A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Salary Negotiation Email

7 min read
a laptop keyboard displaying an email icon

Receiving a job offer or a promotion is exciting, especially if it’s a job you really want. However, it can be disappointing when they offer a salary lower than you were hoping for. Whether you’ve just received a job offer or feel your responsibilities have changed, you’ll likely need to discuss your salary.

Salary negotiation can be a sensitive and stressful process. You don’t want to seem unappreciative, but you want to earn what you deserve. Fortunately, you can open this conversation through email. If you don’t know how, we’ve got some tips on how to write a salary negotiation email. Worry not! With our surefire tips, preparation, research, and confidence, you can write a letter that gets results.

What is a Salary Negotiation Email and Why is it Important?

A salary negotiation email is an email sent to a potential employer or hiring manager to request an increase in your initial salary. This also aims for both parties to discuss and meet halfway regarding the initial salary offered for the position. Moreover, an existing employee can also send this email to ask for higher compensation.

Why do you think employees negotiate their salary? Is it right to do so?

For starters, your earning potential over the course of your career is largely determined by your income. If you start with a lower salary than you are worth, it can be difficult to catch up to your true earning potential. Additionally, once you’ve accepted a job offer, you lose most of your leverage to negotiate.

According to research, employees who negotiate their entry-level salary tend to see an average wage growth of 5% to 10%, while those who do not negotiate see a wage growth of 1% to 2%.

Moreover, salary negotiation goes beyond money. It also demonstrates confidence and assertiveness, which can make a positive impression on your new boss. Not just that, it benefits your current career positioning, your future career trajectory, and your financial goals.

job applicant typing a salary negotiation email on a laptop
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When to Send a Salary Negotiation Email

The right timing is important when it comes to salary negotiations. You don’t want to bring it up too early or too late in the hiring process. This should take place after you have received an offer. When given an offer, act promptly and begin crafting your salary negotiation email. Be mindful of any deadlines they give you, and be sure to start your negotiation before then.

Don’t delay your response too long, as this may signal a lack of interest or commitment. In the corporate world, it is typical to reply within 24 hours, so you can take this time to plan out your response without feeling rushed. A prompt response is critical; nonetheless, a strong, confident, and logical response is still more important than answering quickly.

What Should Be Included in a Salary Negotiation Email?

To write a convincing email, make sure that your letter contains the important details hiring managers need to know. Here are the vital sections you must include:

Clear Subject Line

The subject line of an email is a critical component that can make or break the success of your salary negotiation email. By being clear and concise, you can increase the chances of your email being noticed and effectively convey its purpose to the recipient.

You can use subject lines like: “Requesting a Salary Raise,” “Requesting a Meeting to Discuss Salary,” and “[Your name]: Asking for a Salary Increase,” to make it straightforward and concise. 

An Appropriate Greeting

You want to impress the person on the receiving end of your email, especially if you’re trying to land a new job. Start off on the right foot by using an appropriate and professional greeting. 

At this point, you likely know the name of the hiring manager or direct supervisor. Include his or her name in your opening, such as “Dear Mr. Johnson”. In more casual industries where titles aren’t used regularly, “Dear Amanda” will suffice. Salutations can be informal or formal, depending on your past interactions with the employer or hiring manager. If in doubt, opt for formal.

You can also add a greeting, like “I’m pleased to speak with you again” or “I hope your day is going well,” to build a rapport with the recipient.

Appreciation for the Job Offer

Your opening paragraph should show your appreciation for the job offer and for the hiring manager’s time throughout the hiring process. and express your excitement about the role. If you’re asking for a raise, express how much you enjoy working for the company.

Proposal for Desired Salary with Reasoning

The next paragraphs will reflect your proposal for a new salary. Acknowledge the amount that they offered you, but politely explain that your expectations are a little higher. State the amount that you were hoping to receive and justify it with reasoning as to why you feel your proposed salary is appropriate.

Polite Conclusion

Last but not the least, the key to closing your proposal is to be firm while maintaining courtesy.

It’s unlikely that your employer or the hiring manager will simply approve your salary after receiving your message. Hence, this is the part where you can ask for a meeting or a call, so take charge and push for it. Lastly, express your interest in the position and thank the employer once more for their time and consideration.

job applicant using a smartphone to compose a salary negotiation email
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How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email

Emphasize your experience and qualifications.

Salary negotiation emails can be difficult; hence, you need to provide a clear and compelling rationale and evidence to justify your request. Include anything relevant to the job description — your skill set, education, certifications, years of experience, and any leadership experience you possess. Provide concrete examples of your work or accomplishments. This will make your achievements more credible.

Show your unique skills, relevant experience, and the value you bring to the organization. Confidence in your abilities will help you successfully negotiate for what you deserve.

Negotiate by offering a range, rather than a specific amount.

Having a specific number in mind is a good idea before starting negotiations, but you might want to think twice. It might be better to suggest a salary range that you are comfortable with. By doing so, you leave yourself open to discussion and demonstrate your willingness to make compromises.

On the other hand, if you would prefer not to be specific, you can state that the salary doesn’t meet your expectations and ask if there is an opportunity to review it.

Maintain a positive note throughout your email.

Writing emails oftentimes leads to miscommunication. More so, salary negotiation emails can be a sensitive topic and are subject to misunderstanding. Thus, it is crucial to watch the tone and language used. Simplify the language if anything is unclear or could be misunderstood.

Keep it polite and enthusiastic to show that you’re interested in the offer. Most importantly, review your email or have someone read it before sending.

job applicant taking notes on how to write a strategic salary negotiation email
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Additional Tips When Composing a Salary Negotiation Email

Do your research.

Before negotiating for a salary increase, research the salary range for your position and industry. Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiation, and being informed about realistic compensation will give you an advantage. 

Check out job postings and online databases to discover the average salary for someone with your qualifications, years of experience, and geographic location. If you found out that the existing or starting salary is less than the market average, mention that in your email.

Consider your expenses.

Another reason you may ask for an increased salary is to cover any costs you incur by taking the job. For example, if you need to relocate, your cost of living is relative to the area where you live. A proper understanding of your expenses puts you in a good position to negotiate your salary and get a figure that will make you happy and give you a comfortable life.

Benefits are an important matter.

In some situations, asking for a higher salary may not always be possible. Thus, you can negotiate other aspects of the offer to get the best overall package for your needs and financial goals. Consider the full compensation package, including benefits, paid leaves, flexible work arrangements, and growth opportunities. Sometimes, these perks can be just as important and valuable as your paycheck.

Be ready to compromise.

Negotiation is a two-way street. Be prepared to compromise, but also be firm with your decision. Find a win-win solution that satisfies both you and your employer.

Salary Negotiation Email Example

Here’s an example salary negotiation email. Take note of the sections and how they are written:

Subject: Offer response – P.R. and Marketing Director

Greeting: Dear Mr. Johnson, 

I hope you had a great weekend!

Gratitude: I was very excited to receive your offer for P.R. and Marketing Director at ABC Company. Thank you very much. 

Expectation: I've been considering your offer over the weekend, and everything sounds good, although I would like to discuss the base salary component. I’ve researched the compensation for employees with comparable experience in similar roles. After some consideration, I believe a salary falling between [salary range] would better reflect my skills and experience, which is slightly more than your initial offer.

Justification: In my last position, I spent more than five years in a leadership role within the public relations and marketing department of my last company. In addition, I increased our marketing leads by more than 35% over the course of a year and helped bring in an additional 20% of revenue overall for the organization. With my expertise and proven skill set, I feel that a salary between $100,000 and $105,000 is appropriate, which is slightly more than the $90,000 you offered. 

Alternative: Are you open to negotiating this salary or other aspects of the compensation package, such as paid leaves, flexible working arrangements, or additional allowances?

Closing: I’m excited about my future with ABC Company and hope we can find something mutually agreeable here. Please let me know a suitable time that we can meet to discuss further. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for your time and consideration.


Amanda Brown

Land Your Dream Job and Get the Income You Deserve

It cannot be overstated how important it is to negotiate your salary offer to establish your earning potential and guarantee fair compensation. Aside from this, you will learn the art of persuasion and confidence, which will likely be useful for your career growth. As the saying goes, “Fortune favors the bold.”

Whether you are trying to land your dream job or reach a higher pay bracket, the first step is to get your resume in front of employers’ eyes. Browse through our reviews of the top resume services that will help you land high-paying jobs.