A robust approach to payment reminders helps you get paid promptly by customers.

That, of course, is critical for your cash flow and your business’s health.

Issuing an invoice payment reminder needn’t be a last-minute headache in response to a long-overdue bill.

Instead, it should be part of a coherent system — supporting your customers to complete their side of the deal.

We’re going to help you create a system for managing your business’s outstanding invoices.

The importance of invoice payment reminders

Invoices are not the most exciting aspect of running a business, but they are crucial in maintaining its health.

Every business needs to know how to write an invoice, but they also need a proactive system to help stay on top of them.

Sending customers a reminder for payment at key points should be a central part of this.

Ideally, when you issue an invoice, it gets paid pretty much immediately. However, that doesn’t always happen for all sorts of reasons.

Your client might have forgotten your invoice.

A periodic reminder email for payment can help set things right — whatever the situation.

Here are some benefits of organizing a payment reminder email system for customers:

  • Helps to ensure quicker payment. Your client may have simply forgotten!
  • A well-crafted payment reminder email helps preserve the relationship with your client. You can ensure every invoice-related communication strikes an appropriate tone.
  • Sending an overdue invoice reminder email as a step in an established, transparent system is less awkward and uncomfortable for your staff.
  • A coherent sequence of payment reminders allows you to reinforce and modulate your message to customers. For example, an initial friendly reminder for payment may need to be more assertive once the invoice is overdue.
  • With a proactive approach to payment reminders in place, issues are more likely to be dealt with promptly.

When to send a payment reminder letter

A payment reminder system is not just for overdue invoices. It should help to encourage all customers to pay promptly — reminding them what service you provided and what you expect in return.

Issue a payment reminder email or letter at each of these stages:

  • Payment reminders before the due date: This is a friendly reminder to pay the invoice. Acknowledge and state the invoice due date — you don’t want to alarm customers at this stage and make them think you’re chasing an overdue invoice.
  • Reminder of payment due on (or very close to) the actual due date: This should be a firm but warm and professional email for payment reminder. Explain clearly how the invoice can be paid.
  • Past due date payment reminders: Send out an overdue invoice reminder email once the date has passed. Consider an escalating sequence of these, as payment becomes later.
  • One week overdue: It’s a good idea to send a further reminder each week after the due date.
  • One month overdue: Around this point, you may need to emphasize that this is the final reminder for payment and reiterate that different terms and fees may apply to a late invoice.

By issuing a reminder email for payment at each stage, you maximize your chances of getting paid promptly.

Best practices for sending invoice reminders

Ensure that your customers understand what you need them to do. In each invoice reminder email, include:

  • A clear subject line stating the invoice number and status.
  • Your company name and contact details.
  • Details about the invoice—especially the due date (or how overdue the payment is).
  • An attached copy of the original invoice.
  • Payment process. E.g., how to pay.
  • Details of any relevant terms or fees (i.e., if this is an overdue invoice reminder email).
  • Invite the client to reach out if they have any issues paying the invoice.

Of course, the precise details of each reminder of payment will depend on the timing.

Timing of reminders

Don’t put off sending a reminder of payment until after the due date has passed.

A proactive invoice reminder email can be genuinely helpful for customers — who are probably just as busy as you are!

Initially, you will be sending out a friendly reminder for payment — a gentle nudge to check clients have all the information they need.

Once the invoice is due, a nudge becomes even more necessary.

Your overdue invoice reminder email may need to remind the customer that late payment may entail an extra cost for them.

Tone of reminders

Strike a different tone in your reminder for payment at each stage of your reminder sequence.

Bear the following in mind when crafting your payment reminder email templates:

  • Stay confident — avoid sounding apologetic.
  • Stay constructive — expect the client to do the right thing, i.e., don’t sound emotive or shaming.
  • Be friendly — especially in the earlier payment reminders.
  • Be open — invite the client to let you know if they have a query or problem.
  • But keep it brief, focused, and skimmable — the reader should get the gist at a glance.

A friendly tone initially helps maintain a warm and positive customer relationship. It invites continued dialog.

If the customer has a genuine problem making the payment, they’re more likely to reach out early in response to a friendly reminder to pay the invoice.

As the sequence progresses (especially once the invoice is overdue), maintain a constructive but assertive tone.

Assume that the client will pay, and make it easy for them to do so.

Explain any consequences of late payment.

Keep your payment reminder email templates professional, concise, and constructive. Longer is not better.

You will find suggested wording for each type later in this post.

Personalization of reminders

Personalize your payment reminders.

Overly generic and overtly automated messages are more likely to be off-putting or, worse, ignored.

Every payment reminder email should feel written for that recipient personally.

For example, it should address the individual (usually by first name) and give specific details about the invoice (e.g., the invoice number, due date, and amount due).

Without such specifics, your invoice reminder email may get lost.

Such personalization is perfectly achievable while still using templates and automation.

You certainly don’t need to reinvent the wheel for every payment reminder!

That would be detrimental to a robust and standardized approach.

Templates and automation bring consistency and rigor.

Considerations when crafting late payment reminders

So, we know what makes an effective payment reminder procedure. Let’s now look at some practical tips for implementing this:

1. Set a standard payment reminder schedule

Above, we set out a possible schedule for your payment reminders.

Do your existing accounting, document, or invoicing tools support this scheduling?

Some payment collection software allows you to set up automatic reminder notifications so that you don’t have to do so manually.

For example, in PandaDoc, you can click on “Settings”, “Settings” again, and then “Auto reminders settings”. Here you can configure notifications to be sent as time passes.

Using PandaDoc, you can also set up notifications on invoice documents and payment reminders so that you know when a payee has seen them.

Just go to “Settings”, click “Notifications”, and then tick the notifications you want.

2. Personalize your payment reminders

Your reminder of payment emails should not sound generic, impersonal, or unspecific.

Such messages risk being ignored.

Some sales invoice software tools will help you automate the payment reminder process while also allowing scope for personalization.

Personalize your payment reminders

You will be able to input templates that include personalized fields. For example, names, dates, values, and other details.

Once the template is set up, these tools can draw on your database to personalize each invoice reminder email.

3. Be polite and professional

Set a professional but polite tone in your payment reminders.

You may wish to modulate your tone slightly as the deadline passes and payment becomes later. Handling this on an ad-hoc basis can be tricky.

But adopting a standardized system simplifies things.

Simply agree on a standard set of invoice reminder email templates for each reminder stage.

You can then strike the right tone for each point of contact.

Just ensure you include the appropriate personalized fields in those templates.

4. Use automated invoicing software

Fortunately, many software tools can support all of this.

Check whether any of your current services might help you implement payment reminders or other automations in the payment process.

If not, consider investing in software that does.

Payment reminder emails to clients: Top examples

Your payment reminder email templates need to be well-pitched.

You must protect your relationship with the customer by striking a friendly, constructive tone. But be goal focused — you want the customer to pay.

And you must judge how to adjust your templates if payment is overdue.

Fortunately, these emails can follow a fairly standard pattern. To help you get started, here are some example templates for your invoice reminder email.

Notice how the tone modifies from one template to the next.

Just consider making some small tweaks, so they feel more authentically from your own business: A little dose of personality might encourage the client to pay more quickly.

1. Payment reminders well in advance of the due date

Subject line: <Your company name> Invoice <invoice number>

Hello <first name>,

I hope you’re doing well!

I just wanted to let you know that payment of <amount invoiced for> is due on <due date>. This relates to invoice <invoice number>. The original invoice is attached for your convenience.

I’m sure you’re busy, but I’d be grateful if you could take a look. Do get back to me if you have any questions.

You can pay by <add details appropriate to your business>.

Thanks very much!

<sender’s name>

<business and contact details>

2. Payment reminder on (or around) due date

Subject line: <Your company name> Invoice <invoice number> Invoice due <today / other date>

Hello <first name>,

I hope you’re well.

I just wanted to let you know that we have not yet received your payment of <amount> for invoice <invoice number>. This is due <today/other date>. The original invoice is attached for your convenience.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need help with the payment process.

You can pay by <add details appropriate to your business>.

Thank you,

<sender’s name>

<business and contact details>

3. One week overdue

Subject line: <Your company name> Invoice <invoice number> Invoice is <one week late>

Hello <first name>,

Our records show that we are still awaiting payment of <amount> for invoice <invoice number>. This was due for payment by <due date>. The original invoice is attached in case it has been lost.

Do let me know if you need help with the payment process. You can pay by <add details appropriate to your business>.

Thank you,

<sender’s name>

<business and contact details>

4. One month overdue

Subject line: <Your company name> Invoice <invoice number> Invoice is <one month late>

Hello <first name>,

I have written to you several times to remind you that <amount> was due on the <due date>. This was in relation to invoice <invoice number>, which I attach again to this message.

Please confirm receipt of the invoice and complete payment as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or need help processing the payment. You can pay by <add details appropriate to your business>.

Thank you,

<sender’s name>

<business and contact details>

Reduce overdue payments with effective invoice payment reminders

An effective system of invoice payment reminders helps reduce overpayments.

A timely and well-crafted reminder of payment is good for everyone.

You know that outstanding payments get chased, and your client will get a gentle nudge (and a reminder of the process).

Of course, all this is much easier with powerful tools at hand.

For example, workflow software from PandaDoc can support all your document management workflows.

Whatever the size of your team, PandaDoc’s software makes getting paid simple, seamless, and secure.

To learn more, why not schedule a 15-minute demo today?


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