How to write an invoice email: Key components and best practices

Invoicing
Invoicing

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is an invoice email?
  3. Key components of invoice emails
  4. How to write an invoice
  5. How to write an invoice email
  6. Invoice email example

Accurate and prompt invoicing increases administrative efficiency and can directly impact a business’s financial health and relationships. Unclear invoice emails can lead to delayed payments or disputes, straining the business-customer relationship.

Invoicing is not just about getting paid on time—it’s also about preserving the company’s reputation and maintaining positive, mutually fulfilling experiences for the business and the customer. Below is a quick guide on how to write effective invoice emails, ensuring timely payments and sustaining customer trust.

What’s in this article?

  • What is an invoice email?
  • Key components of invoice emails
  • How to write an invoice
  • How to write an invoice email
  • Invoice email example

What is an invoice email?

An invoice email is an email that companies send to request payment for goods or services rendered. Instead of sending paper invoices through the mail, businesses send invoice emails electronically.

Key components of invoice emails

An effective invoice email includes multiple elements that make the communication transparent, trustworthy, and actionable. Here are the key components:

  • Clear subject line: Write a straightforward, descriptive subject line to immediately inform the recipient about the email’s intent. Examples might include “Invoice #12345 from ABC Company” or “Payment Request for March Services.”

  • Sender identification: Send the email from a recognizable address, preferably one that incorporates the business’s name or website domain to reduce the risk of it being marked as spam or overlooked by the recipient.

  • Personalized greeting: Use the recipient’s name or business name in the greeting to establish a connection and signal that the email isn’t a generic or automated message.

  • Invoice specifics: Prominently display details such as the invoice number, total amount due, and payment due date, making it easy for the recipient to quickly understand their obligations.

  • Detailed breakdown: Itemize the services or products you have delivered, along with their individual costs, to provide transparency. This section can be in the email body or in an attached document.

  • Payment methods: List acceptable methods of payment, whether that’s a credit card, bank transfer, check, or another option.

  • Links or attachments: Clearly indicate if you’ve provided the invoice as an embedded link or attachment, and include straightforward instructions on how to access it.

  • Contact information: Provide contact information for any billing-related questions to give recipients an easy way to address concerns, resolve errors, or seek clarifications.

  • Terms and conditions: Explicitly state any relevant terms, such as late fees or early payment discounts, to fully inform recipients of the implications of their actions or inactions.

  • Clear call to action: Add a direct prompt, such as “Please process this payment by [due date]” or “Click here to pay now,” to guide the recipient to the next step.

Each component contributes to an invoice email’s effectiveness. When combined, they create a billing communication that is comprehensive, easily understandable, and actionable.

How to write an invoice

Sending an invoice requires precision, planning, and professionalism. Here’s an overview of the steps and best practices for invoicing:

  1. Prepare the invoice: Collect any necessary data, such as product details and pricing. If you regularly issue invoices, consider using invoicing software, such as Stripe Invoicing, to automate and manage this task efficiently.
  2. Review the invoice: Every invoice should be accurate. Double-check all details, especially recipient information, costs, and payment deadlines. Mistakes can cause disputes and unwanted delays.
  3. Send the invoice: Choose a delivery method that reflects your business, whether it’s sending an email, mailing a paper invoice, or using the digital delivery services offered by invoicing platforms. No matter which method you choose, make sure to send the invoice to the right person or department and to send it at the right time.
  4. Follow up proactively: Sometimes customers overlook invoices. Send systematic reminders, ideally before the due date, to keep payments on time. If payment becomes overdue, continue with regular follow-ups.
  5. Document the payment receipt: Once you receive a payment, document it immediately in your accounting system. This helps with tax compliance and provides valuable data for future financial planning.
  6. Address overdue payments: If an invoice remains unpaid, decide on your next steps. Options include charging late fees or halting services. Always reference the terms stated in the invoice and uphold any agreements made with the customer.

How to write an invoice email

Invoice emails can set the tone for the transaction. An effective invoice email should capture the customer’s attention, provide clarity, and prompt timely action. Here’s how to craft these emails:

  1. Ensure clarity in the subject line: Your subject line should clearly describe the email content. Consider “Invoice #12345 from [Your Company Name]” for example, or “Billing Details for [Month/Service].”
  2. Greet with familiarity: Start with a personalized greeting. Use the recipient’s name, fostering a connection and signaling the email’s intended audience.
  3. Get to the point: Immediately after your greeting, mention the purpose of the email. For instance, “Attached is the invoice for services rendered for [Month/Service].”
  4. Include important details: Provide a brief overview of the most important invoice details. This might include the total amount, a payment due date, and a brief description of the services or products.
  5. Attach the invoice: Always attach the invoice as a PDF or provide a secure link to view it online. This ensures readability across various platforms and devices.
  6. Outline payment methods: Detail how the recipient can complete the payment. Whether it’s a bank transfer, credit card payment, or another method, provide clear instructions.
  7. Express gratitude: Even in routine business transactions, a simple “Thank you for your business” can maintain positive relationships.
  8. Offer assistance: End with a note indicating your willingness to help. For example, “Should you have any questions or require further details, please don’t hesitate to contact us.”
  9. Include your signature: Finish with your professional signature. This should include your name, position, and company contact details.
  10. Proofread: Before sending the email, review it for clarity and accuracy. It will reflect your professionalism and attention to detail.

This approach will result in a generic invoice that will suffice in most cases. However, you should refine your approach to creating invoices based on your business, your customers, and how you expect payment transactions to occur.

Invoice email example

The invoice email example below is just a template, so it doesn’t include customization for brand voice, the type of business you run, the products or services you provide, or the nature of your relationship with clients. Feel free to personalize the template below to fit your business and its needs. For example, maybe your invoice emails will include a payment link, or maybe you’ll instruct recipients to log in to a portal to pay.

Here’s a basic template for an invoice email:

Subject: Invoice #12345 for [Service/Product Name]—Due [Date]

Dear [Recipient’s First Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I’m reaching out to provide the invoice for [specific service or product] that we discussed. Below you’ll find a summary of the details:

Invoice Number: 12345
Date Issued: [Issue Date]
Due Date: [Due Date]
Total Amount: $[Amount]

[Link to Detailed Invoice]

For your convenience, you can view the detailed invoice by clicking the link above. If you have any immediate questions or require further clarification regarding any item, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

For payments, we accept [payment methods]. Kindly process the payment before the due date to prevent disruption of your [services/products].

If you’ve already made the payment, please accept our gratitude, and you can disregard this email.

Thank you for your business and trust. We appreciate our collaboration and look forward to our continued work together.

Warm regards,

[Your Full Name]
[Your Position]
[Your Contact Information: Phone Number, Email Address]

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

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