Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Advice / Succeeding at Work / Money

How to Ask for a Raise Via Email (Template Included!)

Getty Images
Getty Images

You want a salary increase but aren't sure how to bring up the conversation with your boss. We get it. Maybe the right moment never seems to come, or nerves kick in every time you think about it. Whatever the reason, time keeps passing, and you still haven't got the compensation you deserve. That's why you should consider how to ask for a raise via email—a simple but effective step that could make the whole process less intimidating.

This may not be the most conventional approach, but there's nothing wrong with it. Sending an email is actually a good way to introduce the subject and build your case before a face-to-face meeting. But how exactly should you do that? What should be said, and what should be avoided?

If your mind is stuck on these questions, read on for expert advice on how to ask for a pay raise via email, including an example and template.

Is it professional to ask for a raise through email?

Yes, asking for a raise via email can be a professional and effective way to start the conversation with your boss. Just make sure to do it right. “You should offer to schedule a follow-up conversation to discuss further details and next steps,” says Eloïse Eonnet, Muse career coach and founder of Eloquence.

When should you ask for a raise?

This is one of those situations where timing is everything. Before asking for a salary increase, take a moment to evaluate your company's current climate and, of course, reflect on your own professional achievements. “People naturally reward others when there is a clear reason to,” says Eonnet.

In other words, the best time to ask for a raise is after you have accomplished a clear, business-oriented success—such as landing a new client, exceeding your quarterly goals, or implementing a new, winning strategy.

Not quite there yet? Asking for a raise may still be on the table. “Managers also give raises when there is a good, trusted relationship with the employer and the request feels reasonable,” she says.

Preparing to ask for a raise via email

Asking for a raise can be a big deal, so make sure you're well-prepared for having this conversation with your boss. Think of it like preparing for an interview or a work presentation—when you need to be ready for anything, from unexpected questions to specific objections. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Gather evidence of your accomplishments

People often assume the manager (or the person responsible for making the decision) already knows their value, but that's a trap. You'll need to demonstrate your achievements when asking for a raise. Gather evidence of all your contributions to the company, big and small, and put them into writing.

“These can be linked to growth and bottom line goals, but also to team building, relationship management, leadership, and operations,” says Eonnet. “Don’t forget how critical it is to bring up the minor successes. They add up.”

Read more: 70 Accomplishments to Add to Your Resume—and How

Research salary rate

It's even harder to negotiate a salary increase when you don't have a clue about the average pay for your role. Take time to research market rates and compare salaries offered by other companies for similar positions. This will help you to come up with a fair and reasonable number.

How to ask for a raise via email: A step-by-step guide

Now that you’ve prepared, it's time to learn how to write an email asking for a raise—including the subject line to the closing. Of course, you can (and should) tailor the sections based on what you believe would make a difference. It's like a cake recipe: You follow all the steps to prepare the cake, then add your favorite icing at the end.

1. Email subject line

Make sure your subject line is clear and straightforward to let the reader know what your email is about right from the beginning. For example:

  • Request for salary raise - [Your Name]
  • Request for salary review - [Your Name]

Keep in mind that this person probably receives a lot of emails daily, and you don't want yours to get lost in the non-priority pile.

2. Opening

Begin your email on a positive note. It may feel contradictory (after all, you're literally asking for better compensation), but you don't want to sound ungrateful. Let them know how much you appreciate the opportunities you've had at the company and how proud you are of the work you’ve done so far. This creates a positive opening to make your request.

3. Presenting your case

Use the second and third paragraphs of your email to ask for a salary increase and explain the reasons why you deserve one. Here is where you're going to use all the evidence gathered during the preparation process.

“Never just list what you have done well, but explain the process of what made you, specifically, successful. A great structure to use is what I like to call the ‘what, how, and why,’” says Eonnet.

It’s simple:

  • What: What you've accomplished
  • How: How you did it
  • Why: Why did you take this approach

4. Closing

We talked about using your email as a first step to get the conversation rolling. But you should also ask for a follow-up meeting—and this is exactly what you're going to do at the end of your email

Give a timeline for when you expect a response and request a meeting, either in person or virtually. Make sure to provide enough time—like a week or two—for them to read and carefully consider everything in your email. Reinforce your gratitude once again, sign, and send.

5. Following up

Now it's time to wait for their response. If you don't hear from your boss after two weeks, it's OK to send a gentle reminder. You can talk to them directly, follow up via email, or leave a message on the app your company uses, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Read more: “As Per My Last Email”: 6 Better Ways to Follow Up

How to ask for a raise via email: sample #1

Cutting to the chase: How do you write a professional email asking for a raise? Let’s see it in action:

Subject: Request for salary increase - Maria Jones

Dear Jill Smith,

I hope this email finds you well. First, I want to thank you so much for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow as marketing manager at Abc Firm. Working with you and the marketing team has been a pleasure, and I am proud to see the impact my contributions have had on our business success.

Over the past two years I've been committed to growing professionally and contributing to the company's progress. I have taken on additional responsibilities and implemented new ideas that contributed positively to our increase in total sales. With that in mind, I would like to request a salary review.

I mended our relationship with valuable customers, winning back their trust and interest in our products. I focused on starting a clear and engaging communication with them by revamping our newsletter and social media channels. And I started a training program with the social media team to reduce online complaints that were left without a response.

In five months our complaints have significantly decreased, while customer satisfaction has increased by 20%. In this same period of time, our sales have also increased by 15%. Considering my performance and achievements, I believe that a salary increase is warranted.

Could we schedule a meeting within the next week to discuss further? Let me know what day and time works best for you. Thank you again for all your support and for taking my request into consideration. I am looking forward to our discussion.

Best regards,

Maria Jones

How to ask for a raise via email: template

If Maria’s message wasn’t quite right, we've got you! Here's a simple yet effective alternative template:

Subject: Request for salary review - Your Name

Dear [Manager Name],

I hope this email finds you well. First, I want to express my gratitude for all the opportunities I had to grow as [Your hole] at [Company name]. Working with you and the [Team title] has been truly rewarding, and I am proud to have impacted our business success.

As part of my commitment to continue growing professionally and being a part of the company's progress, I would like to request a salary review. Over the past [Time at the company], I have taken additional responsibilities and successfully achieved multiple business goals.

In the past [Time period], my responsibilities and accomplishments included:

Achievement #1: [Clear and brief explanation of what you did, how you did and why you did it]. This work resulted in [Outcome of your actions for the company].

Achievement #2: [Clear and brief explanation of what you did, how you did and why you did it]. My action resulted in [Outcome of your actions for the company].

Achievement #3: [Clear and brief explanation of what you did, how you did and why you did it]. My action resulted in [Outcome of your actions for the company].

Could we schedule a meeting within the next [Your ideal time frame] to discuss further? Let me know what time works best for your convenience. I want to thank you once again for your continuous support and for taking my request into consideration. I am looking forward to continuing to contribute to [Company name] success.

Best regards,

[Your name]

Asking for a raise via email Q&A

Is there anything I shouldn’t do when asking for a raise in writing?

For those wondering what not to do when asking for a raise via email, Eonnet has two simple recommendations: Don't make your email unnecessarily long, and avoid making comparisons.

“Be specific in your language choice, but be to the point. Don't compare yourself to others, and even to your past self. Focus on you and your contributions since you last got a raise. This is what is relevant,” she says.

What can I do if my request for a raise is declined?

Even if you do everything right, it is still possible that your request will be denied. There are various different reasons for this, such as the company budget being low or asking during a period in which leadership is trying to cut expenses. Or, maybe your manager is not convinced that your achievements warrant a pay raise.

If any of this is the case, "My recommendation is to thank them for considering and to ask for feedback on why the raise was not granted. The most graceful approach is to continue the conversation with curiosity and as an opportunity to learn,” says Eonnet.

“Remember: most managers want their team to be rewarded for their hard work. A refusal to grant you a raise is, most likely, not personal. Think of this as a conversation that continues, it’s just not over yet,” she adds.