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  1. Blog
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How to Craft a Salary Negotiation Email (with Examples)

Plus, tips for striking the right tone

Woman researching salaries ahead of negotiating
Photo courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko

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Negotiating anything can be stressful. When it comes to securing a good salary, it’s hard to know the magic number that everyone can agree on, much less what you’re really worth as an employee. Both you and the company have differing priorities that don’t always align.

But most of the time, by simply asking for a higher salary, your only risk is getting a “no” in return. Since that’s the truth of the matter, it never hurts to ask during the job offer negotiation. And if they can’t meet your number or at least negotiate with you, then it’s time to decide if you can really make the role work.

The salary negotiation email typically comes after you receive a job offer. This is where you outline the salary you want and why you think you should get it. You send it to the HR representative or hiring manager who you’ve been talking to and interviewing with to ask for a higher salary than the one offered.

This all seems pretty simple. But numerous research has shown that women are hesitant to negotiate at all, even though negotiations more often than not turn into more money, or at least better benefits or other perks. This guide will walk through some stats about how women approach negotiations, tips for creating your salary negotiation email, and a few examples to get you started.

Gender and salary negotiation: Why many women don’t negotiate 

Unfortunately, research has shown time and again that women are less likely than men to negotiate their salaries, which contributes to the ongoing gender pay gap. When women start with lower salaries at one job, they make less at the next and the next and so on—they’re forever behind. 

Carol Frohlinger of Negotiating Women co-created a survey of 500 women that asks how they handle salary negotiations, if at all, and how they feel about doing it. The survey found that just 16 percent of women always negotiate their compensation after a job offer or during evaluations. Only 15 percent of women strongly believe they’re effective negotiators.

One reason for the latter finding could be that women haven’t had very good negotiation experiences. Frohlinger says, “Rather than use each new opportunity to build confidence, there is a tendency to let past experiences undermine their ability to advocate for themselves.” 

Even still, money is associated with success in many industries. Frohlinger says that “while it is about more than just salary, money is one indicator that contributes to an overall feeling of career success.”

Women tend to feel more uncomfortable and apprehensive about negotiating in general. Surveys have shown that 2.5 times more women say they feel “a great deal” of apprehension about negotiating than men, and men negotiate four times as often as women. 

As Katie Shonk wrote for the blog of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, “women may be uncomfortable negotiating forcefully on their own behalf, a tendency that’s supported by evidence suggesting they face a social backlash in the workplace for doing so.”

These aren’t great numbers or facts to deal with when you’re navigating job opportunities and offers. As a woman, how can you improve your negotiation skills and get the salary you’re looking for? Next up, we’ll cover how to craft a winning salary negotiation email.

Writing a salary negotiation email: 8 tips for crafting a message with impact

You’ve just received a job offer email, or you’re due for a raise, and it’s time to write that negotiation email. These eight tips will help you send something you’re proud of, and you might just land a higher salary.

1. Don’t rush it

It may be tempting to reply to an offer right away, especially when you know you deserve more and are ready to list all the reasons why. But it’s wise to take some time and think about what you want to say and gather all applicable information. Write a few drafts of your email and remember that you have a bit of time to respond.

2. Stay professional

Another tactic women may drift toward is over-explaining everything in an attempt to justify the ask. Remember that you don’t need to give your life story or even explain why you need more money in your personal life. Stick to your qualifications and how they align with the numbers you’re asking for.

3. Be grateful but firm

You never want it to seem like you’re scoffing at an offer, especially if you actually want to work there. Show gratitude and enthusiasm about receiving the job offer so they know you’re serious about taking it. Talk about your excitement about the position. But, still be firm in asking for what you deserve. It’s more than possible to balance these two elements perfectly in an email.

4. Be super specific

It’s wise to have your ideal salary in mind before you even receive an offer. But after you see what they’re putting on the table, you need to be completely clear about what you want and why. Although ranges can be beneficial early in the job exploration process, ask for the specific salary you think you deserve when it comes down to the actual negotiation.

5. Emphasize your qualifications

You also need to make a strong case. List the qualifications you have that specifically relate to the job responsibilities at hand. Talk about your experience and how it sets you apart. Bring up particular projects where you excelled. Reference specific numbers you were responsible for that benefited your current company. This is where you can be convincing about what you’re worth and why. 

6. Back up your ask with research

Some companies may low-ball you, even while industry averages are higher. Do your research when coming up with your number. Consider including what the industry average is for your role’s salary as support for your ask. This helps you show the hiring team that you know your worth and won’t settle for less.

7. Mention other offers you received

It’s certainly acceptable to be interviewing elsewhere and considering other offers. If you’ve received a competing offer with a higher salary, but you’re really hoping to work for this company, you can bring up that offer in your negotiations. Let them know that their offer is your first choice if they can match the salary (but only if that’s really true).

8. Prepare for different response scenarios

After you’ve created the perfect email and sent it along for consideration, prepare for a few different ways the negotiations could go. Often companies will accept a counter offer on the first try, but they may also try to negotiate with you a bit more. You should know what you will and won’t agree to upfront instead of waiting until they send another offer along. Also think about whether you’re willing to accept the role if they flat out say no.

Salary negotiation email examples for different scenarios  

It’s helpful to see what an effective salary negotiation email looks like. Use these examples as templates for your situation.

Example 1: Bringing in research

Dear (Hiring manager’s name),

Thank you for offering me the communications manager role at [company name]. The role sounds like it’s exactly what I’m looking for, and I feel my experience aligns well with the job responsibilities.

I wanted to discuss the proposed salary. The industry average for communications managers is around $115,000, and I believe that with my 12 years of experience as a communications specialist, that this is fair for the role. Please consider this request. 

I look forward to hearing back from you.


(Your name)

Example 2: Discussing specific qualifications and accomplishments

Dear (Hiring manager’s name),

First, I want to say how grateful I am to have received the job offer for communications manager at [company name]. I enjoyed meeting with you, and I’m excited about the possibility of working with you in a role that I feel aligns so well with my career goals. 

However, I feel that my experience as a communications specialist for the last 12 years, combined with my BA and MA in communications, warrants a salary closer to $115,000 for the role of director. In my current position, I’ve overseen numerous projects to promote [current company]’s brands and products and, in conjunction with the marketing department, we’ve increased the marketing ROI by 15%. I thus feel that this salary more closely aligns with the value I’ll be bringing to the role.

Thanks again for the offer, and I look forward to hearing more from you.


(Your name)

Example 3: Discussing other offers

Dear (Hiring manager’s name),

I was thrilled to receive the offer for the communications manager position with [company name], especially after learning more about the role and meeting with the team.

Before I accept, I want to discuss the base salary. I have received another offer from a different company for a similar role with a salary of $115,000. My first choice is [this company], however, so I’m prepared to accept if you are able to match this salary.

I’m excited about the possibility of working together, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


(Your name)

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