How do you negotiate salary over email?

You have aced your job interview and now have an offer letter in your inbox/hand, but you are not too pleased. Why? Your salary expectations are not met. You have two options in front of you—you either refuse the offer or try to negotiate for a better figure.

If possible, negotiations done in person are the best, but if you live in a different city or a little far from your workplace, then negotiating through email is the best option.

The person handling the job offer may balk at the idea of a compensation package adjustment and even send you a message saying that they are eager for you to join, but budgetary constraints do not allow them to offer more for the position you have applied for. But do not lose heart; you can be persistent about carrying the discussion further and sticking to your point.

All it takes is a bit of strategy and well-chosen wording. Sometimes there is no room to negotiate the base salary. If that’s the case, then move on to other negotiable items in your compensation package. For example, you can rework the offer on company stocks, more sick leave, travel privileges, a career development fee, signing bonus, company car, tuition reimbursement for children, or an expense account.

Here are a few examples of how to negotiate a better compensation package for yourself.

Request for a salary readjustment email

“Dear (Mr/Ms _____),

I was happy to recieve your offer for the job of (position). I am willing to join the company, but I have certain constraints that do not allow me to accept the salary offered. 

I have ample years of experience in the industry, and my skillset matches your requirement for the job exactly. I know I can contribute well to your team, and I welcome the chance to prove it to you.

As requested, my expected salary is ($_______) excluding benefits and incentives. That’s based on the average annual salary for this position. I am ready to negotiate on t his figure based on a chance for career advancement development and training opportunities.


Dear (Mr/Ms _____)                

Thank you for offering me the job of (position) at (Company Name). The job is a perfect fit for my experience and career goals. I am excited to be a part of such an innovative company.

I’d love to discuss the base salary before signing your offer. At this salary, I will not be able to make the move to your company. Based on my contributions to previous employers, and my previous compensation package, the present offer falls short of expectations and industry standards. I respectfully ask you to consider your initial offer of ($_________).

The average annual salary for this position in our industry ranges from ($_________) to ($_________). I believe an offer of ($_________) is a fair reflection of my qualifications and experience.

Thank you again for your offer. I’m sure we can come to an agreement that’s mutually agreeable to both of us.


Beware that when you make such a strong case for your experience, industry standards and skillset, you have a strong case to back you up on all these factors. If you are moving from a high-profile job with a huge team under you to a smaller outfit with relaxed hours, then the same standards do not apply.

Another job offer in hand email

Another tactic used by people when renegotiating salaries is the threat of a better offer.

How do you word an email detailing that you have an alternative job offer at hand? Again, remember, some companies do not bit this bullet, and you should be prepared to walk away if your terms are not accepted.

Dear Mr/Ms

“Thank you for offering me the (position). 

I would like to discuss the salary offered before I accept the position. While your company is my first choice, I’ve received another offer with a higher base salary of (higher $______).

I’m more interested in working with your company and would readily accept your offer if you could match this base salary. I’m confident that I can contribute greatly to your team. However, I understand that this might be above your budget allocation for the position, and I am open to negotiating on the compensation package that is suitable to both of us.


Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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