How To Negotiate Salary in an Email (With Samples)
Negotiating a salary through email is an important skill that could help you earn adequate compensation for your experience, education and skills. Whether you’re responding to an initial job offer or asking for a raise, it’s important to understand the salary negotiation process. Learning more about salary negotiation emails and reviewing samples could help you negotiate your salary effectively. In this article, we explain what a salary negotiation email is, discuss why they’re important, show how to negotiate salary in an email and provide tips and samples for you to reference.
A salary negotiation email is a document you can send to employers or hiring managers to discuss payment options. Occasionally, you may negotiate a salary in an in-person meeting or interview, but it’s common to do this over email in many industries. You may send a salary negotiation email after receiving a job offer for a new role or while you’re working for a company and want to request a raise. In a salary negotiation email, an employee or prospective employee proposes a new salary amount and their reasoning.
The employer can then read the email and may respond with a counteroffer to reach a compromise. For example, if you receive a job offer and the hiring manager offers you a salary of $40,000 per year, and you think, based on your experience and training, your salary can be closer to $50,000, you might negotiate this in an email before signing the job offer. The hiring manager might accept your proposed salary, or they may suggest a counteroffer. For instance, they might offer $45,000 as a compromise.
Why is it important to write a salary negotiation email?
It’s important to write a salary negotiation email when you feel your qualifications and experiences deserve a higher rate of pay. Ideally, a job offer matches your salary expectations, but occasionally it might be lower than you anticipate or desire. This may occur after receiving an initial job offer. It can also occur when you’re excelling in a role and think it’s time for a raise.
The offer is lower than anticipated. If you’re moving into a new role and you have the necessary skills and experience and the company offers a lower salary, you may consider negotiating a higher rate.
You’re successful in your role. If you’re been in your role for a while and are succeeding or completing additional tasks, you may consider writing a negotiation email requesting a higher salary. You may also choose to negotiate a raise in person.
The standard of living has changed. Over time, the standard of living costs, such as housing, transportation and food, can rise. If this occurs and your salary has remained constant, you may consider negotiating a raise in an email.
Negotiating a new salary can help you find the right role for your career and personal goals. Writing a negotiation email can give you time to craft a professional and thoughtful request, which may help you earn a higher salary.
Showing just cause – the practical approach
For this approach to work, add up the value of the entire package, not just the annual wage. For example, are stock options, health insurance, use of a company gym or a generous retirement contribution compensating you for a lower salary than you would prefer?
For instance, will it lead to considerable relocation costs and a higher standard of living rate in your new destination? Will there be considerable commuting costs not covered by the package as it stands?
“Though the salary in your job offer is above the one I currently earn, my new role will involve more hours and more travel. I am hoping you will agree to increase the salary offer, to compensate for the high investment of time I intend to contribute to supporting your business development.”
The best factual argument for increasing a job offer salary though is if the level is below the accepted norm for that role! Do some research and politely point out salary averages for the post, and the minimum you feel is appropriate.
The value of your experience and expertise
It’s not just your time that you need your new employer to recognise and reward. Know your professional worth – especially if the post is a hard-to-fill one, in technical or skill areas that are highly in demand.
If you feel the job offer doesn’t fully match your level of skill and career progression, you are well within your rights to say so. This is an especially strong negotiation standpoint if the vacancy was advertised with a sliding salary scale, and you didn’t get offered the upper limit.
You could even use this as an opportunity to point out attributes and experiences that may not have been fully communicated in your interview. It also involves showing confidence in your value to the organisation, without appearing boastful. (Or inflating your abilities beyond what you can deliver!)
“My management/technical abilities were greatly enhanced during projects I didn’t get a chance to outline in my interview. Therefore, there are professional capabilities that may not have been taken into account when setting this salary offer.”
“I would be pleased to discuss this further, but my experience and expertise warrant a higher remuneration, which will be apparent as soon as I start work for you. So, I am requesting a starting salary of. “
Negotiate Salary at Amazon
Salary negotiating at Amazon is different from other big tech companies, mainly the other members of the FAANG ( Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google), due to the unique structure of their compensation packages, which are designed primarily to attract and retain talent for a long time. Amazon likes to offer creative options to modify their salary benefits instead of concentrating purely on hard sums. This is why it is important to note that employees who are more flexible about their payment options will negotiate their salaries more successfully. Plus, since Amazon likes to retain talent for a long time, their salary structures get better with the number of years an employee has worked for them, especially after the second year. At first glance, things can seem quite complicated for the uninitiated. But there is no reason to worry. We will first understand Amazon’s salary structure and then go into tips on properly navigating through them to get the deal that suits you the best. Let’s dive right in.
This is the stable and predictable component of the salary offer. Amazon is the only big tech company with a strict base salary cap in place, depending on geographic location. The base salary cap in Seattle will be different from the base salary cap in San Francisco. Everybody is subject to this base salary cap, even the CEO himself, which Amazon likes to remind its employees of frequently. If an offer runs into the base salary cap, it is better to negotiate the bonuses and equity. Senior roles often get large equity grants and sign-on bonuses with modest base salaries. Base salary can be improved up to a point, but an employee should not expect any significant changes at once.
Unlike other big tech companies, the performance bonuses offered at Amazon are highly unpredictable. After much pressure, recruiters will eventually disclose that only a small percentage of high-performing employees receive a performance bonus. Most offer letters from Amazon don’t even include a section outlining the target performance bonus. Therefore, it is essential to have the performance bonus offered by other companies if those companies offer performance bonuses while comparing offers from them with that of Amazon. Simply comparing base salaries, signing bonuses, and equity value might end up giving an illusion of a better deal where there isn’t one.
Just like performance bonuses, stock refreshers are also offered rarely at Amazon. Like all companies, they are dependent upon the performance reviews of each employee. While they exist at Amazon, one would be hard-pressed to find an employee who gets some, especially at the junior levels. Furthermore, they are also at usually lower dollar values compared to other big tech companies. It is essential to consider these before comparing compensation packages offered by Amazon and any other tech giant.
- Before the Job Offer
- The recruiter from Amazon will ask for your current salary or your salary history. Never tell them your salary history. This is illegal in some states, so you will be well within your rights to not say so. If not, then politely decline, saying that you are not comfortable with sharing your salary details.
- They will also ask about what your expectations are regarding a compensation package. Again, never tell them what you expect. You will be guessing numbers that might sound good to you, while they will know what a proper number is for a person with your skillset. Also, with Amazon’s equity distribution schedule being so complex, it is difficult to come up with any actual number per se. Throwing in an arbitrary number may result in you losing out the money in the future. You are much better off with letting them give you a number and then negotiating from there. When you are asked this question, say something about not having thought of salary yet and just focusing on the job. Add that you are sure that you can reach a number that’s best for everyone, to be polite.
- The first thing to do is to see whether the base salary you are offered is anywhere near the base cap. For this, you have to be aware of what the base cap is in your area. After that, you will have a clear idea if you can negotiate on the base salary or if it would be better to talk about your signing bonus and equity shares. It is important to improve the signing bonus for the Year 1 and Year 2 gaps while waiting for the bulk of the equity in Year 3 and Year 4 if you receive more equity.
- Amazon likes to move fast with its recruitment process. This can be both a boon and a curse. This will result in more deadline pressure for employees, especially at the junior level, to come up with their salary expectations. However, it is best to deflect and let them make an offer first. Then you can take time to digest that offer and come up with a counteroffer in time. You can buy yourself more time by breaking up the process into separate calls. Furthermore, if you have an offer from Amazon, you should always let other companies you are negotiating with know this. This will put pressure on them to speed up their selection process for you as well.
- Since Amazon offers very poor benefits such as vacation (two weeks only), ask about job benefits and compare them with other companies if you have a competing offer. While it is almost impossible to negotiate company benefits into your contract, this can, however, be used as leverage to increase your annual compensation.
- Ask specifically for annual compensation value to avoid scenarios where your annual compensation might be going down in Year 3 and Year 4. Tell the recruiter that you target a specific amount yearly. This will help you compare compensation packages between Amazon and other companies if you have another offer.