1. So what is a meeting cancellation email?
2. When and why you should write an appointment termination email
3. Step-by-Step: How to write a meeting cancellation email
4. How to write an email for cancellation of a meeting for multiple people
5. Follow up with a personal apology email for cancelling a meeting
6. Best examples of meeting cancellation emails
While everybody makes plans and schedules appointments, not everything is always doable. Under certain circumstances, regardless of whether we cause them or not, we have to make changes to our plans. Timetable changes presume that other people adjust their schedules too, sometimes not to their advantage. At times, it might cause them certain trouble. Thus, whenever we have to annul an appointment or reschedule it, we have to notify other people and make sure they are fine with those changes. A proper way to do it would write an email to cancel the meeting.
An email cancelling a meeting is a polite and official way to withdraw from a scheduled appointment. You write it with a purpose of either by calling off or rescheduling your—online or offline—meeting. On the one hand, such an email is a formality; on the other, it is an official yet personal way to notify the recipient of the change in plans and apologize for the inconvenience in advance.
Although the best way to terminate an appointment would be a phone call made as soon as possible, writing an email to cancel a meeting is often more convenient. Some of the typical situations when you ought to send a meeting cancellation email are as follows:
So, whenever or for whatever the reason, you are about to cancel a meeting, email is a perfect medium to do this because:
If you want to be absolutely sure that your recipient has received your message and will respond to it, you can also notify them of a meeting revocation on the phone. In most cases, sending an email is sufficient.
Before you terminate an appointment, put yourself in the other’s shoes. Imagine all the inconvenience this might cause them and try to milden their dissatisfaction through politeness and apology. So, the key rules for crafting a meeting cancellation email template are: politeness, timeliness, and reasonableness.
First of all, do not leave this task to your assistant. It is better to dedicate some time and write it yourself, or at least from your own email address. You can have your assistant remind you to write such an email if you must.
Secondly, when terminating an appointment, you should give a notice well in advance. Calling it off half an hour before the scheduled meeting is bad manners at the very least. Make it so that a person has enough time to adjust his or her schedule. If it is a last-minute email, you need to have a very good reason.
You need to explain why you cannot attend. Otherwise, a person might think that you are canceling because you just decided so. As a result, they may start to think that you are not a reliable person. You need not give a very detailed explanation to keep the message brief and to-the-point.
Suggesting a new time will mean that meeting this person is still important to you. Show that you are interested in the appointment despite the need to terminate it. Propose a few time slots but stay open to counter-proposals. Give your recipient a possibility to adjust his or her schedule.
At the end of your email, you should thank the person for his or her consideration of your situation. Appreciate the fact that they have found the time to read your email and maybe even compromise their plans in your favor. You should understand that it is not that easy to make adjustments in a schedule, especially for business people.
Do not linger over your email once you’ve written it. The sooner you click the Send button, the easier it will be for your correspondent to make changes in their schedule, and the more chances they will do so. In absolutely no case should you postpone sending your email for cancelling a meeting until the very last minute.
If you are rescheduling a meeting with multiple people, do it well ahead of the appointed time. When you do it in the last minute, bear in mind that it will be overly hard to plan a meeting which all of the attendees can be present at. It takes a lot of effort to agree upon the time slot that is suitable for everyone. You should either ask each participant to suggest their date and time or propose a few openings yourself. Also, prepare to be flexible: it can happen that all of your suggested time slots will not suit the participants.
When rescinding an appointment, always make sure that the other party has received your message and taken it into consideration. You can write a meeting cancellation email follow-up later, in order to see whether the person has accepted your suggested time slot and that they do not hold grudges for you terminating a scheduled encounter. In such an email, you need to reiterate your apologies, thank the other person for their understanding, and include a call to action, which can be asking them to reply to this email, to call you, or to RSVP to a created event in the online calendar.
If you want your meeting cancellation email follow-up to be professional and sincere, you should include a nice email signature. You can add your real photo and CTA there that will let people understand the problem and sympathize. Making your cancellation follow-up email honest is important, and an email signature really helps with it.
Now that you have the essential tips on cancelling a meeting via email, let’s see some samples of how to correctly and politely nullify an appointment.
Summarizing it all
To sum up all of the above, here are the main “how’s” of writing a cancellation-of-meeting email:
In general, no matter with whom you were supposed to have a meeting that you are canceling. If they are professional people, they will understand that you provided a decent reason. Things happen, plans change, appointments get terminated. Just do not overuse your right to terminate appointments. It is always better to make sure you can make it before scheduling anything or writing an email cancellation of a meeting.