Many small businesses and freelancers struggle with belated payments, and while it's not a magic bullet, a clear and straightforward invoice email could help you get paid faster.
Understanding how to compose an invoice email is necessary for getting paid on time.
Your wording has to be clear, concise, and polite. You'll need a standard template for sending email invoices as attachments to act as a short cover letter and improve communication efficiency.
Are you stuck with creating a compelling invoice email for your business? Continue reading this guide for our best advice and sample invoice emails you can use to get positive feedback.
What is an Invoice Email?
An invoice email is a message that freelancers and small businesses send to buyers or clients as a payment reminder for goods or services sold. Invoice emails include an attached copy of the transaction's invoice, containing information such as debt, invoice's due date, and other elements necessary for better control of your business's finances and operations.
The combination of these two components — the email and the attached invoice — is an excellent tool for assisting any small business or freelancer to receive timely payments for their products or services.
Invoice Email Template
Writing emails from scratch is time-consuming, especially when invoicing many clients. After learning how to compose an invoice email, use templates to reduce the amount of administrative work and increase overall productivity.
Occasionally, you'll need to create your invoice as a downloadable PDF for clients to be able to print, save and upload to their accounting software. You can easily customize the subject line and body of the email for each customer and transaction using the invoice email template below.
Note that these examples use the pronoun "we" to refer to a company. If you're a freelancer, you can substitute "I" instead.
Subject line: Invoice [invoice number] for [product/service name] due [invoice due date]
Hello, [Name of Recipient],
I hope you are doing well. Please see the attached invoice number [invoice number] for [product/service name], which is due on [invoice due date]. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
[Name of the sender]
Here is a more verbose example.
Subject line: Invoice [ID number] for [business name] due [due date of the invoice]
Hello [Name of Recipient],
We hope you are doing well. We've attached the invoice for [your product/service]. Please feel free to contact us at [your contact information] whenever it is most convenient for you if you have any comments or questions.
We are grateful for your decision to do business with [your company name].
[Your name here]
[Your company name]
Follow-up Invoice Template
Sending an invoice email isn't always the last step. Your clients may occasionally delay their payment. In such cases, it's best to call your contact, as your emails may be going to the wrong person. If this doesn't work, you might need to send a formal letter to speed up the process. If a customer or client is late in paying an invoice, but not too late, you'll need to send them an invoice collection email to compel them to pay. In any case, try to maintain a light and friendly tone while being slightly specific. You can send debt collectors, charge late payment interest, or file legal actions as a last resort.
Subject line: Overdue invoice [ID number] for [your product/service] due [invoice due date]
Hello [Name of Recipient],
We sincerely hope you are doing well. We have not yet received payment for [your product/service] invoice number [ID number], which was due on [invoice due date].
Thank you very much if you have already sent the payment! Otherwise, please let us know when we should expect a payment, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We're here to assist you.
[Name of the sender]
Subject line: Overdue invoice [ID number] for [product/service] due [invoice due date]
Dear [name of recipient],
We remind you that [total invoice] for invoice [ID number] was due on [due date]. This message includes a copy of the invoice.
We would appreciate it if you have already sent the payment. Otherwise, [payment methods] are acceptable. Please send us your payment information at [contact information] so that we can record your account correctly.
Please get in touch with us if there is an issue with this payment. We want to assist you in resolving any problems you may be experiencing.
Thank you for being a loyal client. We are grateful for your time and consideration.
[Name of the sender]
Tips on How to Send an Invoice Email
Writing an invoice email message is generally simple, but there is a specific technique; the message must be simple, polite, precise, and effective. Here are the key principles for sending an invoice via email that you should adhere to if you want the best results.
Use Descriptive Titles
How do you make your emails stand out in a sea of emails your customers receive every day? In your email invoice template, use descriptive and personalized subject lines. Statistics show that 35% of email recipients open them based on the subject line. As a result, writing "overdue invoice" in the subject line is not enough.
"Invoice [invoice number] for [name of business] due [invoice due date]" provides significantly more information and a sense of urgency.
The company name or person in charge of the collection process is frequently missing from the email's content. It's a minor point, but they might never respond to your message if you don't identify yourself. You can begin the body of the email with something like "From [your company name]".
Present the Situation Clearly and Invite Action
Describe the situation as clearly as possible and tell the recipient which action to take. For example, "you have invoice number A-2001 for $$$ that is 15 days past due," and the action could be worded as "we need confirmation of the payment date."
Not all of your clients are legal experts, so don't use too many technical or legal terms that might confuse them. Using plain language will encourage your customers to read the invoice email all the way through.
Describe All Available Payment Methods
When writing an invoice email, you must include all payment options available to customers, such as credit cards, PayPal, cheques, etc. Be sure to also include any late fees and the total amount due. In some cases, it may also be necessary to include all tax data so that the customer has all the information they need.
Don't surprise your customers with additional charges you didn't inform or warn them about.
Indicate How to Notify of the Payment
Often, businesses or freelancers find themselves in a situation where they see a deposit in their bank account but have no idea which client paid them. This occurs when the customer or client fails to send the payment notification information. To avoid this situation, it is important to include the necessary data in the body of the message, such as dates, invoice numbers, banks, amounts, and contract reference numbers.
Include All of Your Contact Information
Your phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses must always be present, whether to resolve questions or to confirm payments. It is always preferable to make everything as simple as possible for the customer who wishes to make a payment.
Use the Appropriate Tone for the Situation
Sending a payment reminder for an invoice due in a few days is not the same as sending a notification for another invoice overdue for three months. In general, depending on how late the debt is and whether the person ignores reminder emails, there are three levels of urgency in the tone of invoice emails:
- "Remember that you have this pending invoice,": the friendly reminder just before the payment date is due.
- Concern about not receiving the payment on time: "We are concerned because we have not yet received your payment."
- If enough time has passed, the invoice notice will include a more aggressive insinuation: "This period of delay in payment is illegal in the state."
Include Payment History for Customers
This will help eliminate any concerns about previous payments. Since some people may believe they have already paid their invoice, the document must indicate any outstanding balance.
Request a Reception Confirmation
Many entrepreneurs and freelancers are afraid of alienating a client by sending invoice emails. However, delays can add up and impact your finances. Include a line where you ask your client to confirm whether they received the mail or indicate whether they have already paid, so you know they have the invoice in their hands and are aware of their debt.
TIP: when you receive payment for an invoice, whether early, on time, or late, always send a quick thank you email. This will help to strengthen the relationship and increase respect for you and your company.
Include All Appropriate Information on the Invoice
Remember that an invoice is a vital document for keeping your business organized and staying on top of tax payments, so make sure that the invoice you attach to your invoice emails includes the following fields:
- Invoice ID number: this unique number allows you to identify the invoice, keep track of it, and organize all of your invoices. This ID is beneficial when requesting late payments and paying taxes.
- Business information: this should include your company's physical address or, if you're a freelancer, your residence, contact information, logo, legal registration number, etc. Furthermore, to identify who corresponds to a specific invoice, you should include customer information which, depending on the case, must include at least the client's name, physical address, and contact information.
- List of products/services: this allows your customer or client to know what products or services they are paying for. Remember to include the price and a brief description of each item.
- Amount to pay: this section includes the sum of the invoiced cost of the products/services before taxes (subtotal) plus the tax rate and any other extra services (e.g. shipping and handling).
- Payment information: this section includes the date you expect to receive payment (Net D). Payment terms are typically 30 days (Net 30, N/30) from the invoice date. This section can also include your non-compliance policies and a line for the most common payment methods.
Send Business Invoice Emails with UniOne
UniOne provides a simple, user-friendly platform for creating templates and sending invoice emails. We lay the groundwork for you to develop and test invoices for multiple clients, allowing you to build successful email campaigns at scale.
By automating more of your process, you can ensure that your business invoice emails meet appropriate standards and are delivered error-free, saving your time and effort to focus on adding value to your business. Learn more about our transactional email API on our documentation pages.