It’s Not About the Invoice, It’s About the Experience

February 16, 2006

It’s interesting getting feedback from web designers.

We have been building 2ndSite for over three years now. There is still a lot we have in mind and many places we plan to go.

One of the things that has really helped us grow and guide our development is user feedback. We like it and we encourage it.

Recently, I have noticed a spike in requests for more flexibility in the invoice design templates offered by 2ndSite.

This is good feedback and we’ll certainly get to that. That being said, I’m curious about this feedback.

At 2ndSite we offer Direct Link InvoicingTM. When you send an invoice with 2ndSite a brief text email is delivered to our client. In that email is a link. When clicked, the link logs your client straight into your system and they are presented with the invoice you sent them. Once inside your system your client can see all their past invoices. They can also see the address you have on file for them, past payments and more.

Because you can customize the colours and add your logo to your system and your invoices, your clients get an experience with your ‘system’ when they log in. This experience is what we have focused on and allowed you to customize to a decent degree. We have not focused as hard on the customizability of “Invoices” to date, though they include your logo, fold nicely into a window paned envelope and convey a professional image. Instead, we have focused on delivering an experience, which to my mind is more powerful than the look and feel of an everyday invoice – a business document that is relatively run of the mill. Experiencing your system is not run of the mill and helps you stand out in your client’s mind. Or so we hope…

Anyhow, we will be offering more invoice customization, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the invoice “experience”. Our clients tell us their clients love getting their invoices via 2ndSite (though the clients don’t know they are using 2ndSite – that’s key).

We are in the business of making small and medium sized businesses look good. In today’s internet world, looking good is more than appearance – it is about delivering a positive brand experience. It is about standing above the crowd. Direct Link InvoicingTM helps with that.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.