Strong cash flow is crucial for business success and longevity. But chasing outstanding invoices can prove difficult. Late payments are a real problem, particularly for small businesses. This is where a best practice overdue invoice reminders workflow comes into play. Add to this well-timed, well-written follow-up overdue invoice email reminders and you should see a real difference to your cash flow.
Read on to see the basic overdue invoice reminders workflow that our Accounts Receivables Specialists use to fight debtors. Then download your own sample of the overdue invoice reminder templates they use to send professional invoice reminders that really work.
Key elements of successful overdue invoice templates
Before sending any overdue invoice reminders, there are actions you can take to increase your chances of them delivering the result you want. Getting paid.
1. Use a familiar sender name
We’ve all received emails from people and organisations we don’t know. Sending overdue invoice reminders from your name or your company name will improve your email open rate. Especially if it’s the name your customers are used to receiving emails from.
2. Don’t be afraid to get personal
Personalising your overdue invoice reminder emails with the name and/or company name of your recipient can improve engagement with the email. This is especially true if you have a good relationship with whoever receives your invoice reminders.
3. Include a call to action
Whether you’re making a phone call or sending an outstanding invoice email, the goal is to get paid. Or, at the very least obtain a promise to pay. Be clear about the action you want, whether that’s confirming that payment has already been made, paying the full amount immediately or contacting you to agree new payment terms. An example of this is: “Please reply to this email and advise when you will make payment so we can update our records.”
4. Follow up
Be the squeaky wheel, chase those overdue invoices. This is crucial in raising your chances of getting paid. If your customer has gone silent, then you must appear in their inbox regularly. You want to be top of their list when they’re reviewing unpaid invoices. If you’re the one that’s bugging them often (in the nicest possible way) your chances are much better than another business that’s on that same list but has only chased the outstanding invoice once.
Schedule an overdue invoice email reminder workflow that gets results
Timing is key when it comes to a workflow that gets results. Prompting your customer about their overdue invoices at well-timed intervals goes a long way to getting paid faster. So, before sending any overdue invoice email reminders, make sure you’ve got a plan around when they’ll be sent and the purpose of each.
A basic email reminder workflow can be scheduled at these intervals:
- 2 days before due date
- 7 days after due date
- 14 days after due date
- 21 days after due date
To get more sophisticated or for customer segments which need slightly different messages, break them out into separate workflows. You can add in SMS reminders, calls, switch between plain text and html emails and tweak timings to suit.
How to write overdue invoice email reminders that are fit for purpose
Once you’ve got your schedule planned, it’s on to your overdue invoice email reminders. Key to maintaining strong customer relationships while pushing for payment, is ensuring your tone matches the urgency of your request. For the email being sent before the due date, you’ll want to keep things light and friendly. At 21 days past due, your tone should have shifted to firm and urgent.
Download the full guide to get your four key overdue invoice email reminder templates for the basic workflow above. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve included a template for the all-important ‘thanks for paying’ email too.
Get smart when it comes late payments
Having a best practice overdue invoices reminder workflow in place is crucial to protecting your cashflow. If you want to level up and get serious about building an efficient, scalable collections process, talk to us about CreditorWatch Collect. With our automated collections tool on your team, you’ll collect more cash, faster, with less resources.
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