Sending an invoice is an important (and often final) step in managing a client project. If you’re sending an invoice via email, it’s important that your email message includes key information and strikes the right balance between being professional, friendly, and concise. Improving your invoicing experience will help you get paid faster and nurture great client relationships.
What is an invoice email?
An invoice email is simply the email that you send to a client that includes their attached invoice. It lets your client know that payment is due based on your agreed upon terms in your contract or business proposal.
The purpose of the invoice email is to serve as a quick introduction to your invoice. To keep the email concise and encourage your clients to thoroughly read your attached invoice, we recommend that you don’t reiterate information that’s included on your invoice, such as the services you’re charging for, project labour costs, how to submit payment, etc.
Your invoice should be saved as a PDF file and attached to your email (instead of pasting the invoice directly into the body of an email). This makes it easy for your clients to view and download your invoice, and print it or upload it to their accounting software.
Read on to learn tips for writing clear email copy, what to include in your subject line, and get inspiration from our email templates.
Invoice email subject line
The email subject line is one of the most important parts of the invoice email.
Having a descriptive subject line helps your client easily identify the invoice in their inbox, forward it to the right person (if needed), and find it efficiently at a later date. It’s easy for emails to get lost in the inbox, and if your client doesn’t even know they received your invoice, you can likely guarantee that you won’t be getting paid on time.
Create a standardised subject line for all of your invoice emails. It should include the invoice number, the name of the job or services delivered, and your company name. Consider using the format below:
Your Invoice from [Your Company Name] – Invoice [#] for [Name of Job/Services Offered]
Invoice email template
Creating a template for your invoice email will help you speed up the process of sending out invoices. While it may only take you a few minutes to write a short message to your clients, when multiplied across dozens of client projects, this time adds up.
Templates help you make sure your invoice email isn’t missing any important information and can prevent you from making any spelling mistakes. If multiple staff members are responsible for invoicing, invoice email templates also help create consistency throughout your client communications.
Most email providers include an automated response feature that you can use to create invoice email templates (read these instructions from Zapier for creating templates with Outlook and Gmail).
You can also use tools like TextExpander to automate your email templates. With TextExpander, you can create a library of templates and insert them into your emails by using a custom keyboard shortcut.
Dedicate some time to create a few email templates for different invoicing situations, and then select the appropriate message for the purpose of your email. We’ve included a couple of templates below to get you started!
Tips for invoice email wording and more
Here are a few additional tips to consider when sending invoices to clients via email:
- Invoices should never come as a surprise. Clients should know when they are being billed and approximately how much they will be charged for based on the quotes/cost estimates you’ve agreed upon. If there are major changes to the expected price due to changes in project scope or unexpected costs throughout the project lifecycle, these should be communicated to the client before you send them an invoice.
- Use simple language, avoid using business jargon, and be professional even if you’ve developed a casual rapport with your clients – consider the invoice email to be part of the invoice document. Don’t forget to check spelling!
- Keep the email concise and straightforward. It should be no more than a few sentences.
- Although the invoice due date is contained in the invoice itself, consider also including it in the invoice email to draw your client’s attention to it.
After sending the invoice
If you are billing a new customer for the first time, it’s a good idea to call your client within 24 hours of sending the invoice to ensure that the right person received the invoice, they understand how to submit payment, and so you can answer any questions they may have. Not only will you be able to address any hurdles that could prevent you from getting paid on time up front, your clients will appreciate the extra attention and you’ll continue building a strong relationship for future projects.
If you’ve set relatively long payment terms, don’t be afraid to send a follow up email if you are approaching the invoice due date and you are yet to receive payment. Your clients are busy and would likely welcome a gentle reminder that payment is due soon.
Invoice email message examples
Here are a couple templates to use as inspiration for your invoice emails. Use these templates as a starting point, then customise the message to add a personal touch for each client. Or, feel free to copy the text below directly into your email.
Context: The initial invoice email
Hope all is well!
Please find the invoice [Invoice number] for [Customer name] [Name of project/product/service], due on [Due date] attached to this email.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your business – I look forward to working with you again in the future.
Context: The follow-up email when the payment deadline is approaching
Hope all is well!
Reaching out to send a quick reminder that payment for Invoice [#] is due in [X] day(s), and we are yet to receive payment.
Please find the invoice attached to this email, and feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns – we’re happy to help!
Make invoicing easier with WorkflowMax
WorkflowMax is job management software that enables service businesses to manage the full job lifecycle in one place – from quoting, to time tracking, to invoicing, and reporting.
When it comes time to bill your clients, you can generate invoices easily, using data from your project, and send invoices to your clients via email. Plus, you can integrate WorkflowMax with Xero, so invoices are ready to be reconciled once you receive payment from a customer.