Regret Email Sample: Apologize Professionally with Our Template

As much as we would like to avoid it, sometimes sending a regret email is necessary. Whether you are declining a job offer, cancelling plans with a friend, or postponing a project deadline, a regret email can be a difficult message to craft. Not only do you want to convey your apologies and empathize with the recipient, but you also want to preserve a positive and professional relationship with them. But fear not, dear reader, for in this article we will provide you with regret email samples that you can refer to and even tweak to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us guide you in your quest to send the perfect regret email.

The Best Structure for a Regret Email Sample

As much as we may try to avoid it, there are times when we have to deliver bad news to someone. In business, this often takes the form of a regret email, in which we inform a client, customer, or colleague that their request cannot be fulfilled or their proposal cannot be accepted.

But how do we structure such an email? How can we convey our message in a clear and compassionate manner, while also maintaining professionalism and respect? Based on my experience and research, here is a suggested structure for a regret email:

1. Acknowledge the Request

Begin your email by acknowledging the person’s request and expressing appreciation for their interest and effort. This shows that you value their input and understand their perspective. For example:

Dear [Recipient],

Thank you for your recent [request/proposal/inquiry]. We appreciate the time and thought you put into [describing your needs/sharing your ideas/asking your questions].

2. Explain the Situation

Next, provide a clear and honest explanation of why you cannot fulfill the request or accept the proposal. Be specific and objective, avoiding overly technical or emotional language. If possible, suggest alternative options or resources that may be helpful. For example:

Unfortunately, after careful consideration and analysis, we are not able to [approve your proposal/offer that product/fulfill that request]. The reason for this decision is [due to budget constraints/based on legal regulations/reflected in our current priorities]. However, we would like to [suggest a similar product or service/offer you a discount on your next purchase/invite you to attend our upcoming event].

3. Express Regret and Gratitude

At this point, it is important to express genuine regret for the inconvenience, disappointment, or frustration that your decision may cause. This shows that you empathize with the person’s feelings and that you take their feedback seriously. You can also express gratitude for their patience, understanding, or loyalty, as appropriate. For example:

We understand that this news may be disappointing, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or confusion it may cause. We value your business/feedback/partnership and want to assure you that we are committed to [improving our service/supporting our community/finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs]. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this process.

4. Provide Contact Information

Finally, make yourself available for further communication or clarification. Provide your contact information, such as email address or phone number, so that the person can reach out to you with any follow-up questions or concerns. This shows that you are accessible and willing to help, even if you cannot fulfill their immediate request. For example:

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email/phone number]. We are here to assist you in any way we can and to ensure that your experience with us is positive and productive.

Best regards,

[Your Name and Title]

By following this structure, you can deliver a regret email that is clear, respectful, and informative. You can also enhance your professional image and maintain a positive relationship with the recipient, even in the face of disappointing news. So the next time you have to write a regret email, don’t panic – just remember these four steps and you’ll be on your way to crafting a successful message.

Sample Regret Emails for Different Reason

Regret Email for Job Application


Thank you for your interest in the position we had advertised. We received a high volume of applications, and unfortunately, we could not move forward with your application.

We appreciate the time and effort you put into your application and wish you the best of luck in your future job search.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for Product Delay

Dear Valued Customer,

We regret to inform you that there has been a delay in the shipment of your order. We understand the inconvenience this delay may have caused you and are working hard to ensure that your product is delivered as soon as possible.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter and apologize for any inconvenience this delay has caused you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for a Cancellation

Dear [Customer Name],

We regret to inform you that we have had to cancel your reservation. We understand how disappointing this news may be, and we want to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please know that we have tried our best to accommodate your request, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel your reservation. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for a Refund Request

Dear [Customer Name],

We received your request for a refund, and we regret to inform you that we are unable to process your request at this time. Unfortunately, our policy does not allow refunds after the expiration date.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for Scholarship Application

Dear [Applicant Name],

Thank you for submitting your application for our scholarship program. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we could not accept your application this year.

We received many applications this year, and the competition was tough. However, we encourage you to continue applying for scholarships as we believe in your potential and wish you the best of luck in your future studies.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for Project Proposal

Dear [Client Name],

We regret to inform you that, after careful consideration of your project proposal, we cannot proceed with the project at this time. We understand the time and effort you put into your proposal, and we appreciate it.

However, after analyzing your proposal, we believe that we may not have the necessary expertise to handle the project. We wish you the best of luck in your future projects and hope to have the opportunity to work with you in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Email for Interview

Dear [Applicant Name],

Thank you for your interest in our company and for taking the time to come to an interview.

After careful consideration of all the candidates, we regret to inform you that we cannot offer you the position at this time. We appreciate the time and effort you put into your preparation for the interview.

We encourage you to continue honing your skills and to apply for future positions with our company as we believe in your potential. Thank you again for your interest in our company, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

How to Write a Regret Email: Tips and Strategies

Writing a regret email can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re declining a request, turning down an offer or denying someone’s application, there are certain guidelines you can follow to ensure your message is empathetic, professional and memorable. Here are some tips and strategies to help you write a regret email that respects the recipient’s feelings and protects your reputation.

Acknowledge the situation

Start your email by acknowledging the situation and the recipient’s efforts. Thank them for their interest, time and resources. If relevant, explain why you can’t fulfill their request or offer, but avoid personal attacks, excuses or lies. Make it clear that you appreciate their approach but can’t meet their expectations. Use appropriate tone and language that reflect the seriousness of the matter and convey your empathy.

Provide feedback or advice

If appropriate, offer some feedback or advice to the recipient on how they can improve their request, offer or application in the future. Be constructive, specific and respectful. Share your experience, knowledge and perspective in a way that adds value to the recipient and shows your willingness to help. Remember that your feedback or advice doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should be relevant and actionable.

Close on a positive note

End your email on a positive note that leaves a good impression and shows that you’re open to future communication or opportunities. Express your confidence in the recipient’s talent, skills or potential, or suggest other possible ways you can work together. Avoid making promises you can’t keep or being too friendly or casual. Keep it professional, courteous and sincere. Thank the recipient again for their interest and say goodbye.

Proofread and test

Before sending your regret email, make sure you proofread it carefully and test it on different devices and platforms. Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting and tone errors. Make sure your email is clear, concise, relevant and actionable. Test your email on desktop and mobile devices, and on different email clients and web browsers, to ensure it looks and functions as intended. Use a professional signature that includes your name, title, company and contact information.

Follow up if necessary

Depending on the urgency, importance and context of the situation, consider following up with the recipient after sending your regret email. This can be in the form of a phone call, a personalized note or a meeting, depending on what’s appropriate and practical. If you promised to provide feedback or advice, make sure you deliver it on time and with quality. If you’re open to future communication or opportunities, let the recipient know they can reach out to you anytime. Remember that your follow-up should be genuine, helpful and respectful.

FAQs about Regret Email Sample

What is a regret email?

A regret email is a type of email sent to someone to decline an offer or opportunity that was presented to them.

Why should I send a regret email?

Sending a regret email is a polite and professional way to decline an offer or opportunity while showing respect and appreciation.

What should be the tone of a regret email?

The tone of a regret email should be polite, respectful, and empathetic. It should convey that the decision was not easy, but necessary.

What should be included in a regret email?

A regret email should include a clear and concise statement of declining the offer or opportunity, a brief explanation, gratitude, and best wishes for future opportunities.

How soon should I send a regret email?

You should send a regret email as soon as possible after making a decision, ideally within 24-48 hours of receiving the offer or invitation.

If I change my mind, can I retract a regret email?

If you change your mind and decide to accept an offer or opportunity that you previously declined in a regret email, you should inform the recipient as soon as possible. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the recipient may have moved on.

Is it necessary to explain why I am declining the offer or opportunity in a regret email?

It’s not necessary to provide a lengthy explanation, but a brief explanation can help the recipient understand and respect your decision.

Should I apologize in a regret email?

You should express regret for any inconvenience caused by your decision, but avoid using language that implies guilt or wrongdoing.

What is the benefit of sending a regret email?

Sending a regret email shows professionalism and respect, creates a good impression, and can lead to future opportunities and relationships.

Don’t Let Regret Emails Be a Nightmare: Use These Samples Instead

Phew, we’ve covered a lot here! Hopefully, these samples have inspired you to craft your own regret email that shows your sincere apology and that you value your relationship with the recipient. Remember to keep a friendly, empathetic tone, and don’t be afraid to add a touch of humanity to your message. Thanks for reading, and we can’t wait for you to visit us again soon!