8 Polite Invoice Payment Reminder Emails That Work

8 Polite Invoice Payment Reminder Emails That Work [Free Templates]

Sending overdue invoices via email is one of the tasks that most business owners dread. They want to focus on getting work done and getting more clients. Take a moment and imagine what will happen to your business if you neglect following up on invoices.

At first, everything feels fine. You have a bit of extra time during the workweek. You might push harder to get some work done or leave work early on Friday. You don’t have to confront your clients about their failure to pay.

As you continue to overlook unpaid invoices, the problems gradually pile up. Your cash flow falls 10% this month. Worse, clients may start to get out of the habit of paying your invoices on time. As more and more invoices continue to be paid late, your cash flow worsens. After a few months, you may have to draw on your savings or credit to pay the bills. If you have faced these problems, you’re far from alone because late invoice payments are a common problem.

Invoice payment reminder emails that work:
  1. Invoice payment statistics: What does the data say?
  2. What happens when you don’t follow up on invoices?
  3. The good news about overdue invoices
  4. How CheckYa automation improves your cash flow
  5. Sample template for late payment notice: 8 email templates
  6. Additional overdue payment invoice templates
  7. Frequently asked questions about overdue invoices
  8. How to complete monthly invoice monitoring in 30 minutes or less
  9. The best way to save time on invoicing

1. Invoice Payment Statistics: What Does The Data Say?

Many businesses struggle to get their invoices paid correctly and on time. Industry research reveals that:

1.1. Many Freelancers Struggle With Late Payments

Research by Bonsai found that 29% of freelance invoices are paid late. Invoice payment delays are even worse with large dollar-value invoices. Fifty percent of Invoices over $10,000 are paid late.

1.2. 54% of companies expect late payment of invoices

There are also regional differences in late payments. In the USA, 71% of invoices are not paid on time and 46% of invoices are not paid on time in Canada. In comparison, businesses in Denmark report that 13% of invoices are not paid on time. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made late invoice payments more common. 

1.3. Few Invoices Take More Than 90 Days To Be Paid

In the UK, less than 4% of invoices take more than 90 days to be paid. Many businesses are taking longer to pay invoices. For example, German businesses have more than doubled (14 to 32 days) their invoice payment delays.

1.4. Invoice Fraud Is A Major Problem

Incorrect prices, fraud, and other unprofessional invoice behaviour are also key factors. One recent study found that Irish companies lost approximately  €14,000 to invoice fraud in 2022. As invoice fraud becomes more widespread, companies may implement more controls on payment. These increased safeguards may result in invoice payment delays, especially if there are manual reviews.

If you have suffered invoice payment delays, you are far from alone. One or two late invoices may not cause problems. What if late invoice payments become more common in your business?


2. What Happens When You Don’t Follow Up On Invoices?

following up on overdue invoices

If you ignore the value of overdue invoices email, your business starts to suffer. Let’s say you have six clients, three of whom are somewhat disorganized. After 30 days, you may suddenly see your cash flow drop as fewer invoices are paid on time. That unexpected drop in cash flow adds tremendous pressure! You might struggle to pay your bills if you lack an emergency fund.


3. The Good News About Overdue Invoices

90% of unpaid invoices can be collected by using email follow-ups! Fortunately, cash flow problems and awkward conversations can be significantly reduced. There are two parts to improving cash flow and reducing stress. First, you must find and customize a sample template for late payment notices. This guide will find more than half a dozen templates you can adapt to your business. Second, you will need to plan 30-60 minutes per month on your calendar to review overdue invoices. That’s all it takes to minimize, if not eliminate, the pain of overdue invoices. 


4. How CheckYa Automation Improves Your Cash Flow

Before covering the sample template for late payment notice emails below, there’s one key point we have to cover. You’re probably wondering how you will track and remember sending reminders. CheckYa takes care of all of the heavy liftings for you. 

CheckYa can send automatic invoice payment reminders. Specifically, you can send a reminder on a set schedule: 7 days due, 14 days due, or 30 days due. You can choose a custom time if those options do not suit your business. 

CheckYa Invoice

Create an Invoice on CheckYa

With that automation in place, monitoring your invoices only takes a few minutes per month. We’ll cover the invoice monitoring process at the end of this guide.


5. Sample Template For Late Payment Notice: 8 Email Templates

sample emails for overdue invoices

The following templates are your first line of defence against late or overdue invoice payments. Feel free to copy and paste these emails and use them! For simplicity, we’ll assume that your invoices are due for payment 30 days after being sent. In addition, we have also assumed that your contracts and agreements allow you to charge overdue invoice penalties. 

Note that text in bold in the templates below should be customized to match your business details.


5.1. One Week Before Due Date

Context: Sending an invoice reminder before the payment due date may be aggressive by some clients. Therefore, exercise some caution in using this template. It may be most useful when working with a client with a history of paying late invoices.

Subject: Invoice NUMBER is due in one week

Hello,

Invoice NUMBER is due for payment in 7 days. You can pay the invoice online using CheckYa by clicking the following link.

If anything about the invoice or payment method is unclear, please get in touch with me for clarification by email (email address) or phone (phone number).

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


5.2. On The Day Payment is Due

Context: Reminding a client to pay the invoice on the due date is smart. You can use invoice email templates for most of your clients.

Subject: CLIENT: Invoice NUMBER is due for payment today

Hello,

Invoice NUMBER is due today. You can pay the invoice online using CheckYa by clicking the following link.

If you have questions about the invoice or work delivered, please get in touch with me to discuss your concerns. I’m available by email (email address) or phone (phone number).

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


5.3. 7 Days Overdue Invoices Sample Email

Subject Line: CLIENT: Invoice NUMBER is overdue

Hello,

Your invoice was due for payment seven days ago. Please pay the invoice promptly so that there is no interruption in service.

If you have any questions about the invoice, please get in touch with me at the following email address or phone number.

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


5.4. 14 Days Overdue Invoices Sample Email

Subject Line: Your invoice payment is two weeks overdue

Hello,

Your invoice was due for payment 14 days ago. If payment is not completed in the next 72 hours, we will have to suspend providing services until payment is completed. 

If you have any questions about the invoice, please get in touch with me at the following email address or phone number.

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


5.5. 30 Days Overdue Invoices Sample Email

Subject Line: URGENT: payment on invoice NUMBER is 30 days overdue

Hello,

Your invoice was due for payment 30 days ago. A penalty of $100 will be charged to your account and included on the next invoice. 

If you have any questions about the invoice, please get in touch with me at the following email address or phone number.

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


6. Additional Overdue Payment Invoice Templates

For most clients, receiving one or two reminders is enough to get them to send the payment. There are some cases when you need to take a different approach. In these situations, sending an automated invoice payment reminder may not be the best solution. Instead, you will want to adapt these templates and think carefully about customizing them for your business.

6.1. Client Payment Method Challenges

Context: The client is struggling with the preferred payment method. For example, a small business may be used to send payments by ACH. They may not be familiar with how to use CheckYa, for example.

Subject Line: Invoice payment problems?

Hello,

I understand you’re experiencing challenges paying invoice #NUMBER through CheckYa. Usually, there are only a few problems that cause problems. 

Can you connect me to the person who pays invoices in your business? Once I have their email, I’ll walk them through the following steps to pay the invoice. If we can’t get CheckYa to work, there are other methods we can use.

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


6.2. Client Dissatisfaction

Context: In some cases, clients intentionally delay paying an invoice because they are dissatisfied with your service or have changes they would like you to make. This situation comes up fairly frequently when you are providing complex or creative services. Use the following email template if your client typically pays the invoice on time and starts asking for questions and changes.

Subject Line: CLIENT – discuss invoice NUMBER this week.

Hello,

You sent over a few questions about the work I recently delivered and invoiced on invoice #NUMBER. 

I’m committed to delivering a great customer experience, so I propose we set up a call so that I can better understand your concerns. Once those matters are resolved, you can pay the invoice without a late payment penalty.

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name


6.3. Client Personnel Change or Process Change

Context: When you work with larger companies, life gets more complicated. For example, a cybersecurity consultant might often interact with the VP of IT security. However, invoices may be processed by a central accounts payable department in the company. Disruptions to the accounts payable department may cause your invoices to get paid late. 

Send this email to your primary contact (i.e., the VP of IT security in this example) to request assistance.

Subject Line: Client – Help with invoice payments?

Hi PRIMARY CONTACT,

I sent invoice #NUMBER to accounts payable NUMBER of days ago and haven’t heard from them. Usually, they pay invoices in NUMBER of days. 

Can you check internally and advise me who I should contact to get invoice NUMBER paid on time and avoid overdue payment fees?

Regards,

Your Name

Your Business Name

Save up to 100% processing fee with CheckYa Invoicing


7. Frequently Asked Questions About Overdue Invoices

Invoice payment delays are a common problem in business. The templates provided above will give you an excellent starting point. However, you may still have a few questions. 

7.1. I have a lot of overdue invoices. How do I prevent this?

If the number of overdue invoices is increasing month over month, it is essential to understand what is causing this problem. Start by considering the following typical causes.

  • Insufficient upfront communication.

During the sales process, it is critically important to set your expectations. That includes covering when you expect invoices to be paid.

  • Poor client screening.

It’s sad that some people are disorganized or unethical and may not appreciate the importance of paying invoices on time. One way to decrease this problem is to ensure you are working with companies that have been in operation for a few years and have a steady cash flow. Alternatively, you may want to request upfront payment before starting work to ensure that your cash flow does not suffer.

  • You are not sending consistent invoice payment reminders

Use the invoice reminders in this guide as a starting point. In particular, sending reminders 7 days in advance of the due date and on the due date may be helpful.

7.2. How much should I charge for overdue invoice fees or penalties?

Charging late payment penalties when invoices are not paid on time is a common practice for many larger businesses. For a small business or freelancer, including a late payment penalty in your contracts is smart. If you are already having difficulties collecting an invoice payment, collecting a penalty may be difficult. In general, applying a 5% late payment penalty is reasonable (i.e. a $50 late payment penalty on a $1,000 invoice). 

7.3. Should I ever grant an exception to overdue invoice fees?

Granting exceptions to your payment terms should be rare and apply in unusual circumstances. For example, your client may have become ill and been away from work for several days. In this case, giving an exception to your late payment rules is reasonable. 

7.4. My cash flow is suffering due to multiple unpaid invoices. How do I handle this situation?

There are multiple ways to approach improving cash flow problems. Keep in mind that these solutions take some time to implement. If you have an emergency like paying rent tomorrow, take money out of your savings or use a loan.

  • Offer multiple invoice payment methods.

Relying exclusively on a single invoice payment method is unwise. You may prefer to use CheckYa but some of your clients may insist on using their preferred payment method. In these cases, it is worth persuading your client to change. If the client insists on using their preferred payment method, like a wire transfer, accept their preference and move on.

  • Use invoice payment reminders

Please choose at least two invoice payment reminder templates from this guide and add them to your business. Some people are simply disorganized and will take action when you give them a polite and friendly reminder.

  • Get more clients

Many business problems can be solved with more sales. Instead of constantly worrying about a few clients that pay invoices late, go out there and get more clients! To ensure you have a consistent flow of leads, set up a daily habit of working on sales. For example, you might set a habit goal to send 5-10 outreach emails to potential clients each week.

  • Review your business contracts

Read your business agreements to see what changes you need to make invoice payment easier. For example, have you clearly stated when the invoice is due for payment on the agreement and the invoice? Use our freelance contract templates as a starting point.

7.5. Is it worth hiring an assistant to help me with invoices?

Delegating invoice management to an assistant may be worthwhile in some circumstances. For example, you earn over $10,000 per month and have multiple overdue invoices each month. Hiring a part-time virtual assistant for $500-$1000 per month may make sense in this circumstance. 

Fortunately, you have other options. You can use CheckYa’s invoice dashboard. In a few seconds, you can easily find a breakdown of your invoices by paid, unpaid and overdue. That information makes it easy to follow up on late invoices. 

7.6. My client says they cannot use my preferred payment method. How do I respond?

Start by finding out why the client does not want to use your payment method. The answer could be a simple lack of knowledge or a matter of company policy. If possible, offer to set up a video conference call to provide a quick training guide on using CheckYa or your preferred payment option. If the client insists on using wire transfers, PayPal or another method, it’s best to stay flexible and accept their preference.


8. How To Complete Monthly Invoice Monitoring In 30 Minutes or Less

Monitoring your invoice status regularly is an important business discipline. Before implementing this process, ensure you have the right foundation. First, update your business agreements and invoice templates with crystal-clear payment instructions. Second, adapt this guide’s invoice payment reminder emails to your business. Now, you’re ready to start monitoring your invoices.

Once per month, schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to review your invoice activity. In particular, take note of any late invoice payments. During this monitoring time, look for trends. For example, if one client has been late paying your invoices several times over the past few months, you may want to take action. Start by setting up a call with the client to discuss your concerns and request improvement. If the client is not interested in improving, you may have to end that client relationship.


9. The Best Way To Save Time On Invoicing

CheckYa is one of the fastest ways to save time on invoicing. Not only can you send an unlimited number of invoices, but you also get free invoice payment reminders. Click here to sign up for CheckYa.

CheckYa invoice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.