When asking for information in an email, it’s important to be clear and concise. This is especially true for personal information such as identifying documentation or records. In an age of common identity theft, sharing personal information has become increasingly more dangerous and therefore left more people on their guard.
To ask someone for personal information in an email, be clear about what you need the information for and how it will be used. Ask for specific information or documentation, and offer an option to confirm your identity before the information is sent. Give a specific deadline for receipt of the information and a timeline for its use and storage.
How to Write an Email to Ask Someone for Personal Information
As mentioned, sharing personal information online, especially through email, has become more dangerous in a digital landscape full of phishing scams and misinformation. Because of this, you’ll often find that people are reluctant to send personal information unless they know they can explicitly trust the source.
So, as a vital first step, make sure that you verify your identity to the recipient. Use a professional email address that is publicly available for your company. Identify yourself by name and offer to speak in person before they send anything to you if they request to do so.
Once you’ve done that, you can explain why you need their personal information, exactly what you need, and how it will be used. You should then explain how long you’re going to keep the information on file.
Finally, you can offer a specific deadline for when you need their information. Be sure you respond once you get their information to thank them and assure them that it has been received.
Information Email Template
This template for asking about personal information can be adjusted for your situation.
SUBJECT: Information Request from [Company]
My name is [Name] and I am contacting you on behalf of [Company] regarding [Issue/Subject]. In order to progress, we need more information from you. If you would like to verify the legitimacy of this email, you can contact me at [Contact Information] available on our company website.
We’re asking for more information regarding [Issue/Subject]. [Describe]. The specific information we need is [Describe]. This information will be used to [Purpose] and will be kept in our records for [Timeline].
Please have this information back to us by [Date/Time], as we are on a strict deadline. Thank you.
Here’s what this email would look like if it were requesting identifying documents from a potential job candidate.
SUBJECT: Information Request from ABC Corp.
My name is Alison and I am contacting you on behalf of ABC Corp regarding your application to our Project Manager position. In order to progress, we need more information from you. If you would like to verify the legitimacy of this email, you can contact me at [Contact Information] available on our company website.
We’re asking for more information regarding your identifying documentation. During the hiring process, we need personal identification documents from our candidates so that we can run appropriate background checks for qualification. Since we liked your application and are considering moving you forward in the process, we require this documentation from you. The specific information we need is a valid federal ID such as a driver’s license or passport. This information will be used to verify your citizenship and check for specific criminal charges including fraud, and will be kept in our records for one year following receipt.
Please have this information back to us by July 21st at 11:59 PM, as we are on a strict deadline. Thank you.
Hiring Manager, ABC Corp