How to Ask for a Raise via Email

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Are you hoping to get a raise, but realizing that it’s probably not going to happen without some action on your part? When you need to bring up the subject, but you’re not sure how to begin, sending an email message to your manager can be a way to avoid a possibly awkward in-person conversation.

The decision to grant a salary increase is not one that most managers make lightly. They need time to consider your request, to evaluate your progress on your career track, and to analyze the contributions you have made to the organization. They may also need to review departmental finances to see whether their budget can accommodate a raise.

Finally, they must consider the underlying message they would be sending to you—and to your peers—should they grant your request. Raises are not merely about money—they are psychological confirmation that an employer values an employee and wants to retain them. So, senior management will have to decide whether you are worth this commitment, based on your work history and pattern of contributions.

They also have to anticipate whether their decision to award you a raise will lead to mass requests by other employees for wage increases. If forced to deny raises to other personnel, will they then have to deal with morale issues?

An email request for a meeting to discuss your compensation is a smart way to give your supervisor time to consider your request, check with human resources or management, if necessary, and decide if it’s possible to give you a pay raise.

What to Write in a Salary Increase Email Message

Your message should include:

  • A request for a meeting to discuss your compensation (in the subject line of the message)
  • Why you deserve a salary increase
  • What additional responsibilities you have taken on in your role
  • Any skills or certifications you have acquired since being hired

It’s also a good idea to include information on how much you enjoy your job and working at the company. You don’t want to come across as a disgruntled employee who isn’t paid enough. Also, don't just ask for more money. It's a better strategy to ask for an opportunity to discuss a raise, rather than to simply ask for a bigger paycheck.

When writing the message, don't presume your manager knows everything you've been working on.

People get busy and aren't always aware of how much work their employees have taken on. It's fine to mention what you have been handling and how your role has changed since you started the job.

Write a formal message in a standard business-letter format. Keep it professional even if you are on friendly terms with your boss. Your email may be forwarded to others at the company to review.

The email message format should include:

Need a refresher on how to format an email message for professional correspondence? This primer includes all the information you might’ve forgotten, including appropriate fonts, subject lines, and signatures.

Email Message Asking for a Raise Example

Here is an example of an email message requesting a meeting with a manager to discuss a salary increase.

Subject: Meeting Request - Your Name

Dear Mr. Matthews,

I am grateful for the opportunity to work for you as Development Coordinator for XYZ Nonprofit. Over the past two years, my responsibilities at XYZ have grown significantly, and I not only consistently complete all of these responsibilities, but I do so with an exceptional quality of work. I would, therefore, like to respectfully request a meeting to review my salary.

As you know, my salary has remained the same since I was hired in 20XX. Since then, I have happily added some duties to my workload that have allowed me to contribute even more to the company. For example, I volunteered to develop a quarterly newsletter, and am currently in charge of the writing, formatting, and printing of the publication. As you know, I also recently completed a graduate certificate program in grant writing.

I believe that my increasing contributions to the company and my new qualifications justify a pay raise.

I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss a raise in my salary. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Firstname Lastname
Development Coordinator
XYZ Nonprofit
123 East Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
555-555-5555
firstname.lastname@email.com

Key Takeaways

An Email Message Can Be an Effective Way to Ask for a Raise: It allows your manager to consider your request without putting them on the spot.

Take Care When Composing Your Request: Use business-letter format and make sure your message is ready to be seen by higher-ups.

Don’t Just Ask for More Money: Request an opportunity to discuss your proposal in person.

Make Your Case: List ways in which you have exceeded expectations. Include any skills or certifications you’ve added that make you more valuable to the team.