How To Respond To A Confusing Email: An Email Template

Posted November 21, 2016, by Vivien Luu

We’ve all received this kind of email before. You know the one: it makes absolutely no sense and has you (and the rest of your team) scratching your heads and wondering what exactly your colleague or client wants you to do.

You can’t exactly say, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about. It would be great if you could translate this gibberish into plain English so we don’t have to spend the next half-hour deciphering your email.’

So what can you say instead? Use this template to diplomatically seek clarification whenever you get one of these rambly, not-exactly-sure-of-what-this-means email.

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for your email. So that we can action your request promptly, could you please provide some more context and clarification around this?

[My comments are inline below and/or a bullet-point list of specific questions you have]

I just want to make sure that we’re on the same page.

If you could also provide me with some timeframes, I’ll be sure to prioritise this accordingly.


[Your name]

Struggling with a tough work email? We wrote 10 awesome email templates so you don't have to!

Vivien Luu
Vivien Luu

Viv is a writer who enjoys researching and writing about creativity, how the human mind works, and neuro processes. She values creativity above all else and admires people who pursue their career dreams, no matter the sacrifice. In her spare time, she binges on HBO shows and epic fantasy novels.

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