10 Templates To Send Apologies for the Delay (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 October 2022

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Email responses can provide quick communication during challenging situations. Regardless of your professional role, you may use them to address missed communication or deadlines. Writing response emails recognising late communications can offer many conflict resolution benefits, but it may take time to address individual delays effectively. In this article, we explain what it means to send apologies for the delay, offer tips for apologising professionally via email and provide 10 email templates you can use.

Related: How To Write an Apology Email (With Steps, Tips and Examples)

What does it mean to send apologies for the delay?

Sending apologies for the delay means sending a response to communicate your recognition of your late response. Some examples of what such emails can address are:

  • Late email responses

  • Work delays

  • Missed deadlines

Typically, these emails are formal and are written to help maintain relationships or partnerships in challenging situations.

Tips for apologising for late responses via email

Here are tips to consider when writing a professional apology letter via email:

  • Begin with an apology and recognise your mistake. Clearly stating your initial apology and communicating your recognition of the mistake made might show your motivation to resolve the situation.

  • Explain the situation. Clearly explaining the situation and any contributing factors may help your recipient understand what happened, but it's important to still recognise your mistake and avoid making excuses.

  • Share a preventative plan. Creating a preventative plan may take some time, but it can help show your recipient that you are serious about resolving and preventing the situation from occurring again.

  • Add a closing statement. This statement might include a restatement of your apology, recognition of your mistake and a mention of your dedication to preventing the situation from happening again.

Related: 63 Email Sign-Offs To Use for Professional Emails

10 email templates to apologise for the delay

Here are 10 email templates to send apologies for the delay that you can reference when writing your own professional email:

1. For late email response to a client

Here's the template for a client success manager who is addressing their late email response to a client:

Dear [Name],

I would like to apologise for my delayed email response to you. I know I should've responded to you sooner and addressed your concerns.

When I first received your email communication, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for my delayed email response to you and will prioritise preventing this situation from arising in the future. I hope to continue helping you reach your goals and manage your success.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definition and Examples

2. For work delay to a client

Here's the template for a business-to-business (B2B) company that is addressing its work delay to a client:

Dear [Name],

I would like to apologise for our recent work delay. I know I should've emailed you sooner to inform you of this work delay. We acknowledge this mistake and hope to resolve this unfortunate situation.

While we were working, [insert challenge]. We tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, we soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, we plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, we apologise for our work delay and will prioritise preventing this situation from arising in the future. We hope to continue doing business with you and helping your business reach its goals.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Related: 4 Types of Communication

3. For missed assignment deadline to a manager

Here's the template for a team member who is addressing their missed assignment deadline to a manager:

Dear [Name],

I would like to begin by apologising for missing my assignment deadline. I recognise my fault and that I may have let my team down in this situation.

When working on completing my assignment, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for missing an assignment deadline and hope to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies

4. For missed loan payment to a mortgage lender

Here's the template for a homeowner who is addressing a missed loan payment with a mortgage lender:

Dear [Name],

I am writing to you today to apologise for missing a payment on my loan. I recognise my inability to maintain our agreement on monthly payments and fully acknowledge the importance of this situation.

Recently, when my payment date arrived, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for missing payments on my loan and hope to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

5. For delay in setting up client meetings

Here's the template for an assistant who is addressing their delay in setting up client meetings for their manager:

Dear [Name],

I am emailing you to apologise for my oversight and delay in scheduling your client meetings. I recognise this unfortunate situation and that this oversight may affect client relations.

When I first tried to schedule these meetings, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for my oversight and delay in scheduling your client meetings. I hope to provide better assistance in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

6. For delayed response to a team member

Here's the template for a manager who is addressing their delayed response to a team member's email:

Dear [Name],

I am emailing you to apologise for my delayed response to your email. I recognise my delayed response may have affected your ability to meet your deadlines.

When I first received your email, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for my delayed response to your email. I hope to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

7. For work delay to a company

Here's the template for a delivery service that's addressing their work delay to a company whose products they deliver:

Dear [Name],

We are emailing to apologise for our delay in product deliveries. We recognise these delays may affect customer satisfaction. Currently, we are working to resolve this issue and prevent it from happening again.

When we first received this week's pre-scheduled shipments, [insert challenge]. We tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, we soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, we plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, we apologise for our delayed response to your email. We hope to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

8. For late email response to a team leader

Here's the template for a team member who is addressing their late email response to their team leader:

Dear [Name],

I am emailing you to apologise for my delayed response to your email. I recognise my delayed response may have prevented you from understanding my progress on our current project.

When I first received your email, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for my delayed response to your email. I hope to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

9. For late email response to a client

Here's the template for a manager who is addressing their late email response to a client:

Dear [Name],

I am emailing you to apologise for my delayed response to your email. I recognise my delayed response may have prevented you from understanding our team's progress on your project.

When I first received your email, [insert challenge]. I tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, I soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, I plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, I apologise for my delayed response to your email. I hope to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

10. For late email response to a customer

Here's the template for a company that's addressing its late email response to a customer:

Dear [Name],

We are emailing you to apologise for our delayed response to your email. We recognise our delayed response may have caused undue frustration.

When we first received your email, [insert challenge]. We tried to approach this by [insert approach to handling the challenge]. However, we soon realised that may not have been the best approach. In the future, we plan to [insert preventative plan].

Once again, we apologise for our delayed response to your email. We hope to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Related: How to Handle Difficult Customers in 10 Steps (With Tips)

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