25 Feb 2024

Past Due Invoice Email Templates: Get Paid Faster

Subhasis Sahoo (Founding Member - Marketing)

Promptly receiving payment is crucial for any business, but it’s not always smooth sailing. Late payments can disrupt your cash flow, hindering your ability to meet your own financial obligations. While directly chasing after overdue invoices can be tempting, a professional and courteous approach is often more effective. Mastering the art of past due invoice emails fosters a positive relationship with customers while ensuring timely payments.

Understanding the Landscape

Before diving into specific strategies, let’s explore the context of past-due invoices:

  • Know your timeline: Sending reminders too early can irritate customers, while a delayed approach can worsen cash flow issues. Choose the right timeframe based on your payment terms and past experiences.
  • Consider the severity: The tone and content of your email might differ depending on how overdue the invoice is. A recent lapse deserves a gentle reminder, while a long-overdue balance might require a firmer approach.
  • Be aware of legal requirements: Ensure your emails comply with relevant regulations, especially regarding late fees and collection procedures.

Strategies for Effective Past Due Invoice Emails

  1. Maintain a Professional & Courteous Tone:
  • Begin with a friendly salutation, addressing the customer by name.
  • Use polite language throughout, avoiding accusatory or demanding statements.
  • Express appreciation for their business and understanding.

2. Clearly Communicate the Issue:

  • State the purpose of the email clearly – to gently remind them of the overdue invoice.
  • Mention the invoice number, date, and total amount due.
  • Briefly highlight the original due date, avoiding accusatory language.

3. Offer Assistance and Transparency:

  • Express your willingness to help resolve any issues preventing them from paying.
  • Offer convenient payment options (e.g., online portals, credit card payments).
  • If applicable, explain your late fee policy in a neutral and transparent manner.

4. Encourage a Prompt Response:

  • Suggest a timeframe for receiving payment by politely requesting a response within a specific window (e.g., 3 business days).
  • Clearly state your preferred method of contact for inquiries or payment confirmation.

Best Practices for Past Due Invoice Emails

  1. Personalize: Whenever possible, personalize the email with the customer’s name and specific details of the invoice.
  2. Subject Line: Craft a clear subject line indicating the purpose of the email, without sounding harsh (e.g., “Gentle Reminder: Invoice [#] Payment Due”).
  3. Proofread: Always proofread your email for any errors in grammar, spelling, or tone before sending.
  4. Attach the Invoice: Include a copy of the relevant invoice for easy reference.
  5. Consider Multiple Channels: If you haven’t received a response via email, consider following up with a polite phone call or text message (if allowed by regulations and your agreement).

Sample Templates

1. Friendly Reminder:

Subject: Gentle Reminder: Invoice [#] Payment Due

Dear [Customer Name],

We hope this email finds you well.

This is a friendly reminder that invoice number [invoice number] for the total amount of [amount] is due. The original due date for this invoice was [date].

We understand that unexpected delays can happen. If you’ve already made the payment, please disregard this email. Otherwise, kindly process it at your earliest convenience.

To make your payment, you can:

  • Visit our online portal: [link]
  • Call our accounts department at: [phone number]

Should you have any questions or require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


[Your Name]

2. First Follow-Up:

Subject: Checking in on Invoice [#] Payment

Dear [Customer Name],

Following up on my previous email regarding invoice number [invoice number] for the amount of [amount]. Unfortunately, we haven’t received payment yet.

We understand things can slip through the cracks, and we wanted to offer our assistance. If you’ve already sent the payment, please disregard this email. However, if you haven’t, please let us know if you’re experiencing any difficulties or have any questions about the invoice.

We kindly request your prompt attention to this matter. To make a payment, you can:

  • Visit our online portal: [link]
  • Call our accounts department at: [phone number]

Thank you for your cooperation.


[Your Name]

3. Second Follow-Up (Stronger Tone):

Subject: Urgent: Overdue Invoice [#] Requires Immediate Attention

Dear [Customer Name],

This email concerns invoice number [invoice number] for the amount of [amount], which is now significantly overdue. As per our payment terms, the original due date was [date].

Unfortunately, despite previous reminders, we haven’t received your payment. This outstanding balance is impacting our cash flow significantly and may disrupt our ability to fulfill future service/product commitments.

Therefore, we request immediate action to settle this outstanding invoice. To avoid additional late fees (if applicable), please make your payment by [date] using one of the following methods:

  • Visit our online portal: [link]
  • Call our accounts department at: [phone number]

If you have already initiated the payment, please forward your confirmation to expedite processing.

We understand unforeseen circumstances can arise, but we urge you to prioritize this matter and communicate any difficulties you might be facing.

Please note that further inaction may result in escalation to our collections department.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.


[Your Name]

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