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Writing an effective salary negotiation email

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​Imagine this: you've aced the interview, your skills aligned with the job description, and the company culture feels like a perfect fit. Then comes the offer letter... the excitement is bubbling over, but a single line throws cold water on your enthusiasm - the salary. It's lower than what you were expecting, and a knot of anxiety forms in your stomach.

Whether you’re a long-time employee or seeking a new role, negotiating remuneration can feel like a high-wire act. A well-crafted email can be your safety net, helping you navigate the conversation with confidence and professionalism. In this guide, we'll equip you with the tools you need to transform negotiation nerves into a resounding "Yes!"

When to ask

Knowing the right timing is crucial for a successful salary negotiation. Here are some common scenarios to consider:

  • Initiating the conversation: Whether you're interviewing for a new role, seeking a promotion or internal transfer within your current company, or aiming for a raise in your existing position, initiating a conversation in person with the manager is an ideal first step. This allows for a more nuanced back-and-forth discussion, where you can address any concerns directly and gauge their perspective. If the conversation reaches an impasse, or you need time to solidify your request with additional research, a follow-up email can be a valuable tool to keep the momentum going.

  • Negotiating a job offer: If you're offered a new position with a salary lower than your expectations, use an email to initiate the negotiation process. This allows you to clearly state your desired range and provide justification based on your skills and experience. Consider mentioning a competing offer, if applicable (see email template below).

  • Following up on a performance review: If you've consistently exceeded expectations, achieved or surpassed your KPIs (key performance indicators), and received positive feedback during your performance review, a follow-up email can be a strategic way to initiate a salary increase conversation for your current role. Highlight your accomplishments and contributions to the team in the email to strengthen your case (see email template below).

By understanding these different scenarios, you can choose the most appropriate time to send an email and position yourself for a successful outcome.

Crafting your email

Now that we've established the ideal timing, let's quickly outline the key elements of a great email:

  • Subject Line: Keep it clear and concise. For example, "Salary Negotiation for [Your Name] - [Position]"

  • Express Gratitude: Thank the employer for offering you the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity. If you’re an existing employee, consider conveying your appreciation of your manager’s support and reflect on what you have gained during your time at the company.

  • State Your Request: Clearly state your desired salary range, ideally referencing relevant research or industry benchmarks to justify your ask.

  • Highlight Your Value: Briefly remind the employer of your skills and experience, emphasising how you contribute to their team's success. Focus on quantifiable achievements if possible.

  • Open to Discussion: Express your willingness to discuss alternative options, demonstrating flexibility and your desire to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

  • Professional Closing: Thank the employer for their time and consideration.

Free salary negotiation email templates

Email template for a new role:

Subject: Salary Negotiation for [Your Name] - [Position]

Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you very much for offering me the [Position] position at [Company Name]. I'm very excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]'s success and work alongside your team.

After careful consideration and research on industry benchmarks for similar positions with my experience level and skill set, I believe a salary range of [Your Desired Salary Range] would be more reflective of my value.

As discussed during our interview, I bring [X years] of experience in [Your Area of Expertise] and a proven track record of [Highlight Achievements]. I'm confident that I can make a significant impact on your team by [Mention Specific Contributions].

I'm open to discussing alternative options that align with both your budget and my value proposition.

Thank you again for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon


[Your Name]

Email template after receiving a higher offer from another company:

Subject: Salary Negotiation for [Your Name] - [Current Position]

Dear [Manager Name],

Thank you very much for offering me the [Position] position at [Company Name]. I'm truly excited about the opportunity to continue contributing to the team's success.

I've also been fortunate to receive an offer from another company with a base salary of [Competitor's Salary Offer]. While [Company Name] remains my top choice due to [Reasons - Company Culture, Team, etc.], I wanted to have an open conversation about my compensation to ensure it aligns with my value and experience.

Considering my [Number] years at [Company Name], my consistent track record of exceeding expectations in [Highlight Achievements], and my contributions to [Specific Projects/Team Successes], I believe a salary of [Your Desired Salary] would be more reflective of my market worth.

I'm confident that I can continue to make a significant impact on [Company Name] in this role, and I'm open to discussing alternative solutions that would achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

Thank you again for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Email template for a promotion or internal transfer:

Subject: Salary Negotiation for [Your Name] - Promotion to [New Position]

Dear [Manager Name],

Thank you for offering me the promotion to the [New Position] role. I'm thrilled about this opportunity to take on new challenges and contribute to [Team/Department] in a greater capacity.

As discussed during our conversation, the responsibilities of this new role involve [List Key Responsibilities] which are significantly more extensive than my current role as [Current Position]. Additionally, I will be leveraging my existing expertise in [Highlight Skills] to achieve [Future Goals].

Given the increased scope and responsibilities, and considering the market value for similar positions with my experience level, I believe a salary of [Your Desired Salary] is appropriate compensation for this position.

I'm incredibly passionate about [Company Name] and excited to continue my career growth here. I'm confident that I can deliver exceptional results in this new position.  I'm open to discussing alternative compensation structures that recognize the added value I bring to this role.

Thank you again for this opportunity. I look forward to your thoughts and next steps.


[Your Name]

Email template after a performance review:

Subject: Salary Increase Discussion - [Your Name]

Dear [Manager Name],

Thank you for the insightful feedback during my recent performance review. I appreciate your recognition of my achievements in [Highlight Achievements] and contributions to exceeding team goals in [Specific Projects].

As discussed, I consistently strive to go above and beyond expectations in my role.  This past year, I've [List Specific Actions Taken] which resulted in [Positive Outcomes].

Considering my consistent performance exceeding expectations, my [Number] years of experience at [Company Name], and the value I bring to the team, I believe a salary increase of [Your Desired Percentage Increase] is warranted.

I'm committed to my role at [Company Name] and eager to continue contributing to our continued success. I'm open to discussing how I can further enhance my skills and contributions to the team.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Additional Tips:

  • Maintain a Professional Tone: Be polite, respectful, and confident throughout your email.

  • Focus on Facts and Accomplishments: Base your request on concrete evidence, not emotions.

  • Be Realistic: Conduct research to ensure your desired salary range is fair and aligns with market standards. This is when using a recruiter like FutureYou is so beneficial - recruiters are experienced in a specific field or industry and will be able to guide you based on current market rates and your individual experience.

  • Be Prepared to Walk Away: While negotiation is encouraged, know your bottom line and be prepared to decline the offer or move on if a fair agreement cannot be reached.

Negotiating your salary can be empowering, but it's important to do so strategically. FutureYou offers all candidates personalised advice to help refine your negotiation skills, develop a compelling value proposition, and gain the confidence to advocate for your worth effectively.

Contact FutureYou today and unlock your full earning potential.

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