When Should You Send A Payment Reminder
We’d advise that you don’t wait for too long and send an outstanding payment reminder as soon as the soft deadline expires. If you remain laidback and don’t send quick reminders, your clients might pick up the cues and act similarly. When you’re not prompt enough, you run the risk of giving out a message that you’re not very serious about your own payment terms and lack the urgency in clearing your dues. Also, keep in mind that if a client pays you on the same day as the deadline, the amount can take a few working days to reflect in your bank account. Do not penalize or add a late payment penalty in those cases to ensure that both parties don’t have to lose their sanity unnecessarily. You can also send your clients a friendly reminder via text message, phone call, or email to pay their outstanding invoice a couple of days before the payment deadline.
1. Inform Clients Of Outstanding Invoice
Once the soft deadline has passed and you don’t want to wait for the payment until the hard deadline approaches, you can begin sending reminder emails, asking your clients to clear their bills. These reminder emails should be to the point and straightaway convey that your client has unpaid invoices. Through this email, you’d be requesting them to make a quick payment to avoid any negative consequences.
2. Focus On The Subject Line & Use A Real Person’s Email
Write a catchy subject line to ensure that the open rate for your reminder emails is high. If the subject line of your email is boring, your clients might not even notice it and skip opening it – and that means the whole purpose of sending a reminder is defeated. Also, use email addresses that have names of people in them rather than using generic addresses with business names and finance jargon. A personal name is likely to radiate trust and more accessibility.
Related Read: 5 Wedding Photography Email Templates You Need
3. Stay Polite & Professional
There’s not an iota of doubt that unpaid invoices can leave business owners frustrated. However, you’d need to refrain from showing your disappointment in your payment reminder emails. Your communication with the client should always be polite and professional. Use words that convey friendliness and empathy and are also business-like at the same time.
4. Consider The Language & Legalities
Communicate with your client in the same language they initially contacted you with. And personalize your emails, addressing them directly to your client. This will make them feel more comfortable and possibly have a positive impact. And don’t forget to keep the legalities in mind when writing reminder emails. Some countries need such letters or messages to fulfill certain requirements; otherwise, the demand might be considered invalid.
Related Read: Top Legal Traps Wedding Photographers Face
5. Attach Unpaid Invoice Details
Mention all the details related to the unpaid invoice to make it easier for your client to understand the bill you are talking about. Specify the invoice amount, the payment deadline, or the due date, along with the invoice number. Let your clients know the service or product they bought from you for which they need to clear the dues. Also, attach a digital company bill for proof.
6. Provide A Payment Link
A payment link would be really helpful for your clients in settling the dues promptly. They can just click on it and be directed to a page listing the modes of payment such as internet banking, debit card, credit card, and more. This will make it easier for your clients to make the payment quickly.
Related Read: The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Photography Contracts
7. Set A Payment Deadline
It’s important that you let your client know the date and time you want your dues to be paid by. Be concrete in setting a deadline rather than mentioning a vague time frame such as 3-4 days. Again, the payment term might depend on a country’s legal rules. Keep this in mind while setting a deadline.
8. Avoid Mentioning Payment Reminder Numbers
Avoid giving any numbers to your payment reminder emails. Do not say that it is the first reminder for your client, as it would imply that they would receive a second reminder too and maybe even more after that. Doing so would give your clients an insight into your debt collection procedure, and some debtors might want to take advantage of it by pushing the payment even further.
Related Read: 6 Reasons Why You Should Hire An Accountant
9. Talk About Repercussions Of Late Payment
A reminder might not really mean anything if there are no repercussions attached. Let your client know if they don’t pay by a certain date, they might have to face a negative consequence. It could be related to a late payment fine or you handing over the claim to a debt collection agency. You may also mention that the collection charges will have to be borne by the client. This way, the debtor will be informed of the fallout of not making a timely payment.
10. Limit The Number Of Reminders
Not mentioning the reminder number is a good practice, and in the same way it is important that you don’t keep sending repeated reminders to a particular client beyond a certain point. Have a process in place that sticks to sending 2 or 3 reminders or whatever is a norm in your area. If you let a lot of time pass by because of sending numerous reminder emails, then it might prolong your overall collection process in case you need to hand over the case to an agency.
When clients know that they have a large frame of time to clear their payments, they might sometimes push off paying their bills and even forget about them. If you do not have a collection process in place, starting with payment reminder emails, this can hit your finances badly. We hope our payment reminder tips will help you standardize this process and make your payment collection tasks slightly easier for you. If you need more tips on managing your finances as a photographer or ways to grow your business, just check out our blog section. You’ll find everything from tips, tricks, ideas, humor quotes to inspiring features and images.
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