Inflation has been out of control this year; up to 9.1%, the highest level in 40 years. With living costs skyrocketing, it’s only fair you get a raise; especially if you’ve been working hard.
But how do you ask for a raise politely - and actually get it?
Talking about money might make you (and your superior) uncomfortable. You might not know how to frame your raise request. Your company might shoot your ask down if you don't persuade them you deserve one.
So here are 5 smart ways to ask for a raise via email successfully. We include tips, templates, and a sneaky way to get the raise you want using video.
Is It Okay to Ask for a Raise via Email?
Yes and no. It's okay to ask for a salary negotiation via email. But you should only say you want more compensation; not ask for specific terms.
The reason is that emails are impersonal and easier to say "no" to. They also take away your ability to negotiate in real-time. Save your actual salary increase request for an in-person meeting.
If you're really smart, add video to your email to help persuade your supervisor. According to Wordstream, 95% of viewers retained the message from a video compared to only 10% who read the same message.
Video email is also easier for your supervisor to watch. They're already reading messages all day; a short video will give them a welcome break from that.
When Should You Ask for a Raise?
Here are the best times to ask for a raise.
- After you've been hired but before you start working. Did you get low-balled? Are you being given additional responsibility on top of the original job description? Now's a great time to ask for a pay rise. You have all the power and leverage.
- Before and after your performance review. Use reviews to highlight valuable contributions and ask for a well-deserved raise.
- Around the date you joined the company, i.e. your anniversary date. It’s easy to highlight your performance and loyalty during this time.
Tip: One of the best times to ask for a raise is around January and February. This is when important staff members return to the office and companies also get their new budgets.
If you recently got a pay raise, you might want to wait at least 6 months before asking for another one. Salary raise requests can be stressful for management; don't overwhelm your higher-ups.
What Does Your Employer Need to Decide?
Giving you a raise isn’t an easy decision for your boss. Let’s look at a few things they’ll want to know before saying "yes" to your request.
- Your recent accomplishments. Your employer wants to see you're productive with KPIs reached, big milestones achieved, and additional responsibility you've taken on recently.
- Your value to the company. How vital are you to the success of the company? The more you contribute and the harder you are to replace, the easier it is to get a raise. Highlight everything that makes you irreplaceable.
- The company budget. Your supervisor or employer will look at their budget to see if they can afford to give you a raise. It's best to ask when your company lands a big new contract, enters a profitable new market, etc.
It's important to mention that giving you a raise may also cause your colleagues to ask for a raise. This can make your employer hesitant to give you a raise. Keep this in mind!
What Should You Say When Asking for a Raise?
Here's what you should say when asking for a raise via email.
- Make a clear request. In the opening paragraph, explain that you want to talk about getting a raise.
- Be reasonable. Don’t give a specific number. Instead, ask for a small raise that you feel deserving of. This makes it easier for your employer to say "yes" to a salary negotiation.
- Ask for support. Ask your colleagues for positive feedback on recent work before asking for a raise. Ask your supervisor to help you secure a fair, new salary. Be cooperative and work with your team, rather than against them, when asking for what you want.
- Proof. Use recent accomplishments, industry average pay data, and anything else you can find to your advantage. Don't just ask for a raise; prove that you deserve one.
- Be polite and gracious. Thank the email's recipient for their time and show appreciation for them. If they can't say "yes" to your raise, be professional.
How Much Money Should I Ask For?
A raise of 10-20% is a reasonable ask. In today's economy, you can go as high as 25-30% in specific circumstances, depending on your market value.
If your role's output, complexity, and/or responsibility have increased a great deal, you can ask for even more money. For example, a developer who's been asked to act as a team lead or project manager for months may deserve more than 30%.
Remember: you are likely to get a counter offer in your upcoming salary negotiation. Ask for more so your employer can bargain you down and still give you what you really want.
If your colleagues share raises and salaries freely, do some research inside your company before asking for a pay rise. This'll give you an idea of how much to ask for.
If you don’t share raises and salaries with colleagues, consider using LinkedIn and Google to research what salaries and raises are like in your industry right now.
5 Templates for Asking for a Raise via Email
I hope you’re well. I’d like to talk about something important to me: an increase in my current salary.
I currently make $42,000 a year and feel like it’s time for me to get a raise, especially with inflation being the way it is. The amount I’d like to negotiate for is reasonable; no scary numbers.
You’ve been supportive of my career so far, so I wanted to message you first and share what’s on my mind. Let me know what you think - and let’s schedule a time to talk about this.
Now that I’ve been at [Sendspark] for 2 years, I wanted to discuss a raise. Given my expanding role and the market conditions, I think that now is a good time.
What do you think? When (and how) could we meet to talk about this?
I’ve been working hard lately, especially on [our marketing efforts]. I wanted to discuss the possibility of me getting a raise. Based on what I know about our company and the job market for my role, I feel like I deserve a reasonable salary increase.
I’m happy to meet in person or on a video call. Please let me know if you’d like to schedule a meeting to talk.
I feel like I’ve been doing a good job in my new role as [CMO] for the past few months. Based on what I know about our company in the market, I’d like to discuss a possible raise in the near future.
You’ve been very supportive of my career so far, and my ask is going to be reasonable. What do you think?
Hope we can connect to discuss this soon.
When I was hired last year, we spoke about the opportunity to move up the ranks by taking on extra responsibility. I feel like I’ve done a great job taking on these tasks in the last 6 months.
I’d like a chance to discuss a raise that reflects the extra work I’m putting in. But I also want to hear from you. What do you think of the work I’m doing?
Hope to chat with you soon.
How to Make Sure You Get the Raise
Bosses are busy people. If you haven’t heard from them in 7-10 days, follow up. If you made a text email the first time, record a video this time. Here’s an example of what to say:
I just want to follow up on this. I’m free this Wednesday or Friday after 1:00 pm to speak about a pay raise. Let me know if either of those times work for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is a lot more powerful than email, and you can send a video for free using Sendspark!
The best way to ask for a raise via email
The best way to ask for a raise via email is to add a video to it. Adding videos to business emails increases engagement by 500% - and you need that when you’re asking for something important, like a raise.
To spruce your email up with an engaging video, get a free Sendspark account today and start recording in seconds. When you’re done, choose an engaging thumbnail and insert your video directly into your email.
Pro tip: to make your videos more persuasive, combine webcam-style selfie shots with on-screen recordings that prove you deserve the raise you’re asking for.