Wondering how to write an effective meeting request email?
In the new Zoom work culture era, you’re probably sending more requests for meetings than ever before. And whether you’re a boss or a colleague of the person you’re scheduling with, it’s a good idea to take your time writing these messages.
A well-crafted email will set your time together up for success. A sloppy email might doom your meeting before it ever starts, as employees may skim the email, not prepare, or miss the memo altogether.
Here are some best practices to follow when you arrange a meeting and sample at the end.
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Write a clear subject line
Your subject line is the first part of any meeting request email that you send. There’s no need to put hours into thinking about your subject, but it’s still a good idea to craft what you write in the header carefully.
A poorly crafted subject line might put an employee on guard. Making false promises could lead the employee to anticipate the meeting. If the meeting doesn’t meet their expectations, they may not be as enthusiastic down the road.
Start your email with a clear, thought-out headline. Make it relevant to what your meeting will be about. Avoid weird fonts, emojis, and long, run-on sentences. Somewhere between 1 and 8 words is plenty for your subject header.
Avoid copy and paste
You know making a request for a meeting can be challenging. It doesn’t matter whether it’s to a superior to discuss your future or to an employee to go over some simple plans.
What you need to remind yourself is that emails don’t always get read. Even in the best work cultures, people tend to skim emails when they come from the same parties frequently or don’t contain valuable information. That’s why you need to make each email you send count and avoid spamming.
One way to do this is to never copy and paste. This is basic email etiquette. If you have to send multiple meeting request emails to several people, you can use the “bones” of a meeting invitation sample to get your point across.
But be sure to address them with their name, include any relevant information, and write a short customized sign-off. This tells people you took the time to craft the note, which means they’ll be more likely to give you their time and attention.
Outline the intent of the meeting
Every meeting invitation template you find online will have a few things in common. One is a clear outline of what your meeting will be about. (Perhaps the goals of the meeting and talking points will also be included.)
Why is this important? Because employees want to know what meetings are going to be about. It also gives them a chance to prepare for the meeting so they can bring up relevant questions and bring important information to it.
Put the intention of your meeting in the first two paragraphs. Right after the short greeting is a good spot for it. Don’t bury it in one long paragraph, either. Two to three sentences per paragraph will help prevent skimming.
Provide several time slots
Offering flexibility is important for morale when it comes to meeting request emails on Zoom or in person. Saying you “have” to be somewhere at a specific time isn’t going to win over many people, and may get the meeting off to a poor start.
As the person sending the email, there are two ways you can provide flexibility.
First, offer 2–4 time slots in the next few days (or your desired time frame) to book an appointment. Try to provide meetings at different times throughout the day. This way, if afternoons are bad for someone, they don’t have to rearrange their schedule.
Second, you can send them an online calendar. Apps like Calendly make it easy to schedule meetings. Both parties will get a reminder notification about it the day of, too.
Give a clear call to action
One other key to making a request for a meeting is to give clear directions. What are you asking the recipient to do? What do they need to put together or create between now and the time you sit down?
Outlining your requests as clearly as possible will set you up to have an effective meeting. Put your call to action(s) in bullet points or single-paragraph format. You can bold them if you like, but don’t go overboard with highlights, capital letters, or strange fonts.
Look online at business meeting request email samples to see how people arrange their CTAs. Avoid asking for more than three things in one email. More than three will likely overwhelm your people or subconsciously make your emails feel burdensome.
When you send email requests matters, too. Too early means people will forget about your meeting. Waiting too long might make you seem irresponsible or disorganized.
Try sending meeting requests 5–10 business days ahead of time. This gives you time to follow up 24–48 hours beforehand.
Send a short confirmation email (1–2 sentences are fine) or shoot them a text.
Sending a meeting request email
It’s more likely now than ever before that you’ll need to send a meeting request email at work.
The key to doing it well is to take each part of the process seriously. Craft an intentional, well-thought-out message. People are simply more to work hard for you when they see you’re putting the time and effort in.
Start with the subject line, then clearly outline your intent and calls to action. And avoid copy and pasting messages.
Meeting request email sample
Dear [Recipient Name]
I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss [topic/topics to discuss].
The goal of this meeting is to [objective] and the following people will also join us:
- [Person name 1 — title—why this person is needed]
- [Person name 2 — title — why this person is needed]
- [Person name 3— title —why this person is needed]
Please tell me your available dates and timings and I will adjust accordingly. Alternatively, I suggest the following times:
- [Time slot 1]
- [Time slot 2]
- [Time slot 3]
I appreciate your consideration and hope to meet you soon. Thank you for your time.
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