelier manner, which will help you keep your project deadlines and avoid unnecessary delays and costs.
3. Ensure quality and save time.  People like to do a good job for those who they feel respect them.  They will make sure to take the extra time upfront to get you what you need.  This then avoids having to chase the person with multiple follow-up emails if they send you incomplete information the first time.

Taking a few extra seconds each email can help you build relationships, save time, and eventually money as well.  Why not start improving your communication and productivity when writing request emails?  Click  here for more information on how you can improve your writing at work.  Let us know of any other tips you might have to share in the comment areas below.