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How to write an invoice email: Simple step-by-step instructions

E-commerce tips

Sana Editorial Team June 26, 2019

Understand how to write an invoice letter or email, while keeping in mind your communication style and prioritizing personalization.

An invoice is an itemized list of goods that are shipped, usually specifying the price and terms of sale. An emailed invoice typically consists of an email followed with an attachment of an invoice and can be sent to clients and customers. An order management system can be used to help a company organize its invoices, hopefully making it easier to manage when it comes time to send them out. Following a guide on generating an impactful invoice may also help better the communication between company and client.

1. Make it prompt

Being prompt is important with invoices because it can show that the company is professional, and cares that services are being provided to a customer within the discussed time frame.

Without being prompt and professional, it might cause your company to come off as unreliable. It may also make the customers feel isolated, leading to a potential cease of contract. Promptness goes beyond the actual writing of the email; the time frame within which it is sent can be just as important as the content itself.

2. Keep it simple

It’s possible to be both professional and simple at the same time. In fact, sometimes a long-winded email that is overly-formal may be a turn off for the customer. When communication is kept simple, it can help ensure that the company is easily understood, and can help to prevent any miscommunication. Here are a few tips on keeping your writing brilliant, yet simple.

  • Don’t force sentences if you have nothing to say;
  • Be specific;
  • Choose simple phrasing;
  • Write short, yet effective sentences;
  • Keep paragraphs short;
  • Eliminate fluff words;
  • Don’t ramble;
  • Avoid redundancy;
  • Edit your writing.

3. Use an intuitive format

When the formatting and flow of the email are intuitive, it can make it less confusing. Writing a format that flows can be done in many ways. For example, consider:

  • Using transitional words and phrases;
  • When necessary, utilize bullet points and enumerated lists;
  • Answer the reader’s questions;
  • One purpose per message;
  • One idea per paragraph;
  • One idea per sentence.

4. Be polite

It may go without saying, but being polite both on a personal and professional level can often be beneficial for a company-client relationship. It’s possible to get your point across via email in an abrupt, yet polite, manner. Habits of polite people include, but are not limited to:

  • Refrain from using unwanted nicknames: Those who are polite will call someone by the name they use to introduce themselves. For example, if someone introduces themselves as John, refer to them as John. Don’t use nicknames like Johnny, Johnno, or even Johnathan.
  • Don’t let on more than you should: Don’t bring up personal or over-revealing information unless specifically and relevantly asked to by the client. There are some stories that should be saved specifically for friends and family, not an invoice email.
  • Don’t gossip: Polite people know that gossiping about others can be rude and disrespectful. If you want to share an inside scoop, talk openly about yourself — without oversharing. Then, you’re not gossiping; you’re being genuine.
  • Respect the opinion of others: Being polite often means being respectful of the opinions of others. You don’t always have to agree with others, but accepting the fact that each person is entitled to their own opinion (despite your personal views) shows professionalism and maturity.
  • Be polite at all times: There’s not a right or wrong time to be polite. Just because you’re past the first introduction doesn’t mean that it’s time to drop all of the manners displayed during the first meeting. People who are polite continue their good habits at all times.

5. Personalization

74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, with an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences. The power of email personalization goes beyond addressing a client by their name. A personalized email is relevant, timely, and comes from an actual person (i.e. it isn’t an automated response).

A personalized subject line will help the open rates of the email. Research on email subject lines shows that when a recipient’s first name is used, there is a 26% increase in recipients opening the email, instead of disregarding it. This can be an important aspect, especially when emailing time-sensitive information.

Still unclear on how to write an invoice letter or email? Tailoring the body content of the email is also a great way to incorporate personalization. The content itself may vary, depending on the topic, but by doing this it may help to reassure the reader that the email that was meant for them, and was written thoughtfully.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you’re using an invoice email template, try and include some of these personal touches.

Invoice email template

Although similar, composing an invoice email may differ from typical professional emails. Here is an example of an invoice email template:

Subject: Attn: [client name]- Invoice [invoice number] for [business name].
Body:
Good [morning, afternoon, evening] [client’s preferred name],

Attached is the invoice concerning [reason for invoice]. If the attached file isn’t loading, please click here [link to invoice] to access your invoice.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact me at your earliest convenience.
[Provide contact information]

We appreciate you choosing us here at [company name] to fulfill your shopping needs. We look forward to doing business with you again in the future.

Best,

[Your name and title]
[Company name]

Past due invoice emails

If you notice that your online invoice management platform shows that there is an unpaid invoice, it is your responsibility to follow up with the client via email to remind them of their past due payments. Similar to the initial invoice email, a follow-up invoice letter should be:

● Prompt;
● Simple;
● Intuitively formatted;
● Polite;
● Personalized.

Here is an example of what to send to customers and clients if they are past due on their invoice payment:

Subject: Attn: [client name]- Follow Up Invoice [invoice number] for [business name].
Body:
Good [morning, afternoon, evening] [client’s preferred name],

I know you’re busy, and chances are, the first email got lost between the cracks. Here is a follow-up email with an invoice and the original email attached, regarding your purchase on [insert date here].

If you have yet to pay, please do so via [insert payment methods you accept here]. Keep in mind that late fees may be applied if the invoice is not paid on time. However, if you’ve already paid, then the transaction is probably being processed, so please disregard this message.

If you have any questions or comments about the total amount due, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
[Provide contact information]

We hope you’re enjoying your [product or service purchased] and look forward to doing business with you again in the future.

Best,

[Your name and title]
[Company name]

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