Invoicing is a critical part of running a business. Once upon a time, this was all done with paper and pen by hand, meaning business owners needed to spend a large amount of time putting together the right paperwork so they could get paid. Luckily, we now live in a more electronic age where you no longer need to manually write out invoices which saves time. This also lets you create digital templates you can use to make this side of your business run even faster via email.
Previously, handwritten invoices needed to be physically given to, or mailed to customers. This created a further time burden on busy business owners as well as delays while they waited for their customer to receive their bill. But in our digital age with access to email, we now can send invoices to customers instantly, the second they are generated.
Sending invoices via email is fast and convenient, but there are several important do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is make an error when you’re sending invoices. This could impact on your ability to get paid, which is the lifeblood of your business. So if you’re wondering how to write an invoice via email, we’re here to help.
Email Invoices Dont’s
1. Being too informal
When using email, it can be tempting to use informal language. While under the right circumstances, a little less formality can help the recipient feel more comfortable and use of abbreviations can save you time, you’re better off keeping your language professional in all business emails. But keep it balanced — you do not wish to come across as too formal and insincere either. Keep your tone friendly yet professional.
2. Being too wordy
You do not want your clients to feel overwhelmed when they open your email. Remember the purpose of the email is to advise them that payment is required for the service you have provided. Clients do not require much more detail than this. Your invoice should be sufficiently detailed, but included as an attachment to the email rather than directly entering all the information into the body of the email itself. This creates a cleaner and neater approach and avoids hitting your customer with too much information all at once.
3. Failing to include important information
While you want to avoid being too wordy, it’s important that you take the time to include all relevant information for your client. Given the invoice should be included as an attachment, the body of the email itself can have less detail than this, however, take care to avoid being too brief. Greet the client, enter a few sentences about the purpose of the email, and direct their attention to the attachment before signing off appropriately.
Email Invoices Do’s
1. Have a professional email address
Your business should ideally have its own email address, however if this is not the case, you should take care to ensure that the one you are using is professional. Personal email addresses can sometimes contain jargon, nicknames, or use of confusing numbers. Try and create an email address that is text only, with no digits, and makes use of only appropriate and professional words.
2. Use attachments wisely
The most obvious attachment you will want to include is the invoice itself. However, it may also be appropriate, depending on the work completed, to include other attachments as well. Photographs of completed work, manuals explaining how to use items, or in the case of freelance writing, the work itself may also need to be included as attachments.
3. Be concise
You want to make sure the email contains all the relevant information to help the client understand the reason you are emailing them and the most important things you wish their attention be directed to. Use simple, clear language and be direct without being forceful. Keep it short and to the point to avoid your client feeling overwhelmed by too many words.
Email invoicing is a fantastic and convenient way to ask your customers for payments. It will save you time and money and show your clients that you are easily able to navigate the digital world. If you stick to the above important tips, you will find email invoicing to be a breeze.