How to Write a Proper Apology Email in 2021

If you want to maintain good relationships with clients, you need to acknowledge the mistakes you made. An apology email is an excellent way to do this.

When apologizing through email, you have enough time to think everything over and formulate your apology in the best possible way.

In this article, we will tell you how to apologize via email properly.  

Tip #1: Use an email signature

We recommend you use an email signature with your name and photo to show that the letter is coming from a real person. To create one quickly and easily, take advantage of professional email signature software. 

No worries, you don’t have to code or design anything yourself. You just put in your info, upload a headshot, and the software provides you with a ready-to-use signature.  

To make your sign-off even more personal, draw a signature (a handwritten one) on the screen of your smartphone. Then add your signature as a sign-off to your email footer.

Tip #2: Add a relevant subject line

Coming up with the right subject line is always vital. In apology emails, the subject line is even more important. You should set the right tone from the start. So write the subject line that makes it clear from the first words that it is a sorry email.

Below are a few nice examples of subject lines for the occasion:


  • “I apologize for the confusion”
  • “Whoops! Sorry for the wrong link”
  • “Our bad. Let’s try this again”
  • “Sorry about that”
  • “I’ve made a mistake”


Tip #3: Use images wisely

Most apology letters don’t need any images. Your goal is to apologize sincerely, not to get the attention. However, if it’s an apology email (newsletter) from a company, images are acceptable. But don’t use generic stock photos. Other companies use them too. It’s better when your apology email has unique images that nobody has seen before. For example, you can use a photo that was taken specially for the company.

It would be perfect if you cut back on other fancy design details.

Tip #4: Admit you were wrong and be sincere

Of course, it probably will be the hardest part of writing your sorry email, but it’s crucial to own the mistake and show the reader that you want to take responsibility for your actions.

An insincere apology letter can actually make things worse. After you greet the reader, it’s appropriate to simply say, “I’m sorry,” “I’ve made a mistake,” but be sure not to blame the recipient for anything. Just say you apologize, NOT “I’m sorry, but you…”

Why is it important? 

Did you know that the desire to avoid apologizing is pretty common for humans? Admitting our mistakes is indeed very uncomfortable. Still, it’s OK to fail once in a while. If we want to succeed in life, work, and relations, it’s essential to learn how to apologize properly. Otherwise, people will think that we don’t care and are irresponsible. When we apologize, we prove to people that we value them and can be trusted.

Tip #5: Describe what happened

Wronged people need to know that you do understand what happened and why it was hurtful to them. On top of that, you can explain to them what you are going to do to fix the situation. Creating expectations and meeting them is crucial when it comes to communications with customers. 

Tip #6: Be open to talk

Sending an apology letter is your chance to start a healthy conversation. But be ready to talk if the reader has further unresolved concerns. 

Tip #7: Match the tone to the recipient

While some people may be fine with “Oops, I did it again,” others prefer simple and sincere, “I’m sorry.” Add humor only when appropriate. If you have to talk to a very angry customer, then humor may not be the best solution.

Tip #8: End the email on a positive note

“Thank you for your understanding” is an excellent way to finish an apology letter. It’s simple, clear, and genuine. 

Tip #9: Surprise and delight

If you want to go above and beyond, you can fix the situation and turn it into a positive one. For example, you can offer a discount. 

“Sorry for the mistake with your last order. I assure you next time you will have a much better experience with us. Please use this coupon code with your next order.”

Tip #10: Analyze the impacts of your apology email to verify it

Ensure your apology letter was successful and that your recipient actually excused the mistake.

For this, you can invite the wronged individual(s) to provide feedback on your incident management. This way, you will find out if your apologies have been effective.

Example of an apology email #1

Dear Mr. Movide,

Sorry to hear that the screens you’ve purchased for your office were defective. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience it might have caused in your work. 

After you let me know about the issue, I checked a few more models of the screen, and it turned out that others failed to function properly as well. I assure you that this is the first time I’ve heard of this problem. So I contacted the manufacturer immediately. They will replace all faulty models.

You can get your replacement no later than in four days. I understand that you have a tight schedule, so I will deliver the screens to your office at a convenient time. I can also offer you a refund if you like.

I sincerely apologize for this issue. Please call me on 99 00 88 if you have questions. 

Thank you for understanding.

[end with a professional email signature]

Example of an apology email #2

Dear Matt,

I owe you an apology. I understand how important it was for you, and I had to see you last Friday. But I went to a meeting with a business partner who came from Japan.

I hope you had a fantastic party and that my belated wishes found you well.

Please have dinner with me next week, my treat. 



Conclusion about how to write an apology letter

Mistakes happen. It is a typical situation for each brand or individual.

However, the wronged person’s trust in you depends on how your “I’m sorry” will sound. Remember about our tips from this article and fix the mistakes as soon as possible.