Small Business Advice

Email invoice template: how to write an invoice email

If you're a freelancer or contractor, you may have to send some invoice emails. Learn how to write them with these simple templates.

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Use this basic invoice template and these tips to send invoices to your clients.

Late payments can have a huge impact for both small businesses and professionals who work as freelancers, affecting the operations and finances of your business when they are delayed too long. For this reason, it's very convenient to have a simple, fast and efficient method that allows you to remind your customers that they must pay, but without making them feel that you are only interested in their money; it is a matter of good communication and method.

In this sense, having a professional email invoice template (or several) and a correct communication methodology can make the difference between receiving your payments on time, or having to deal with cash flow problems in your business. If you want to know how to write an invoice email that generates results, keep reading this guide to the end.

What is an invoice email?

An invoice email is an email message that both freelancers and small businesses can use as a payment reminder for buyers or clients for goods sold or services provided. Usually, invoice emails include an attached copy of the invoice of the transaction made with all the corresponding information, including the amount owed and the due date of the invoice, among other elements necessary to have better control of your business finances and operations.

The combination of these two elements - the email and the attached invoice - is an excellent tool to help any small business or freelancer receive payments for the sale of their products or services as soon as possible.

Invoice email template

Pre-designed email templates are a key element in any effective automated collections strategy. You can complete an invoice email with all the details for a specific customer and transaction with minimal effort, saving time for you and your business, and increasing your overall productivity.

Additionally, using these templates can also help you establish different approaches for different situations, while also allowing you to test and refine different email variations to see which version is most appropriate and effective at any given time. In the following lines you'll find several examples for email templates. Note that these samples use the pronoun "we" to refer to a business, but you can use "I" instead if you're a freelancer.

Sample 1

The simplest template you can use.


Subject line: Invoice [ID number] for [your product/service] due [invoice due date]


Hello [recipient name],


We hope that you are well. Please see the attached invoice [invoice number] for [product/service name], due on [invoice due date]. Remember that you can contact us at any time for any questions you have.


Best regards,


[Sender name]

Sample 2

Here you have another sample with some additional lines.


Subject line: Invoice [ID number] for [name of business] due [invoice due date]


Hello [recipient name],


We hope that you are well. The invoice for [your product/service] is attached. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us when it's more convenient for you at [your contact information]


We really appreciate choosing to do business with us at [your business name]


Best regards,


[Your name]


[Your title]


[Your business name]

Follow-up invoice template

In the event that a customer or client is late - but not too late - in paying an invoice, you will need to use an invoice collection email to pressure the customer into making the corresponding payment. In any case, try to keep the message light and friendly, but just a bit more direct.

Sample 1


Subject line: Overdue invoice [ID number] for [your product/service] due [invoice due date]


Hello [recipient name],


We really hope that you are very well. We haven't yet received payment for invoice number [ID number] for [your product/service], which was due on [invoice due date]


If you have already sent the payment, thank you very much! Otherwise, please let us know when we can expect to receive payment and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and concerns. We are here to help.


Best regards,


[Sender name]

Sample 2

Note that it's important to always offer your assistance to help your customers/clients make their payments as soon as possible.


Subject line: Overdue invoice [ID number] for [your product/service] due [invoice due date]


Dear [recipient name],


We remind you that the total amount of [total invoice] for the invoice [ID number] was due on [due date]. A copy of the invoice is included with this message.


If you have already sent the payment, we thank you very much. Otherwise, we accept payment by [payment methods]. Please contact us at [contact information] to provide us with your payment information so we can properly record your account.


If any problem prevents this payment, please contact us. We'd like to help you to resolve any issues you may have.


Thank you for being a valued customer. We really appreciate your time and the attention you give us.


Best regards,


[Sender name]

How to write an invoice email

In general, writing an invoice email message is a simple task, but it also has its technique; the message has to be simple, polite, precise and effective. Here are the key principles on how to send an invoice through email that you should follow if you want to get the best results.

Use descriptive titles

How do you make the emails you send stand out in the vast ocean of emails your customers receive every day? Using descriptive and personalized subject lines in your email invoice template. According to statistics, up to 35% of email recipients open them based on the subject line. So it isn't enough to write something like "overdue invoice" in the subject line. In contrast, something like "invoice [invoice number] for [name of business] due [invoice due date]" provides much more information and a sense of urgency.

Say who you are

Many times the content of the email doesn't contain the company name or person that is carrying out the collection process. It's a simple detail, but if you don't identify yourself, they may never respond to your message. You can start the body of the email with something like "kind regards from [your business name]."

Clearly present the situation and invite to action

Using a few words, try to describe the situation as clearly as possible and present the action you require. If the situation is "you have the invoice number A-2001 for an amount of $$$ that is 15 days past due," the action could be "we need confirmation of the date of payment of this invoice."


TIP:

Avoid using too many technical or legal terms that overwhelm your clients, as not all of them are legal experts. Using plain language will help your customers read the invoice email to the end.

Incorporate account statements and invoices

In order for communication between your collections department and the customer's payment department to be effective, both parties must have all the details of the transaction. That is why it is important to send attached copies of the statement or invoice when sending an invoice email.

Describe all available payment methods

When writing an invoice email you must list all the payment options that customers can use such as credit cards, paypal, check etc. as well as mention any late fees and the total amount due. In some cases, it may also be necessary to incorporate all the tax data so that the client has all the information they need at their disposal.


TIP:

Avoid surprising your customers with extra charges that you haven't previously informed them. The reasons for a delay are very varied, so when sending a first invoice email to your clients, provide some information about your policies for non-compliance.

Indicate how to notify the payment

Many times companies or freelancers find themselves in a situation where they see a deposit in their bank account, but they have no idea which client it corresponds to. This happens because the customer or client doesn't send the information to notify the payment - due to lack of knowledge or carelessness. That is why it is important that you include in the body of the message the necessary data to avoid this situation, such as dates, invoice numbers, banks, amounts and reference numbers.

Indicate all your contact information

Whether to resolve doubts or notify payments, it is very important that your phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses are always available. It is always convenient to make everything very easy for the customer who wants to make a payment.

Handle the correct tone according to the situation

An effective collection requires handling different tones for different situations. Sending a payment reminder for an invoice that is due in a couple of days is not the same as sending a notification for another invoice that is three months past due. In general, there are three levels of urgency in the tone of invoice emails depending on how late the debt is and whether the person evades reminder emails:


  • The friendly reminder just before the invoice expires: "remember that you have this pending invoice."


  • The notification of concern for not having received the payment on time: "we are worried because we have not received the payment."


  • The collection notice with a more aggressive insinuation if enough time has passed: "a delay of this type in payment is illegal in the state."


TIP:

Avoid "decorating" alerts for a significant payment delay in the body of the message, as this diverts attention and detracts from the main topic, especially if you need your money urgently. You can use more direct lines such as "subject line: third collection notice. Payment deadline [date]."

Include customer payment history

This will help avoid any doubts about previous payments. Some people may forget and think that they have already paid their invoice, which is why the document must clearly indicate any outstanding balance.

Request a confirmation of reception

Many entrepreneurs and freelancers fear losing a client by bothering them with collection emails. But these delays can accumulate, which could end up affecting the finances of your business. Include a line where you ask your client to confirm if they have received the mail or to indicate if they have already paid, so you can be sure that they have the invoice in their hands and that they are aware of their debt.


TIP:

Once you've been paid an invoice, whether it's early, on time or late, always send a quick thank you email. This will help strengthen the relationship and build respect for you and your business.

Include all the necessary information on the invoice

Remember that an invoice is a very important document to keep your business organized and help you stay up to date with tax payments, so make sure that the invoice you attach to your invoice emails includes the following fields:


  • Invoice ID number: this is a unique number that allows you to identify the invoice, as well as keep track of them and have all your invoices organized. This ID is very useful when requesting late payments and when making tax payments.


  • Business information: this should include the physical address of your business - if you are a freelancer, your residence address - contact information, logo, legal registration number, etc. Additionally, and to identify who corresponds to a particular invoice, you should include information about the customer, 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 consumer or client to know at all times what products or services they're paying for. Remember to include the cost and a short description of each item.


  • Amounts to pay: this section includes the sum of the cost of the products/services on the invoice before taxes (subtotal) + the tax rate + any other additional services (e.g., shipping and handling). The sum of these elements is the total to pay for the invoice.


  • Payment Information: this section includes the date you expect to receive payment (Net D). The most common payment term is usually 30 days (Net 30, N/30) from the invoice date. In this section you can also include your policies for non-compliance and dedicate a line to the most common payment methods.
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