In my small business, we learnt how to use a friendly reminder email to our best advantage when we were chasing invoices for payment.
We used it to make things really clear for our customers. So clear that there was no doubt how much they owed and when it needed to be paid.
THE BEST WAY TO USE EMAIL TO CHASE PAYMENT OF INVOICES
Although you can use an email to chase invoices without speaking to your customer, I wouldn’t say that was the best way to collect overdue invoices. It can work of course and there’s a couple of templates for basic friendly reminder emails later in this article.
Our greatest success using an email reminder was to use it when we’d spoken to a customer and made and agreement with them in the conversation.
For example, we always used email when we sent a credit note to our customer. Generally, we’d had a conversation with the customer to discuss and resolve a query or problem. We always addressed the email to that person.
Here’s an example…
AN EMAIL TO CONFIRM BALANCE DUE AFTER CREDIT NOTE RAISED
This is a clear, friendly email which politely lists the basic facts.
Emailing in this format gave us the opportunity to include a ‘customer service’ note at the end. That note gave us the opening to call the next day just to check if the email was received.
Then we had the chance to ask for politely for the payment.
THE 2 HOT KEYS: HOW TO SEND EMAILS THAT WORK
The key when sending any email is to be really
#1 Be Clear
#2 Be Precise.
Emails need to be clear and precise because people are really short of time.
It’s now proven. People don’t read blocks of text. They just ‘skim’ the document. They hardly ever read down to the end.
To make sure the customer reads the whole email,make it as brief as possible. Be brief while including all the facts the customer needs. Re-read the email before you send it. See if you can delete anything to make it even clearer.
Here’s some friendly reminder email templates showing how to set up your email to get your customers undivided attention:
A FRIENDLY REMINDER EMAIL TO CHASE PAYMENT OF A SINGLE INVOICE
When you’re writing about just one invoice give all the details in the subject line of your reminder email:
A FRIENDLY REMINDER EMAIL TO CHASE PAYMENT OF A FEW INVOICES
When you’re writing about several invoices, be as clear in a different way, especially in the subject line.
Use these 2 email templates to remind your customer, in a friendly way, that invoices are due for payment soon.
To get the best result from your friendly reminder emails, make a brief note at the end to let your customer know that you will call them the next day.
When you call the next day, confirm your customer has received the email and ask if they have any further queries.
If they do raise a query, use your customer service skills to resolve the query quickly before the payment due date. Then you can still get paid on time.
If there’s no query, remind them of the payment due date and ask if they need anything else from you to be able to pay on time.
A FRIENDLY REMINDER EMAIL IS GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE
Always provide your customer with ‘World Class’ service. Everyone loves good service. They’ll remember you.
That’s exactly what we did in my business. We provided great customer service and our customers appreciated it. They got to know us and like us and put all our payments to the front of the queue!
In summary, use friendly reminder emails for confirming an agreed payment date or to attach a credit note or proof of delivery.
Remember to keep sentences short and use bullet points to keep your reader’s attention.
KEY POINTS ON FRIENDLY REMINDER EMAILS:
Take extra care with the subject line…
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy” – David Ogilvy, Headline Writer
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