I’m talking about the emails we all have to send at some stage – after all they’re inevitable if you’re in business! They’re the ones you have to send to gently (or not so gently) remind a client or customer of an overdue payment.
I 100% understand how awkward these emails can feel, but I’ve got some tips and tricks that will hopefully help you out. Things to include in your email:
- How late the payment is. (This will probably dictate how ‘friendly’ your tone is too – in general the later the invoice the more formal the tone.)
- The number of reminders sent. Is this the first reminder? Or the fourth?
- We all know that sometimes emails get lost and invoice payments can be forgotten. To keep your tone friendly you can explain that you understand this. Including a sentence like this does wonders for the awkwardness factor!
- Ask them to reply if they receive the message. As mentioned above, emails can get buried – asking for a reply requires action on the recipients behalf and gives you more reason to make a phone call to follow up if they don’t reply.
- Ask if they have any questions. This opens up a dialogue and makes it comfortable for your recipient if they had any concerns or queries about your invoice.
- A “If the payment has already been made, please disregard and delete this email” sentence or paragraph.
So your invoice is seriously overdue and you’re getting no response via email or phone?
- Tell them you’re passing the invoice on to a debt collecting agency – this may spur a response.
- Still no reply? Actually pass on the invoice to a debt collector!
Your invoice is being disputed. This SUCKS – and you’re going to have to make a tough decision. Either:
- Let it go – chalk it up to a learning experience and never work with the client again; or
- Fight for your money. You did the work and deserve to be paid for it. Time to call in the debt collectors.
It’s up to you!
Do you have a late payment email tip? Let us know!