How To Write an Email to Ask Someone to Do Something

In a business setting, asking someone to complete a task requires significant tact and a clear set of instructions. A good way to approach this is through email.

To ask someone to do something in an email, establish what the task is quickly, give detailed instructions for proceeding, and offer a method of contact should the recipient need clarification.

Here’s what you need to know about writing an email to ask someone to do something.

What you might ask someone to do via email

There are plenty of workplace tasks you might ask someone to complete via email, including

  • Analytical reports
  • Case studies
  • Administrative tasks
  • Special projects such as presentations

The exact nature of the tasks you assign or ask for assistance on will vary depending on your industry. You may also ask about less formal tasks such as setting up holiday parties or activities, assistance with event planning, making connections between coworkers, or making changes to a set routine. Additionally, you might want to ask someone to adjust their behavior via email before bringing the issue to a higher authority in your workplace.

How to write an email to ask someone to do something

When asking someone to complete a task, it’s first important to inform them why it’s their responsibility unless this is a recurring request. Explain their connection to the project or, if you’re asking for assistance with something, explain why you picked them.

From there, it’s important to offer clear instructions for what you expect the recipient to do. At the very least, you’ll want to outline what your expectations are as well as what first step they may take to complete the task. You’ll also want to include an expected timeframe.

After that, showing your gratitude for their assistance is a good idea, as is offering contact information so that, if there is any confusion or need for clarification, they can get back to you. You may also want to include a note saying that you are willing to meet to discuss the project.

Email template to ask someone to do something

Here’s what an email asking someone to do something might look like. Keep in mind that, because there are many different types of tasks you may request from your team, you may need to adjust this template to better suit your needs.

SUBJECT: Request – Could you [Task]?

Hi [Recipient Name],

I’m connecting with you about [Project] OR I’m reaching out for your assistance with [Project]. I believe you’re well suited to the role because of [Qualification].

What I need from you is [Description of the Task]. This should take roughly [Timeframe]; you can [Suggestion] to get started.

I appreciate your time and help with this matter. If you have any questions or need any clarification, please don’t hesitate to reach out via [Method] at [Contact Information]. I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss this in more detail.

Thank you again,