Life & Work Skills

How To Ask For a Raise Via Email

Woman on computer, arm with hand held out, money in background"
Woman on computer, arm with hand held out, money in background
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

I don’t know about you, but the mere idea of going to my boss, hat in hand, and asking for more money is enough to get my heart rate up. After all, discussing finances is awkward at best and uncomfortable at worst, but meeting with your manager face-to-face at least gives you the opportunity to use your personality, charm, and list of accomplishments to win them over, and asking for a raise via email erases that completely.

That being said, while requesting a pay raise via email can feel impersonal and unprofessional, it certainly has its upsides. It gives your manager time to consider your request without feeling put on the spot and can remove some anxiety and increase your confidence. And since WFH and digital communications are now commonplace, asking for a salary increase over email is more acceptable than ever.

If you’re curious about how to ask for a raise via email, you’ve come to the right place. With these tips and tricks, you can confidently craft the perfect message to your employer and get the raise you deserve. Keep scrolling to learn more.


How To Ask For a Raise Via Email


1. Know your audience

Before you begin the process of asking for a raise via email, you should consider all of the different external factors that might impact your request. Has your company just had a round of layoffs? Have they cut department budgets due to the impending recession? Situations like these might affect whether or not your request for a raise is approved.

On the flip side, have your company’s end-of-quarter meetings revealed skyrocketing profits? Is your team or role expanding? If so, now might be the perfect time for you to send that email.

The size of the company you work for can also come into play here. Larger corporations might be able to keep up with inflation while smaller ones can’t. If the latter is true of your company, waiting for the upswing is more likely to get you the answer you’re looking for.

In the end, knowing your audience is key in this process. So consider the current climate of your company and industry when requesting a raise. After all, you want a yes here, so biding your time may be worth it in the long run.


2. Make a clear request

You’re busy, your boss is busy, their boss is busy—the whole world is busy, so it’s a good idea to get right to the point. In both the subject line and opening paragraph of your email, make it clear that you’d like to talk about a pay increase. A subject line along the lines of “Salary Increase Request” or “Formal Request for Pay Raise” will be enough to get your boss’s attention. Then, reiterate what your subject line says in the first or second sentence of your opening paragraph so there’s no confusion about what you’re emailing them about.


3. Back up your request

Simply telling your manager you work hard won’t be enough, so before you request a raise, take the time to review your major accomplishments and key contributions to the company. You can use a recent performance review, additional responsibilities you’ve undertaken, or data that demonstrates how much your work and efforts have benefited the company. Having specific examples that back up your request will not only make you feel more confident about asking for a raise, it’ll also show your boss why you deserve one as well.

It’s also a good idea to conduct plenty of salary research before you send an email asking for more money. To do this, use a free online salary calculator, platforms like LinkedIn, or an employee resource group if that’s available to you. In addition to knowing what you’ve given to the company already, knowing where your salary falls in line with today’s current job market will help ensure you’re not underselling or overselling yourself when it comes time to make the ask. Location can also play a big factor in salary ranges so make sure you’re cross-referencing your findings to ensure your request is in line with the area your employer is in. 


4. Be reasonable

Much like the best salary expectations question is open-ended, the best raise request is too. The average annual raise is about 3%, but it’s always good to ask for more than you want. You never know; you may be surprised with an above-average pay increase. Instead of throwing out a specific number, consider asking for a raise of 7-10%, but you can aim higher if you’re trying to battle sky-high inflation or have taken on additional responsibilities and feel like you’re in a position to ask for more.


5. Schedule a meeting

A raise is a big deal, and chances are, your boss will need plenty of time to mull over what you’re asking. So before signing off, make sure they know that you’re open to scheduling a meeting to discuss this proposition further. This will give you both more time to prepare and dive deeper into the request, and will also give you extra time to talk through your ask, get clear on what you’re looking for, and prepare for possible negotiations.


6. Be polite and gracious

Above all else, keep the tone of your email polite and gracious. Thank your boss for their time at the end of the email and show appreciation for them and your current position in the company. This will help you stay professional and look good to the higher-ups, which can definitely work in your favor.


Raise Request Email Template

Template 1

Hi [Manager’s Name],

I hope you’re doing well. I’m reaching out today because I believe now would be a good time to discuss my compensation for my role as [job title].

I have made significant contributions to the company over the last X years, including [insert accomplishments]. I have also taken on additional responsibility in X ways over the past year, which shows my commitment to the team beyond my job description.

Given all of this, as well as what people with my experience make in my position, I would like to ask for a salary increase of X%, and would love to set up a meeting with you to discuss this further.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]


Template 2

Hi [Manager’s Name],

Now that I’ve been at [Company Name] for X years, I wanted to reach out and see if we could schedule a time to talk about an increased compensation of X%. Based on my contributions of X, along with the current job market and rising inflation, I believe this is a reasonable ask. 

I’m very proud of the work I’ve done and am excited to continue growing my role alongside the team. I’d like to discuss this more with you, so let me know if we can schedule a time to chat after you’ve had the chance to consider my request.

Thank you so much!


[Your Name]


Template 3

Hi [Manager’s Name],

I’m reaching out today to discuss my compensation.

Since my salary was established, I have shown commitment to my role and demonstrated my abilities as a team player and trustworthy employee. In addition to my day-to-day duties, I’ve also made contributions that have greatly benefited the company, including:

  • [insert accomplishment here]
  • [insert accomplishment here]
  • [insert accomplishment here]

My current salary is $XX,XXX, which is X% lower than the average salary of someone in my position with my skill set. Based on this information, along with my skill set and work performance, I would like to request a salary increase of X%.

Please let me know if we can set up a time to discuss this further. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]


What To Do if You’re Told “No”

What happens if you send that email, have a meeting with your manager, and are ultimately told “no”? Whether your manager provided you with feedback that will help you get to where you want to be or your company just doesn’t currently have the budget (despite the fact you’re qualified), that answer is tough to hear. Sit with your feelings for a moment and then take one of these next steps:

If you’ve been given constructive feedback, reflect on this conversation and then meet with your manager to discuss next steps. Ask them what they’d need to see from you in order for you to earn that raise. Then, in your subsequent check-ins with them, demonstrate the ways in which you are working towards that place. If you check everything off their list, that raise will be yours in no time. 

On the other hand, be prepared for a no if your company is not financially in a place to give you a raise. Chances are they see how hard you work, want to give you the raise you deserve, but can’t at this time. Ask your manager when a good time to circle back would be and mark that date on your calendar. In the meantime, keep being the kickass employee you are so when the time comes, you might be able to receive an even bigger bump than you originally asked for.