Solved: A few of my clients routinely run late on paying their Any recommendations on wording for the note on my reminder Good luck!.
We hope you are enjoying the books shipped to you last month. Part of your agreement was to pay $40 each month. This is a reminder that your first payment is now overdue. Please disregard this note if your check is already in the mail.
Please remember that the balance on your account ($132.16) remains unpaid. It was due to be paid in full ten days ago. Enclosed is an envelope in which you may mail your payment. If, by chance, you have already sent your payment, please disregard this letter and accept our gratitude.
This is just a friendly reminder that your June payment of $100 is overdue. If you have not already sent the payment, please do so now.
Our records show an outstanding balance for your son, Eric.
We request that your monthly tuition payment be paid before the 10th of each month. Accounts paid after the 10th of the month accrue a $5.00 late tuition fee. This is just a reminder as we do not mail statements.
We are certainly not exempt from making errors! Please notify us immediately if there is any question concerning the payment.
Recently Jane Doe was treated at Springfield Hospital by our emergency physician. The balance for the treatment is $100.00. Because you are a valued customer, we are concerned about your past-due balance. To protect your good standing with the medical group (as well as your credit rating), please pay the amount due within 15 working days. If you cannot pay the entire amount immediately, we can set up a payment plan. Simply call us at 555-5555 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have already sent your payment or made arrangements with this office, please disregard this letter and accept our thanks.
Our records indicate that we have not received your payment which was due on 12-5-98. We hope this was just an oversight and you will be able to remit the funds due immediately.
The amount due on your loan is $1,500.
This amount includes any applicable late charges and/or fees.
If your records reflect that you paid this payment prior to the date of this letter, you still need to contact us so that the discrepancy can be resolved and any necessary corrections can be made on your account.
If, however, you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us so that we can assist you in working through the situation and bring your account back to a current status. We can provide you with counseling or a listing of HUD approved counseling agencies which you may wish to contact for assistance.
Please call me at our toll free number listed above as soon as possible. We can then begin to work through this situation together.
Here are a few examples of follow up emails that we created with a few hypothetical scenarios. The tone If that first follow-up doesn't tender a response , don't give up. Statistics show Writing a good follow-up email is about more than just reminding the prospect you exist. From a freelancer to a client.
If your business operates on an invoicing system, you might be familiar with late payments and perhaps even nonpayment. There are many reasons why this happens, from lost bills to unexpected additional expenses that the customer could not afford. However, regardless of the circumstances, an unpaid invoice can hurt your business. You need to act if you want to receive your money.
According to Greg Waldorf, CEO of invoicing app Invoice2go, you want to deal with the problem head-on, but being straightforward doesn't have to mean being aggressive. If a client or customer hasn't paid a bill on time, here's how to ensure that you not only get your payment, but also maintain a good relationship with the customer.
You can never guarantee that every single customer will pay a bill on time, but there are things you can do to keep late or missed payments to a minimum in the future.
Putting everything on the table right away not only sets payment expectations for your client, but also builds the trust necessary for a strong, positive customer relationship, Waldorf said. Before diving into a project, make sure that your client is fully aware of projected costs, and ensure that you take time to answer any questions upfront.
"Having this clarity from the beginning will help strengthen customers' trust and commitment to paying the full amount," Waldorf said. "If anything changes along the way, alert your customers in real time so there aren't any surprises."
You should also set up a system that is backed by a policy or terms of service. For instance, if you don't pay within five days, you get a warning; 10 days, you get a late fee; 20 days, you lose service, suggested Ben Giordano, owner and founder of FreshySites.
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If you think it's too risky to use an invoice system, ask for full payment before starting any work. Mat O'Flynn, co-owner of Gilded Agency, said that the only way to mitigate nonpayments is to bill for the work upfront.
Some consumers may be wary of submitting payments before receiving work – it's a two-way street. To provide some reassurance, encourage them to read testimonials or reach out to previous customers.
"If you have a spotless track record and take care of clients consistently over time, you will earn more and more right to take payment prior to work," said Giordano. "When someone questions our policy, I tell them to call any of our clients, any day, anytime, and ask about our reputation and integrity as an organization."
You can also charge a deposit before starting any work, turning down customers who don't seem like a good fit. This is often evident from the start; if there is an issue with down payments, there will likely be issues with future invoices.
"If a client refuses to pay a deposit, then I immediately know not to work with that client, even if they beg you to later on," said O'Flynn.
With so many tasks on your plate as a small business owner, it can be easy to lose track of a customer invoice. You may even to forget to send one in the first place, and going after a client for payment on a bill you never sent will only hurt your reputation. Waldorf advised sending your invoice as soon as a job is completed – and staying on top of it until it's closed out – to avoid falling behind.
If a customer won't answer electronic correspondences about their bill, call them – and keep calling every day until they pay.
"Don't be aggressive; just don't stop asking," said Hunter Hoffmann, head of U.S. communications for small business insurer Hiscox. "Emphasize that you want to settle up the accounts so you can both focus on more important things. It will become much easier for them to pay you than to keep dodging your calls and making excuses."
A friendly reminder that a customer's bill is past due is the first step in collecting your payment. Most of the time, a late payment was an honest mistake, and receiving that first follow-up will make a client pay as soon as possible. Waldorf noted that the subject of money isn't always easy to address, so you may want to ease into the topic.
"Use an opportunity to check in on a customer's satisfaction for your services, and then discuss any approaching or past-due invoices," Waldorf said.
In some cases, clients will try to delay payment by saying they lost the bill, or that they need to reconcile their records to find the correct payment amount, Hoffmann said. If this is the case, Hoffmann advised sending an updated invoice right away – even if you know the customer has the original – to take away this excuse.
If your client still won't pay, be open to hearing their reasons. Giordano suggested asking questions about their satisfaction with your work, their financial complexities and anything that might contribute to their refusal to pay.
"Once you know why they refuse to pay, you can work towards a resolution with the client/customer," said Giordano. "Keep in mind that everyone is just a person, and rarely is someone actually out to hurt the other – most people are logical and willing to work towards a solution if you provide them with the opportunity to do so."
When a nonpaying client ignores your emails and calls about the invoice, demand payment a little more firmly. Service businesses working with the client on an ongoing basis are in the best position to give an ultimatum, Hoffmann said.
"Set a specific deadline when service will be cut off to light a fire under them," Hoffmann told Business News Daily. "It's amazing how quickly they can figure out how to pay when they realize how hard it will be to replace your service in a couple days."
Waldorf advised requesting a timeline for payment and continuing to follow up until the customer pays. If necessary, resend your original contract, indicating that you will escalate the situation if invoices remain past due.
If repeated attempts to contact the customer and collect your payment have failed, it's time to call in backup. Here are three options to help you get the money you're due.
Factoring services: If you're strapped for cash and don't know when a customer will send their payment, a factoring service may be able help you get the money you need while you're waiting. With a factoring service, you sell your accounts receivable to a company for a certain percentage of the accounts' value (usually 70 to 90 percent), and that company will advance you most of that money within a few days. Then, it will collect your customers' payments and send the rest of the cash to you, minus the service fee.
Keep in mind that factoring services are not collection agencies (see below), and they will run a credit check on your customers before agreeing to purchase their invoices. If you use a factor for multiple customers' invoices, the service fees will add up, and you may end up losing money in the long run. To learn more about using a factoring service, visit Business News Daily's guide.
Collection agencies: A debt collection agency is a company that specializes in recovering payments that are typically more than 90 days past due. The company will take the task of following up with the customer off of your hands, using tried-and-true tactics to get the individual to pay. This Business News Daily article contains more information on when and how to hire a collection agency.
Attorneys: While you can file a lawsuit against a customer who won't pay up, the time and money associated with suing a nonpaying client are not worth it for most small businesses.
"We do a very honest cost analysis when considering a lawsuit," said Giordano. "Is the total cost (financial, emotional, time, energy, etc.) greater than the amount to be recovered? If it's more work to recover the $500 than it's worth, just learn the lesson, put in a system so it doesn't happen again, and move on."
However, if that client owes you a large sum of money and refuses to pay you or a collection agency based on the terms of your contract or invoice, a lawsuit may be necessary. If you do decide to pursue legal action, consult with an attorney to determine how to proceed.
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably streamlined your business finances down to a science. You know exactly how to create your invoice, and you send it out immediately after completing a job. Despite your organization, however, it’s pretty much inevitable that a few of your customers will fail to pay their invoices on time. And, when that day comes, you’ll probably wonder how to send a payment reminder professionally.
If a client doesn’t pay you on time, you might be tempted to let that delinquency slide to avoid confrontation. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you might feel like you need to be a little too harsh when you send that late payment reminder email.
How do you strike that balance, then? What’s the best way to send a polite payment reminder email that’s firm enough to get you the compensation you need for your hard work? (And, not to mention, for tax purposes, since it’s not always possible to write off unpaid invoices.)
We take the guesswork out of the occasionally uncomfortable, but crucial, task of requesting late payments from delinquent customers. These five professional payment reminder email templates will help you feel like you have a handle on your late payments—even if you need to get to red-alert status—and, hopefully, get you your balance due.
And, if sending late payment reminder emails still makes you cringe, we’ll show you a few other solutions for late payments as well. If overdue payments are threatening your business’s cash flow, and you need an immediate solution, consider invoice financing.
The best practice, of course, is for your customers to send payment immediately after receiving your invoice. However, “best practices” is never guaranteed. So, if you’re waiting on a bill from a job you completed weeks ago, and you’re worried about a late payment, it’s smart not to wait for that late payment to occur. Rather, send your first follow-up email a week before the payment due date.
Then, if you’re facing a late payment, you’ll need to continue sending follow-up emails until you receive your bill.
Asking for late payment can be tough, but the key is to modulate your tone across these reminder emails. You’ll need to be equal parts polite and firm—but, depending on how late that payment is, your tone may need to tip in one direction more than the other.
We’ll show you exactly what to write, and when to hit send:
Email subject: Follow-up on invoice #10237
Hi John Doe,
I hope you’re well. This is just to remind you that payment on invoice #10237, which we sent on March 25th, will be due next week.
I’m sure you’re busy, but I’d appreciate if you could take a moment and look over the invoice when you get a chance. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Why this payment reminder works: Your first reminder should be short, friendly, and informative. There’s no need to bother your customer with too much information, and you don’t need to request payment straight away as the bill isn’t due yet. In this email, the customer should recognize that you regularly track your invoices, so you’ll get back in touch with them if they don’tsend their bill on time.
Email subject: Invoice #10237 is due today
Hi John Doe,
This is just a reminder that payment on invoice #10237 (total $5,400), which we sent on March 25th, is due today. You can make payment to the bank account specified on the invoice.
If you have any questions whatsoever, please reply and I’d be happy to clarify them.
Why this payment reminder works: This is one of the most important emails in the sequence, since you’re requesting your first call to action to your customer to make their payment. It should be short, straight to the point, but still friendly—that bill isn’t technically overdue yet!
Email subject: Invoice #10237 is one week overdue
Hi John Doe,
Our records show that we haven’t yet received payment of $5,400 for Invoice #10237, which is overdue by one week. I would appreciate if you could check this out on your end.
If the payment has already been sent, please disregard this notice. And if you’ve lost this invoice, please let me know, and I’d be happy to send you another copy.
Why this payment reminder works: This is the first email addressing that the invoice is overdue, so you’ll want to start firming up your tone. Include details about the invoice such as invoice number, amount due, and repayment timeframe for a clearer reminder of what the customer owes, and when they owed it. Also offer a copy of the invoice, as sometimes they do get lost or accidentally deleted.
Email subject: Invoice #10237 is two weeks overdue
Hi John Doe,
I wrote to you several times to remind you of the pending amount of $5,400 for invoice #10237. As another reminder, payment was due two weeks ago.
If you have any queries regarding this payment, please let me know. I’ve also attached a copy of the invoice to this email, in case the original was lost or deleted.
Could you reply to this message and let me know you’ve received it? Thank you.
Why this payment works: Okay, now it’s time to get more direct. In this email, you should clearly ask for payment, and ask the client to confirm whether they have received the message. That way, they have one less excuse to ignore your email.
Email subject: Invoice #10237 from 3/25 is overdue—please send payment ASAP
Hi John Doe,
This is another reminder that I have yet to receive the $5,400 owed on invoice #10237. Please be aware that, as per my terms, I may charge you additional interest on payment received more than 30 days past its due date.
Again, please reach out if you have any questions on this payment. Otherwise, please organize for settlement of this invoice immediately.
Why this payment reminder works: At a full month overdue, and several ignored attempts to reach out to the customer, you’re entitled to take a tougher approach about reclaiming your compensation. But don’t let it get personal. Making accusatory statements toward your customer undermines your professionalism.
If you still haven’t received payment after a full month, it’s time to step out from behind the email curtain and call your client directly. First of all, it’s possible that your client changed email addresses, or accidentally provided you with an incorrect email address. Or, if you’re working with a larger institution, you may be sending your invoice requests to the wrong person or department.
Either way, it’s always more effective to speak directly with your client, person to person, than it is to send an email. That way, you’ll give them the firm but kind reminder that they need to pay up, and hear their side of the story firsthand.
Even with these email templates to arm you, you still might feel a little uncomfortable chasing down your customers for their money. So, the best way to avoid that discomfort is to prevent the possibility of late payments in the first place.
Implement these invoicing tips upfront, as they may help you avoid late payments down the line.
It also helps avoid overdue payments if you send your invoice to your customer immediately after you complete a job. When your goods or services are still fresh in the customer’s mind, they are more likely to pay you on time.
One other tip is to provide early payment discounts to your customers. When your customers pay early, offer a small discount like 1% off. This might not seem like much, but it could be just the nudge to get your customers to pay you on time.
If your invoice payment is seriously overdue, it can be hard to keep your cool. After all, “doing business” means more than doing your job well. It also means receiving timely compensation for your hard work. So if you don’t receive that compensation, you’re more than entitled to be diligent about tracking that money down.
Keep in mind, though, that late payments are rarely a personal affront. Most of the time, delinquent customers have simply been busy, distracted, or dealing with an overflowing email inbox and lost or forgot about your invoice in the process.
So, whether you’re sending an initial reminder about an impending payment deadline, or if you’re checking in on the status of a weeks-late invoice payment, remind yourself that you and your customer are both human beings. And human beings make mistakes! Maintain that attitude even when you need take a firmer approach toward reclaiming your compensation.
If you follow the email sequence and tips above, you’ll definitely notice your overdue invoice pile going down. But you’ll also ensure that you’re establishing and preserving trust between you and your client, which, in the long run, is just as important in running a successful small business.
Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.
Friendly reminder email template. To: (Insert recipient email -generally Subject: Invoice Payment Reminder - IMPORTANT. Dear (insert accounts payable.
No one likes being paid late. Yet, many small business owners and freelancers shrink back at the thought of asking a client for the money they owe.
It's almost as though you're reduced to begging. If this is the mindset you have, then late-paying clients are going to walk all over you.
So to prevent yourself from becoming a doormat, you have to step up your game. One way to do so is to implement payment reminders into your business strategy.
You have your tools for completing projects, invoicing platforms like invoicely to send out payment requests, and now you need email templates for the late payers.
Let's take a look at how you can set up your payment reminders using the following copy and paste templates.
Before we get into the templates, let's go over the best practices for sending payment reminders.
What to Include in Your Payment Reminders
When you send a client a payment reminder, it's critical that you include all pertinent details. If you're dealing with a business, then they likely have many emails coming in.
So you want your payment reminder to be clear about who it's from and why it's important to read. Make sure to include your company name/contact name in the subject line and at the beginning of the email, so they know who it's from and what it's regarding.
It's essential to include updated information about their order, account balance, and if applicable, their payment history.
This will clarify everything for the client and minimizes the chances of them contacting you to get details about their invoice. So the more you provide, the more likely they'll take care of the invoice without all the back and forth.
Also, to make payments easier, your payment reminder should outline which forms of payment you accept. Hopefully, you offer an online payment solution to make it faster to settle the invoice.
Your payment reminders should also include the due date of the invoice (whether it's upcoming or past due). It's good to send this 5 to 7 days in advance, so your customers have time to take care of the bill.
Then if you're using an online invoicing platform, you should include an attachment or link to where they can view the original invoice.
At the end of your email, it's essential to place your contact details. Or the contact details of the one who handles your invoicing.
This way, if they have any questions, they know who to reach out to.
Next, let's dive into 8 different templates you can copy and paste for your payment reminder emails.
Now, as we mentioned, you want to send out payment reminders well before the invoice is due. This way, you give clients a heads up and a means to plan to settle it promptly.
Ideally, you want to send it about a week before the due date.
In this email, you want to politely remind the client that they have a pending invoice that's due soon. You can also verify that they're satisfied with their product or service and that everything's on track for payment.
Be sure your subject is clear about what's inside the email. Here's an example:
Subject: [Name of your company]: Invoice# [Invoice number]
Hi [First name of client],
How are things going?
I wanted to reach out to remind you of the [invoice balance] balance on your most recent invoice that's due [due date].
You can view the invoice here [invoice link].
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and whether everything's on track for payment.
[Your first name]
Maybe the client responded to your first email and assured you that everything was great and would pay the invoice on time.
Or maybe they didn't respond at all.
Either way, you should reach out to them soon after the payment becomes overdue. You can wait a day or two (or three) to allow a short grace period before you send a followup email.
You can follow a similar outline from the last template.
It can look something like this:
Subject: [Your company name]: Invoice# [invoice number]
Hi [ client's first name],
I hope things are going well for you.
We noticed your current invoice# [invoice number] in the amount of [balance owed] is overdue as of [day after due date].
You can view the invoice here [invoice link].
It would be much appreciated if you could shoot me an email letting me know when to expect payment.
[Your first name]
If you've sent an early payment reminder and another a few days after the due date and you still haven't heard from your client, then it's time to send another followup.
This is where your method switches from passive to urgent.
The point of this email is to let the client know that their payment is required ASAP to prevent further actions (legal, collections, etc.) from taking place.
The idea is to get the message across that late payments aren't acceptable, and the balance must be paid urgently.
Here's a great example.
Subject: [Your company name] -- Overdue Payment -- Invoice# [invoice number]
Hi [client's first name]
This is our third attempt to collect a balance of [invoice balance] for invoice# [invoice number] that was due on [due date]. Your payment is now [number of days overdue] overdue.
We kindly request that you immediately satisfy the balance or contact us at [company phone number] to make a payment arrangement.
Here is the link to your invoice [include link].
If we don't hear from you within the next 48 hours, we will have no choice but to escalate this matter.
I look forward to your reply,
[Your first name]
If your client pays you right after the first email, then great! But whether your client paid on time or not -- you want to send them a thank you email.
This will help to build a good relationship with your customers (and give them a pat on the back for keeping their account in good standing).
But ultimately, it's to steer your clients towards being on-time payers.
So what should your thank you email look like?
Subject: [Your company name]: Invoice# [invoice number]
Hi [client's first name],
I'm just reaching out today to let you know that we've received your payment for invoice# [invoice number]. I'd like to thank you personally and let you know that we greatly appreciate it!
We look forward to working with you again soon.
[Your first name]
As a business owner, it's critical to take measures that can help ensure your cash flow goes uninterrupted. You don't ever want to be at the mercy of your clients and their ability (or willingness) to pay you on time.
This is why we recommend putting together a strategy focused on prevention.
Here are some ideas for you.
As a professional, you need to have contracts and agreements in place that outline the duties and expectations of your business and the client.
This agreement should detail when payments are due. For example, you can give clients 7, 10, 15, or 30 days to pay their invoice.
Anything longer is asking for a roster of late-paying customers.
Whatever you decide, make sure to spell out when the clock starts -- upon completion of the project/service or the date of the invoice.
Then it should list what forms of payment are accepted, when invoices are sent, and what happens if payments are paid late (or not at all).
And this leads us to our next point.
One way to deter clients from paying late is to tack on interest or late fees. If you decide to go this route, then it's best to let clients know this upfront.
Add this to your contract and payment terms and have them read and sign it.
It's easy to forget to follow up with your clients after completing work for them. So if you're not on top of sending out your payment reminder emails, then you're going to have a harder time getting paid on time.
This is why we suggest automating your payment reminders.
You can do this easily using a tool like invoicely that allows you to schedule in advance when payment reminders are sent.
With this setup, all you have to do is watch your inbox and account for replies and payments. It also helps that invoicely allows your clients to pay you online using a credit/debit card, PayPal, Mollie, Stripe, and WePay.
The better your invoicing strategy, the easier it's going to be to keep clients on track with their payments.
With the above templates, you can automate your payment reminders to promote clients to pay promptly.
Do you have any other tips and ideas for getting paid on time?
Let us know about them in the comments!
Sample letters to collections (1 of 6) - politely remind a customer that payment is past due.