Parag Patel

How to write a past due invoice email

invoice-email-5

Late payments are going to happen. It’s a fact of business - and there’s only so much you can do to control it. What you can control, however, is how you respond to them.

We’ve discussed how to write quality invoice emails that will get you paid before. What happens, however, when there’s an account that is 30 days late.

Or 60 days.

Or 90 days.

At that point, you may not be in the mood for pleasantries. So, how can you communications help turn these accounts into accounts received?

Here, we’ll talk about best practices for overdue accounts and provide some past due invoice email samples.

First Past Due Invoice Email

Once an account is overdue, it’s important to send an email as soon as the due date passes. That provides a sense of immediacy. The tone should be cordial but firm. Often, overdue accounts are simply an oversight, so a professional reminder would be better received.

In general, the email should be:

  • Formal - This is an important issue that should be taken seriously.
  • Direct - Get to the point, quickly.
  • Clear - Define the ramifications of being overdue, such as late fees.
 
Example

Dear Jeff,

This is a friendly payment reminder that your account is now past due.

According to our records, the following account is overdue:
 
Account Number Due Date Amount
 
As your account is now overdue, a late fee of X has been assessed.

For your convenience, you may make a payment here: Payment options

If you have any questions or need to discuss your account, please reach out to me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and your continued business.

Sincerely,

John

 

60 Days Past Due Invoice Email

If an account is 60 or more days overdue, the likelihood that it will be paid drops significantly. At this point, your email should be strongly worded and include follow up phone calls. It should be sent to the primary contact and a manager if possible.

At 60 days, the email should be:

  • Bold - Include language that reflects the importance of the issue, like “requires your immediate attention”.
  • Urgent - Action needs to be taken and it needs to happen now.
  • Flexible - Offer to provide payment plans if needed.
Example
 
Dear Jeff,
 
This is to inform you that your account is now 60 days PAST DUE. This requires your IMMEDIATE attention.
 
Account Number Due Date Amount (includes X late fee)
 
You may make a payment here: Payment options
 
Please let us know the status of your payment. If you need to set up a payment plan or have any other questions, please contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
 
Continued delinquency will cause us to close your account and refer it to a Collections Agency.
 
We appreciate you addressing this matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
John

90 Days Past Due Invoice Email

You are now at the brink of contacting a collections agency and there are real concerns you will not be paid. There are real consequences now and there could be legal ramifications.

This email should be:

  • Firm - There are no more pleasantries to be had.
  • Clear-Cut - Whatever legal steps you may take should be spelled out.
  • Curt - The fewer words the better. No need to beat around the bush.
Example
 
Dear Jeff,
 
This is an extremely important letter and requires your IMMEDIATE ATTENTION.
 
We have contacted you on numerous occasions regarding a now 90-day overdue account.
 
Account Number Due Date Amount (includes X late fee)
 
If the account is not settled by XXXX, the account will be referred to a Collections Agency.
 
You can avoid this by remitting your payment as soon as possible. If you have any further questions, please contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
 
I hope you give this matter serious consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
John
 
Sending these kinds of emails may not be pleasant, but they may be necessary. Your business’s bottom line may depend on it. If you have to send an email such as the above, following the above templates will at least ensure you're doing it right.