How to Politely Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email

reply formal email

How can you go about asking for a reply in a formal email? Is it wise or unnecessary?

Many people get so busy that they eventually forget to reply to emails. Oftentimes, delay in replying an email or total neglect of an email could be a result of procrastination or the content of the email. In such a case, you may need to politely ask for a reply to your email.

In well-structured organizations where they have series of reports and feedback to give, it is often observed that emails sent to such organizations do not get needed response. This could be due to the busy nature of those organizations.

Of course, some people do reply to some or all their emails. However, many people do not end up replying their emails, even those emails in which it had been clearly stated that a reply was needed. In a situation in which the recipient of your email does not reply at all and their response is needed, you can politely ask for a reply to your email.

Simply asking the recipient to kindly respond to your email is not the most professional way to end an email asking for response.

Reasons to Politely Ask for A Reply in A Formal Email

There are several reasons your recipient might delay in replying your email or neglect your email totally, forcing you to deliberately ask for a reply in a formal email. Consider the following important points carefully.

Your Relationship with The Recipient

This may sound awkward but it is true. Your relationship will probably affect the tone. Reciprocal relationships are natural. People naturally react to you with respect to how you relate to them and others. Are you the type that usually delays replying others? If yes, then people will naturally want to delay you too. This means you might need to politely ask your recipient for a reply in a formal email.

However, the first thing you should do is to work on yourself. Reply to all emails that come to you. In situations where you are unable to give the needed response just acknowledge receiving the email and state when the sender’s request will be granted. For example,

Dear Monica Smith,

 I received your email and your request will be granted by 2 pm tomorrow. 

Thank you.

Elly Christain

[email protected]

You Probably Sent the Email to the Wrong Person

Always ensure that the email was sent to the right email address.

The Message was Poorly Written

You probably wrote the message in a manner in which the recipient could not relate. The content of your mail was poorly constructed. Proofread any email you wish to send, use spell checks, check your grammar, and make sure the content of the email is simple and concise.

Don’t Want to Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email?

Here are simple ways in which you can write a professional email and get a reply without asking.

Provide a Reason why your Email Should be Replied

Most times people reply when you use the word because. There is a higher probability that your email will be replied if you provide a reason for it.

For example, I will be happy to hear from you because the opening will lapse on Thursday night. 

Even if the reason given is absurd, you are likely to get a response.

Keep it Short and Simple

Internet users are always in a hurry to read and get out. Keep your emails really simple, concise, and go straight to the points. Sending too many requests in a single email is terrible, limit your requests, if possible do not make more than two requests in a single email.

Having too many requests in an email makes it difficult for the receiver to reply. If you have to send an exhaustive message kindly state, at the beginning of the email, that your email will be lengthy. This will officially prepare the mind of the reader.

Use Bullet Points

If you need to write so much in an email, then put them in bullets points. Try not to waste your recipients’ time. He or she probably has more priorities than trying to figure out the meaning of what you have written. Take it one point at a time, and make your email easy to digest.

Check Spellings

Check how you spelled the recipient’s name and how other words were spelled. Sometimes, people get emails and sometimes never return to it due to wrong spelling and bad grammar.

Close your Emails with an Appealing and Polite note

The last part of the email is always the part where you show how concerned you are about the time the reader invested in reading your email, and there is no other way to prove this other than closing the email with appealing and polite words.

For example, thank you, sir. 


Always include your signature in your emails. Your signature carries your name and contact address. Your signature helps the recipient to know who sent the email as well as where the email is from.

Asking for a Reply in a Formal Email

After writing a good email using the simple tips guiding an effective email writing, and you still you do not get a response; then it’s time you write formally asking for a reply to your email. Here are some important things to do when asking for a reply.

  • Do not be in a haste to do a follow-up. Wait for a few days, you may wait for about two days. If you do not get a response then you can send a message reminder. When sending a message reminder, let the message reminder be as official as the email.
  • Be sure to come up with the right intention.
  • If it is urgent, say so and explain briefly why it is urgent.

For example,

Dear Mr. Jonathan Sean,

I am yet to get your response as regards the names sent to you for promotion. Kindly give your reply,  as your response is very important to us.

Thank you, sir.

Yours faithfully,

Rappel Kings

[email protected]

Use Polite Words to Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email

Try to keep your cool no matter how annoying the situation may look. Try not to sound harsh, if you do the recipient may actually not reply you at all.

Consider the Recipient’s Point of View

You should also consider that your recipient is not idle but also involved in other activities. Send him or her a reminder that considers his or her own activities.

Do a Follow-up

After taking the above steps and you still do not get a response, it is time to do a follow-up. Follow up smartly. Do not follow up in a way that seems annoying. Give a time frame before you send the next follow-up email.

Here are a few follow-up email examples to guide you:

Follow Up Email Example: Circling Back Email

Hey Joan!

I am circling back to ensure you received my previous email.

Are you still available to catchup? Let me know a day and time that works best for you.


Follow-Up Email Example  II

Dear Melinda Gate,

I am following up in regards to our conversation the other day.

I’d love to provide you with a tour of our dashboard to highlight some of Woculus’ best email management solutions and marketing tools.

Do you have time for a chat or phone call next week?


Follow Up Email Example  III

Hi Ayo,

I hope you're doing well.

I am checking in to see when you may have time for a demo of our dashboard. It helps to see (first-hand) how to create better and more effective emails that can help grow your business.

Do you have some time to connect in the upcoming weeks?


How to Politely Ask Someone to Do Something

To politely ask someone to do something, you must treat them with respect. It doesn’t matter if they’re your subordinates, your email must not reflect that. Unless it’s a reprimanding email.

How to Politely Ask Someone for Prompt Response/ Waiting for Your Reply

To ask someone to reply promptly, you must tell them why their response is important. This means outlining the reasons why they should reply.

Here are various ways you can ask someone for prompt response:

"I would appreciate if you replied to this email as soon as possible."
"...please reply to this email as soon as you can to enable us move further"


You should ask for a reply to your email anytime you are getting an unnecessarily delayed response. As long as you are able to achieve this politely, it will not negatively affect your relationship. Also, ensure you do it professionally as explained above.

3 thoughts on “How to Politely Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email”

  1. Yes, this is so true that somehow I lost some of clients with whom I have good relation. And I use to think whether that person was unsatisfied with our products or not. But in some cases they react emotionally by which they go for another service provider. Now I have understood that best way to deal with such kinds of things.

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