7 Better Ways To Say “Sorry For The Late Reply” On Email

Sometimes, something gets in the way and prevents us from responding to an email in good time. In times like this, the common phrase “sorry for the late reply” helps. However, there are better alternatives, and this article will explore what you can use instead.

What Can I Say Instead Of “Sorry For The Late Reply” On Email?

There are plenty of different ways we can say this in an email. This article will highlight the following to help you:

  • Thank you for your patience
  • I had hoped to respond sooner, but
  • My apologies for the delayed response
  • So sorry for the late response
  • I was looking through my drafts and realized I did not send this
  • Sorry for making you wait on this reply
  • I hope you weren’t waiting for too long
better ways to say sorry for the late reply

The preferred version is “thank you for your patience.” This phrase works well because it takes “sorry” away, which can sometimes have negative connotations. Now, we say “thank you” to make the message feel more positive from the start, which helps when delivering emails.

Thank You For Your Patience

“Thank you for your patience” is a great way to apologize for making somebody wait for you to reply. While it doesn’t strictly use “sorry” to apologize, we can instead “thank” them for taking the time out to wait for us.

Sometimes, we are not able to reply to an email due to something that is outside of our control. When this is the case, we might not feel the need to say “sorry,” but we might at least want to find a gentler way to apologize to someone for making them wait.

That’s why “thank you for your patience” is the best choice. It works because we don’t want to apologize for other things coming up, and yet we’re still thankful that the recipient waited around for us.

Of course, this phrase doesn’t work if you’re emailing somebody who has already written to you to complain about how long your response is taking. In these cases, “thank you for your patience” sounds sarcastic, so you should probably avoid using it.

Check out these examples to see how it works:

  • Dear sir,
  • Thank you for your patience. I am now able to discuss this matter further with you.
  • Kind regards,
  • Cole Mack
  • Dear Mr. Smith,
  • Thank you for your patience. I have discussed this issue with my supervisor, and we have come to a decision.
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Mary Jane

I Had Hoped To Respond Sooner, But

“I had hoped to respond sooner, but” doesn’t use an apology at all. Instead, we use “hope” to show that we intended to reply quicker than we actually did. However, something may have come up that prevented us from doing so.

Usually, we would explain what happened that stopped us from being able to email someone. It can be construed as an excuse, which some people do not appreciate, but it can work in most cases.

If you know there isn’t much time pressure related to the reply; you can use a phrase like this. However, if there was a deadline or time you were supposed to reply and you missed it, you shouldn’t use a phrase that comes up with an excuse like this one.

You might benefit from reading these examples in email format:

  • Dear Mr. Walker,
  • I had hoped to respond sooner, but I did not have access to my email account over the weekend!
  • Kind regards,
  • Jackson Mark
  • Dear ma’am,
  • I had hoped to respond sooner, but I’m more than happy to help you through this issue now.
  • Thank you,
  • Mr. Garrison

My Apologies For The Delayed Response

“My apologies for the delayed response” works well when we know we made the recipient wait. “My apologies” is a formal way of saying “sorry” that many people appreciate. It works well in most business contexts, which is why it’s a suitable choice.

The “delayed response” indicates that we accept the blame for taking so long to reply. We could have intended to message them sooner, but something might have prevented us from doing so (or we might not have been ready to reply).

Maybe some of these examples will help you to understand how it works:

  • Dear Mrs. Walthom,
  • My apologies for the delayed response. It took much longer than I initially realized for me to get this through the correct channels.
  • Kind regards,
  • John Stone
  • Dear Mr. Bossman,
  • My apologies for the delayed response. Of course, I’ll be happy to meet you in your office to discuss this further.
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Mr. Storm

So Sorry For The Late Response

“So sorry for the late response” is a synonym for the previous section. We can use “so sorry” to replace “my apologies,” while “late response” replaces “delayed response.” Both are good choices when we are taking the blame for the time passing.

Again, you should use this when you know you are to blame for the delay in the response. The recipient will certainly appreciate you sending them this because they have been waiting around for an email from you for a while.

There aren’t any other ways to get around the blame of it. If you took a long time to email someone, you have to admit that and say “sorry for the late response” to some degree.

We could use this phrase in the following ways:

  • Dear Mrs. Locket,
  • I’m so sorry for the late response. I hope you can forgive me, but I have the answer to your question now.
  • Thank you for your time,
  • The Water Company
  • Dear team,
  • I’m so sorry for the late response. I had not seen this email pop up when it arrived.
  • Kind regards,
  • Mr. Peterson

I Was Looking Through My Drafts And Realized I Did Not Send This

This phrase works well when you are okay making an excuse for why you did not send. Not everyone will believe that this excuse is true, but you can use it when there isn’t time pressure based on the reply you’ve sent.

Like some others above, you should not use this phrase when there is a specific deadline that you’ve missed. If you come up with an excuse like this for missing a deadline, your superiors will likely want to have a meeting about your performance.

However, if all you did was forget to reply (or you genuinely did leave it in your drafts), then this phrase might work well. It works because it shows that there was always an intention to reply to them, but you made a mistake and did not actually send the email.

If you want to make an excuse, you can do so in the following ways:

  • Dear sir,
  • I was looking through my drafts and realized I did not send this. I will continue the drafted email down below.
  • Sorry for making you wait,
  • Daniel Watford
  • Dear Mrs. Willis,
  • I was looking through my drafts and realized I didn’t send this to you already. Please see below my previous response.
  • Kind regards,
  • Kim Tott

Sorry For Making You Wait On This Reply

“Sorry for making you wait on this reply” is similar to “thank you for your patience.” We use it to acknowledge that somebody has “waited” a long time for our reply to come to them.

It again allows us to take the blame for making them wait. This is a good way to keep a strong rapport with the recipient of the email as you are not trying to come up with an excuse or trying to shift the blame.

You might be able to use this phrase in the following ways:

  • Dear Mister,
  • Sorry for making you wait on this reply, but I’ve discussed the matter with my superior, and we’re happy to proceed.
  • Kind regards,
  • Master Matthew
  • Dear customer,
  • Sorry for making you wait on this reply. We have remedied the situation and reimbursed you for your trouble.
  • Pleasure doing business with you,
  • Cabbage & Co.

I Hope You Weren’t Waiting For Too Long

“I hope you weren’t waiting for too long” works well when we want to apologize without taking the blame. If something prevented us from emailing them earlier, or we had to check something before replying, we can use a phrase like this.�

You might find some use out of the following examples with this one:

  • Dear Mrs. Smith,
  • I hope you weren’t waiting for too long on my reply. I have come to my senses and realized what must be done.
  • Thank you,
  • Mr. Smith
  • Dear Thomas,
  • I hope you weren’t waiting for too long to receive this. Nevertheless, I am ready to proceed with the negotiations.
  • Yours sincerely,
  • Michael

Is “Sorry For The Late Reply” Informal?

“Sorry for the late reply” is not informal. It is a fairly common phrase to use in business emails because it shows that you didn’t mean to reply so late. While there are better options, there is nothing wrong with using this formally.

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