How to Say “Circling Back” in an Email

So, someone hasn’t yet replied to your email.

Now, you want to say circling back without sounding forceful or demanding.

Well, you have options. This article will explore the best alternatives to help you!

After you’ve read what we’ve gathered, you’ll learn what to say instead of circling back to help you write your next follow-up email.

Is It Correct to Say “Circling Back”?

Circling back is correct to use in business emails.

It’s a useful way to politely follow up on an email. Generally, it works best when someone hasn’t replied to an email you sent earlier in the same thread.

It lets someone know that you’re still awaiting their response.

Don’t worry; it’s not annoying to receive an email writing circling back. Instead, it’s a great way to let someone know that they’ve yet to give you a response.

You should also review this email sample to see how it works:

Dear Joseph,

Circling back on this email, do you have a reply to this comment? I’m trying to figure out what our next moves are.

Sarah Walters

You can also make it a little more specific by including a few extra words. This could help the recipient understand what you want to talk about.

For instance:

Dear Harold,

I am just circling back on the email below. Do you have an answer yet? I’d like to know what you think.

Adrianna Moritz

Sometimes, you’ll come across the following variation:

Mistake: Using circle instead of circling

  • Correct: I’m just circling back.
  • Correct: I just want to circle back.

Both are correct. Generally, circle back sounds a bit more professional, which makes it a better option when emailing someone you respect more (like a boss or client).

You can also use alternatives to replace circling back to help you sound as professional as possible. So, we’ve gathered some great ones to help you.

Keep reading to learn the 7 best alternatives, showing you how to politely remind someone to reply to your email.

7 Alternative Ways to Say “Circling Back”

So, here are the 7 best synonyms to show you how to say circling back professionally:

  • Returning to the topic
  • Following up
  • Revisiting the matter
  • Coming back to this
  • Resuming the discussion
  • Picking up where we left off
  • Touching base again

1. Returning to the Topic

So, to start, you can use returning to the topic instead of circling back.

It’s much clearer and more direct. It lets the recipient know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and why you’re asking them to return to a specific topic.

We recommend using this when asking your boss about something. It’s a great way to catch their attention and try to push them into replying to an older email they might have missed.

Here’s a great example to help you understand more about it:

Dear Mr. Clarkson,

Returning to the topic, these are my ideas to help improve workflow. Please review them and let me know your thoughts.

All the best,
Jacob Bright

2. Following Up

You can be more direct and formal with following up. It’s one of the most useful synonyms for circling back that shows you’re directly waiting for someone’s reply.

Try using it when talking to a client. If you’ve previously suggested something to them, this is a great way to let them know that you’re still awaiting a response.

Generally, it’ll encourage the recipient to look back on an email thread. From there, they can figure out what you said and whether they want to reply.

Check out this sample email if you’re still stuck:

Dear Mr. Bradley,

Following up, have you thought any more about my proposal? I’d like to know what your take on the situation is.

Best wishes,
Madeleine Carnival

3. Revisiting the Matter

You can also use revisiting the matter as another way to say circling back in an email.

It’s a great way to ask for a status update while waiting for a response.

For instance, you can use it when contacting a recruiter. If you’ve had a long email conversation with them, they might have missed something you said.

So, subtly including revisiting the matter lets them know that you’d like a response. It’s still respectful and polite, but it’s also a gentle way to encourage them to go back and reply.

We also recommend reviewing this email example:

Dear Miss Tayler,

Revisiting the matter, is there anything I can do to accelerate the application process?

All the best,
Howard Danvers

4. Coming Back to This

Another great synonym is coming back to this. This one’s a bit more informal, but it’s great to include in most email threads.

Try it when emailing a coworker.

For instance, you might be running a petition and need all of your coworkers to answer it.

If you briefly highlighted the petition to someone you work with, but they haven’t replied, this will remind them that you expect to hear from them.

If you’re still unsure, check out this example:

Dear Maria,

Coming back to this, I’m still waiting to hear your verdict. I’d like to get this petition signed by as many people as possible.

All the best,
Hugh Young

5. Resuming the Discussion

Next, we recommend trying resuming the discussion. This phrase is a great replacement for circling back that specifically shows you’re going back to a previous email.

Generally, this one is quite obvious. It shows that you’ve already explained something and still await a reply.

It’s a great way to encourage the recipient to review your email. It lets them know that you’ve already waited for longer than anticipated to hear back from them, after all.

Here’s a great example to help you understand more about it:

Dear Miss Kitch,

Resuming the discussion, have you thought any more about whether you’d like us to continue with this project?

Jack Whitehall

6. Picking up Where We Left Off

You might also want to use something more conversational and light-hearted.

After all, friendly conversations can segue and move on to all sorts of topics, so earlier topics can be overlooked.

That’s where picking up where we left off comes in.

It’s encouraging and friendly. It shows that the recipient has forgotten to reply to something you said earlier.

It’s not demanding or bossy, which is always good when emailing coworkers and people you value. Generally, if they’re on the same working level as you, this is a good phrase to use.

Also, check out the following sample email:

Dear Mitch,

Picking up where we left off, I’m still waiting to find out if you’re free to do this with us. Feel free to respond when you can.

Best regards,
Amy Lake

7. Touching Base Again

Finally, you may want to use touching base again instead of circling back.

It’s highly effective as an informal alternative. It keeps things slightly more fun and friendly, which can go a long way, depending on who you’re emailing.

For instance, it will work quite well when emailing a customer in more casual settings. It shows that you’d like them to return to something you’ve written previously without being too pushy.

Here’s a great example to help you understand it better:

Dear Mr. Mendelssohn,

Touching base again, do you have anything to say regarding this topic? I’d love to hear your ideas.

All the best,
Dan Watkins

George O'Connor