How to Write a Client Payment Reminder Email

Ann Marie Smith

Feb 15, 2021

Sometimes it all takes is a gentle reminder to get paid. Other times, not so much. Start with a friendly email or two in case someone forgot to pay, misplaced your bill, or is having some difficulty. If they do not respond, use our sequence of emails to escalate the tone in a professional manner.

If that does not work, it is time for the formal business collection letter.

Payment Reminder Email to Client

A payment reminder email feels a little less formal than a letter. Start with a friendly email letting the customer know that there is a debt outstanding. Many businesses will trigger a payment reminder email on the day payment is due or the next day. If someone just forgot to make the payment, it is a non-threatening way to get their attention. If they do not respond, it may be worth keeping a closer eye on things.

You will want to initiate a sequence of emails that starts to document the late payments. One way to do this is to send an email weekly for the first month a bill goes past due.

Here is a sample payment reminder email sequence that you may want to use. The dates you send them may vary based on your relationship with the customer and what is typical in your industry.

Payment Reminder Email: At Due Date

Dear [ NAME ]:

Thanks again for your business. This is a friendly reminder that your invoice for [ AMOUNT ] was due on [ DATE ]. You can make payment via our website, giving us a call, or sending a check to the address listed on the attached invoice.

If you have any questions, please give me a call at [ PHONE NUMBER ] to discuss. Thanks!

[ YOUR NAME ]

Payment Reminder Email: A Week Past Due

Dear [ NAME ]:

Our records indicate that we have not received your payment for [ AMOUNT ] that was due on [ DATE ]. I’m attaching the invoice in case it was lost or overlooked. Can you please check with your team and make sure it’s been paid?

If you have any questions, please give me a call at [ PHONE NUMBER ] to discuss. Thanks!

[ YOUR NAME ]

Payment Reminder Email: Two Weeks Past Due

If you have not received payment or a response by now to your outstanding payment reminder emails, your best approach is to pick up the phone and call. If you get through, you can follow up with an email that documents your conversation and any agreement you made. If not, here is the next email payment reminder to send.

Dear [ NAME ]:

I must have missed you when I called today. I was following up on the last two email payment reminders we sent. There’s an outstanding balance of [ AMOUNT ] that was due on [ DATE ]. I’m attaching a copy of the original invoice for your review.

Can you please let me know you’ve received this email?

Thank you.

[ YOUR NAME ]

Payment Reminder Email: Three Weeks Past Due

Dear [ NAME ]:

This is another reminder that we have yet to receive payment for the attached invoice. [ AMOUNT ] was due on [ DATE ].

Can you please let me know you’ve received this email?

Thank you.

[ YOUR NAME ]

One problem with an outstanding payment reminder email is it is easy for people to say they never received it — especially if they are trying to  avoid paying a bill. When email efforts do not work, it is time to go with a payment reminder letter. This makes it appear more serious and can often spur people to act. If they still have not made the payment by now, it is time to escalate your collection attempts.

Payment Reminder Letter

Before sending a payment reminder letter, you should make a few attempts to phone the customer. It is harder to say no to someone when they are on the phone. Often, there are legitimate reasons they have not responded. Maybe your emails were caught in their spam filter. Maybe they changed accounting systems or payment systems. There might have been an emergency, or they might simply be trying to delay paying as long as possible.

Barring an emergency, if they will not respond to your emails and phone calls, they are likely avoiding you. One thing you might want to consider is pulling their business credit report to check on their financial health and whether they are current with other vendors. You can learn a lot about what is going on this way and use the information to frame your next response.

Letters should follow a similar sequence, starting with a friendly “past due reminder” and escalating to a “we are going to have to send you to collections” letter. Check out our tips on writing business collection

How to Write a Collection Letter That Will Get Customers to Pay

Make sure you save copies of your payment reminder email to clients, invoices/statements, and any letters. By the second or third letter, you may want to consider sending it with a return receipt to provide evidence of delivery. It also serves as a warning that you are serious and can establish your attempts to collect in case you end up in a line of creditors for default.

View samples of business credit reports and order now.