How to Write a Reminder Letter to Meet a Deadline

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Busy people appreciate reminder letters about important deadlines.
Busy people appreciate reminder letters about important deadlines. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

People lead busy lives and don't always remember when they need to do something. Sending out reminder letters about a deadline may simply be a professional courtesy or it may be part of your accounts system. The tone of these letters depends on the reason why you're sending a reminder. For example, you'll use a supportive tone if you're reminding busy parents about the deadline for signing up to summer camp. A business letter threatening legal action if a bill isn't paid requires a different approach. Effective reminder letters are sent well before the deadline to give the recipient time to act.

Write the letter with a conversational tone if the letter is meant as a friendly reminder. For a friendly letter, use the first paragraph to start the letter in a light-hearted way, such as making an observation about how springtime is quickly coming to the end, and that means the deadline for signing up for summer camp is fast approaching. For a stern business letter, get to the point immediately by indicating why you are writing and why the recipient must respond to the letter.

Start the second paragraph by clearly stating the deadline. Give clear, specific information about the deadline, such as Wednesday, December 7, at 5 p.m. ET. The time is optional, but is useful in certain instances.

Provide clear instructions on how to meet the deadline. Possibilities including sending a payment so that it is received on or before the deadline, or signing up online for a function before the deadline. List other relevant information such as the payment amount due, or other information necessary to complete the task.

Tell the recipient the consequences for missing the deadline. For example, point out that people registering after the deadline will pay a higher fee or that there are no provisions for late registration.

End with a complimentary closing such as "Warm regards," or "Sincerely yours."

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