How to write a reminder letter to meet a deadline

Updated March 23, 2017

Reminder letters about a deadline are a professional courtesy. The tone of the letter depends on the situation. Some reminder letters feature a friendly tone, while others are stern. For example, a supportive tone is appropriate for letters reminding busy parents about the deadline for signing up children for a school trip. A business letter threatening legal action if a bill isn't paid merits a different tone. Effective reminder letters are sent well before the deadline to allow time for delivery and the recipient to read the information.

Review notes to confirm details about the deadline -- and the consequences for missing it. Check and double-check the information for correctness.

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 lighthearted way, such as making an observation about how spring is quickly coming to an end, and that means the deadline for signing up for the summer school trip 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, including the date and, in some cases, the time of day

Provide clear instructions on how to meet the deadline. Possibilities include 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 line such as "Warm regards," or "Yours sincerely."

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About the Author

Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.