Regret Mail Sample: How to Write a Polite and Professional Rejection Email

Have you ever had to turn someone down for an opportunity that wasn’t quite the right fit? Or maybe you had to let a candidate know they weren’t the right fit for a job after they had gone through the interview process. One of the most difficult aspects of any professional relationship is handling situations like these with grace and professionalism. This is where a well-crafted regret email comes into play.

A regret email is an email that is written to let someone know that they haven’t been selected for a particular opportunity. It can be a job, a scholarship, a grant, or any other opportunity that involves a competitive selection process. Writing a regret email may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and a little bit of guidance, you can write a professional and empathetic regret email that leaves a positive impression on the recipient.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a collection of regret email samples that you can use and edit as needed. These samples cover a variety of scenarios and can be adapted to suit your specific situation. Whether you’re a hiring manager, a scholarship committee member, or anyone else who needs to write a regret email, you’ll find plenty of useful examples to draw inspiration from.

So, if you’re feeling anxious about crafting the perfect regret email, don’t despair. We’ve got you covered. Dive into our collection of regret email samples and take a step closer to writing a message that is both professional and empathetic.

The Best Structure for a Regret Mail Sample

Regret emails are a difficult and often uncomfortable aspect of business communication, but they are a necessary evil. Whether you’re apologizing for delivering a project late, turning down a potential partnership, or declining a job application, it’s important to structure your regret email in a way that is clear, concise, and empathetic.

Below, I’ll outline the best structure for a regret mail sample:


Start with a brief introduction that confirms the purpose of the email and sets an empathetic tone. Use phrases such as “I’m sorry” or “I regret” to acknowledge the disappointment of the recipient. For example:

Dear [Recipient],

I’m sorry to have to let you know that we are unable to proceed with [insert reason for regret].

Reason for Regret

In the next paragraph, explain the reason for your regret and be specific. Don’t try to sugarcoat the truth or make excuses. Instead, provide a clear explanation of what went wrong and why you are unable to fulfill the recipient’s expectations. For example:

Unfortunately, we have decided not to pursue this partnership at this time. After careful consideration, we determined that our company’s goals and objectives do not align with the direction you are taking your business.


Show empathy by acknowledging the recipient’s feelings and offering some level of sympathy. Use phrases such as “I understand” or “I appreciate” to convey your understanding. For example:

I understand that this is not the news you were hoping to hear, and I appreciate the time and effort you dedicated to this opportunity.


Close the email with a clear statement of regret and offer any alternatives or next steps that may be available. End on a positive note to leave the door open for future communication. For example:

Once again, I regret that we cannot proceed with this partnership. If our company’s needs change in the future, we will certainly keep your business in mind. Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Overall, the best structure for a regret mail sample is one that is clear, concise, and empathetic. By following the above framework, you can communicate your message effectively while still acknowledging the recipient’s feelings and maintaining a professional tone.

Regret Mail Samples

Regret Mail for Declining a Job Offer

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Thank you for offering me the position at [Company Name]. I must express my gratitude for considering me for the role. After much thought and consideration, I regret to inform you that I must decline the offer. Although I am impressed with the company and the opportunities it offers, I have chosen to pursue a different path.

I hope you will understand my decision, and I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused. Please know that I sincerely appreciate the opportunity you have given me. It was a pleasure meeting with you, and I wish you and your team all the best.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Mail for Turning Down an Invitation

Dear [Inviter’s Name],

Thank you for inviting me to [Event Name]. Unfortunately, I cannot accept your invitation due to a prior commitment. I wish I could attend, but I have made a commitment that I cannot break. I hope you understand.

Thank you again for inviting me. I appreciate the thought and hope that I will have the opportunity to attend future events.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Mail for Delays in Project Delivery

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my sincere apologies for the delay in delivering [Project Name]. I understand the inconvenience this has caused and take full responsibility for it.

Unfortunately, there were unforeseen circumstances beyond our control that caused the delay. However, we are doing everything in our power to expedite the project and deliver it as soon as possible.

Again, I am very sorry for any inconvenience this delay may have caused. I appreciate your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Mail for Canceling a Meeting

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my regrets for canceling our meeting scheduled for [Date]. Unfortunately, an emergency has arisen, and I must attend to it immediately. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and for any miscommunication that may have occurred.

Please let me know when it would be convenient to reschedule the meeting, and I will make myself available. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Mail for Not Being Able to Fulfill a Request

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to express my regrets that I cannot fulfill your request for [Task/Service]. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate your request due to [Reason for Decline].

However, I want to assure you that I will keep your request in mind and reach out to you if the circumstances change. In the meantime, please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you. I appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Regret Mail Expressing Sympathy for a Loss

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of [Name of Deceased]. Please accept my condolences on behalf of my team and myself. I want to express my sympathy and let you know that our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Although nothing can replace the loss you are feeling, please know that you have our support. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you.

Again, I am terribly sorry for your loss. If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to reach out.


[Your Name]

Regret Mail for Rejecting a Proposal

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Thank you for submitting your proposal for [Project Name]. Although I appreciate your effort and dedication in drafting the proposal, I regret to inform you that we cannot accept it at this time.

Please know that the decision was not easy, and we evaluated all proposals carefully. Unfortunately, we believe that another proposal better fits our needs. However, we encourage you to continue submitting your proposals to us in the future.

Again, I want to express my appreciation for your efforts and hope you will continue to submit your proposals to us.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Tips for Crafting Effective Regret Mail Samples

Regret mail samples are inevitable, as we cannot satisfy everyone every time. However, regret mails do not have to be a bad experience for your clients or customers. Here are some tips for crafting an effective regret mail sample:

  • Apologize: Start by apologizing to the recipient for not being able to meet their expectations. This can help show compassion and understanding.
  • Be Honest: Do not attempt to justify the circumstances, provide honest and transparent feedback on why that decision was made.
  • Be Polite and Professional: Always maintain a polite and professional tone, while using simple language that the recipient can understand.
  • Provide Additional Information: Inform them of the next steps or upcoming events related to their area of interest, so they might have a chance in the future.
  • Show Empathy: Let your text reflect empathy by acknowledging the impact of your message on them and provide support if possible.
  • Provide a Solution or Alternative: Offer a solution or alternative if possible. You can also offer an explanation on why a solution or alternative wasn’t possible.

One more tip: if it is an apology for a mistake on their part, don’t make it sound like it’s their fault. Remember always to use polite language, a proper tone, and provide several options where appropriate. With these tips in mind, you can craft an effective and empathetic regret mail sample in no time.

Regret Mail Sample FAQs

What is a regret mail sample?

A regret mail sample is a pre-written message that expresses apologies and regrets to recipients for a particular event or situation. It is used when you are unable to fulfill a request or meet an expectation.

When should I use a regret mail sample?

A regret mail sample can be utilized in situations where you need to cancel a meeting, reschedule an appointment, decline an invitation, or apologize for not being able to fulfill a request or promise.

What should be included in a regret mail sample?

A good regret mail sample should contain a sincere apology, an explanation for the reason behind the regret, a clear statement that the request cannot be accommodated or fulfilled, and a possible alternative or solution, if any.

How should I address the recipient in a regret mail sample?

You should always address the recipient using their name or title and maintain a respectful tone throughout your message. You can use phrases like “Dear [Name]” or “Hello [Title]”.

Should a regret mail sample be personalized?

Yes, even though it is a pre-written message, you should personalize it by mentioning specific details about the situation or request. This makes the message more empathetic and sincere.

Can a regret mail sample damage my professional relationships?

No, as long as it is written respectfully and sincerely, using a regret mail sample can actually showcase your professionalism and respect for your recipients’ time and expectations. However, it is important to personally follow up and apologize when possible, especially in serious situations.

Is it okay to use a regret mail sample multiple times?

Yes, you can reuse a regret mail sample for similar situations as long as it remains appropriate and empathetic to the nature of the situation. However, it is important to personalize it for each recipient to avoid sounding generic and insincere.

Before You Hit Send, Try Regret Mail Sample

So there you have it, a perfect solution to those annoying moments of typing and sending emails that you wish you could take back. Don’t let those email blunders stress you out anymore, take advantage of regret mail samples and keep your relationships and reputation intact. Thanks for reading, and come back again for more helpful and lifelike tips!