The Most Effective Email Samples to get your Past Due Invoices Paid
Aug 1, 2022
Past due invoice emails are critical for small businesses and large companies alike. Indeed, each day that passes after the invoice due date increases the chances of your company never getting paid.
Knowing how much cash flow is important to business (and business owners!), each communication you send regarding your overdue invoice needs to be well-thought-out.
To be effective, a past due invoice email needs to have the right tone and content. More importantly, it must be personalized to the situation.
Keep reading to find out:
The strategy behind effective collection emails,
Email samples for unpaid invoices you can use now.
If you want more, check out Upflow! Our in-house accounts receivable solution allows you to automate your AR collection process by sending automated and personalized payment reminder emails. We make getting paid easier and faster and have more templates for you to use on our platform.
7 tips for Writing Effective Collection Emails for Overdue Payment.
At Upflow, we’re all about efficiency. That’s why we recommend setting some time to map out your current accounts receivable collection workflow. Once you see it clearly, you can work on improving it (or starting it!) with these tips:
Start early: start contacting your client when their invoice is only a few days overdue. By being reactive, you’ll make sure your invoice payment doesn’t slip away from anybody’s mind.
Be consistent: sending an invoice reminder email whenever you think about it won’t lead to great collection results. What works best is to have an email workflow with several follow-ups and contact points. A good starting point is one action per week.
Switch medium: emails have the advantage of being efficient and personalizable. They’re also easy to ignore (or forget), so it’s best to use several contact points. Our CFO swears by picking up the phone to have a live chat and unstuck any situation. Consider a formal letter of notice too when the situation seems to linger.
Try other contacts: maybe the contact you have in your client’s company is out of the office, not working there anymore, or simply too busy. You could try to call the front desk to make sure your emails go through and ask to speak to the relevant person.
Involve your sales team: we also recommend bringing in your sales representatives or account managers in the collection process. They might have another phone number to use and will be able to check in more personally (a good reason to have a business phone system). On Upflow, you can have an unlimited number of users in your plan, which means collaboration is made easier.
Bring up the legal team: sometimes just the mention of “legal action” is enough to sort out a situation quickly. You can involve your legal team or send a formal letter as a final notice before escalating it to the next level (like a collection agency)
Set up different workflows: design an email sequence specifically for different subgroups (new clients, late payers, corporate clients, etc.). Having ready-to-use templates with clear subject lines means being more efficient, as it saves you time and increases your probability of getting paid.
All in all: be proactive and have an actual payment reminder strategy! Making your accounts receivable collection a priority makes it a priority for your clients, too.
Need more tips? Check out our free email Samples to get your past due invoices paid:
Past Due Invoices - Email Samples For New Clients.
When new clients don’t pay your invoice on the due date, it can be because they don’t know your process. Your collection emails should consequently focus on educating your clients about your invoice payment terms.
This looks like including a link to your Terms & Conditions and/or the contract you have together. It’s a friendly reminder for them, and it makes sure you’re both on the same page as your business relationship develops.
Another point to take into consideration is that they might encounter some difficulty with your product or service. Maybe their delivery didn’t go as expected, or they’re not making full use of your SaaS platform yet. Whatever it is, it’s important to open up the conversation.
At Upflow, we ask our Sales Executives to make sure the first invoice is collected. It crystallizes their relationship while making sure the transition to the accounting part is as smooth as can be.
If any questions or problems arise, the situation can be brought to the sales’ immediate attention. By solving any challenging situation quickly in an appropriate time frame, you ensure that the invoice isn’t ignored or disputed later on.
Whether you do the same or not, it’s really important to focus on communication with a new client. Like any new relationship, most problems happen there and they can be down to a misunderstanding. Hence the need to be clear in your communication.
You can send the past due invoice email sample you’ll find below with some personalization and maybe pick up the phone, too, to make sure they’ve received it.
Collection Email Template for New Clients:
Hello (Client Name),
I hope you are making the most (mention your product/service). If not, we are only an email or a phone call away!
I am contacting you regarding our first invoice (invoice number) due (invoice due date). Can you confirm you have received it and that it has been transferred to your accounting department?
As a reminder and as stated in our T&Cs/contract, we require payment within (number of days).
You can pay via (payment methods - ie bank transfer, online payment, etc.).
Let me know if you have any questions regarding our company processes.
(Your contact info)
Email Samples for Late Payers
The great thing about collecting data (as well as money) is that you can identify late payers. If you use an A/R collection tool like Upflow, you have access to different levels of insights regarding your collection process.
That means being able to identify trends or patterns in your client base. It might be that the ones who pay via credit card encounter more failed payments - or the opposite.
All insights you gain will help you design an efficient past due invoice email strategy. Noticing who your late payers are will make a significant difference to your collection process already. Even just noticing who your late payers are can mean increasing your collection process.
Let me explain. By knowing which accounts are more likely to have a late invoice, you can:
Be proactive in your A/R approach with them,
Manage your cash flow better.
With late payers, for instance, you want to consider sending due date reminders before their payment due date.
Having dedicated email workflows for late payers means also you’re spending less time writing the same emails.
What’s more, you can experiment and see which phrasing, tone, and frequency lead to the best results. Once you hone in your collection emails, you can automate them and focus on the accounts that need more of your attention, like the invoices in your 90-day overdue collection bracket.
Regarding the content of the emails, with recurrently late payers, you want to be more assertive. Always remain polite of course, but show that you mean business.
You can also offer payment options like a payment plan and specific pricing, or prompt them to automate their payment to make it easier for everyone. This last option makes sense especially if you have a subscription-based business.
Collection Email Template for Late Payers:
Hello (Client Name),
We are contacting you as part of four outstanding invoices follow up. The invoice number (XXX) of (amount due) was due on (due date).
Can you confirm that this invoice has been recorded and give us an estimated payment date?
You will find a copy of the invoice (attached to this email/linked here). To pay this invoice, you can (payment instructions).
You can also choose to switch to credit card payments to automate your future payments. To do so, (specific instructions).
Let me know if you have any questions.
(Your contact info)
Days Past Due Invoice Email Samples for Corporate Accounts
Corporate accounts can be tricky to work with as they usually have very specific purchasing and invoicing processes in place. Plus, they are big structures, which means that anything takes more time.
Armed with patience and a good email sample, however, you will be able to tackle any level of bureaucracy!
If a corporate account has outstanding invoices, it is best to let them know earlier rather than later. Internal communication can take time and even more if someone happens to be Out of Office.
In order to get paid quickly, make sure to send the relevant information they need in your past due invoice emails:
The original invoice with the invoice number, amount due, a description of service/product provided, and the original due date.
An updated invoice with a late fee if you charge one.
Your payment terms as a reminder, as well as the different payment options you offer.
Your contact information: your name, company name, and email plus phone number if they need extra information. Include them on the invoice and in the body of the email as they can get separated in their internal process.
Even more than with new clients, it is good to work in collaboration with your Sales Team to deal with corporate accounts.
For one, they have more insights into how their business operates. They know how to navigate the different departments and are likely to have different contacts within the company. Your sales representative can also check in more easily with them via email, a phone call, or even a lunch meeting.
Email sample for corporate clients:
Dear (Client Name),
We are contacting you as part of our outstanding invoices collection. You currently have an outstanding balance of (XXX), of which (XXX) are overdue.
Your company has not paid yet the following invoices that are past due:
(List of invoices with reference numbers, amount due and due date)
You will find a copy of the aforementioned invoices attached to this email. We would appreciate a swift payment.
To pay your balance, you can (payment methods).
If you have any questions or problems, you can reply to this email or contact (Sales Representative/Account Manager name) in copy of this email.
We look forward to hearing from you.
(Your contact info)
P.S: if you’re not the person to contact for this matter, can you please forward this email to the relevant person in your company?
Want even more personalized email reminders and live data about your A/R? Try Upflow! Our product will reduce your late payments up to 50%.
In order to be a priority for your clients, A/R collection needs to be a priority for you. You can do so by: being proactive, starting early, switching medium (ending with payment reminder letters), and being consistent with your late payment reminders.
Having a predefined workflow and past due invoice email sample will make your accounts receivable collection faster and more efficient.
Involving your sales team in the collection process is a good way to make A/R a collaborative and more productive project. You can share your past due invoice email sample with them!
Personalizing your past due invoice emails to your clients and client’s subgroup increases the likelihood of getting paid quickly. You can create email templates for new clients, recurring late payers, and corporate accounts for example.
If you’re looking for more past due invoice email sample inspiration, consider using Upflow. Automating your invoice reminder workflows with Upflow will free up your time to focus on the accounts that need it the most! We also integrate directly with invoicing software like Netsuite or Quickbooks, making your life easier.