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How to Word an Invoice | Professional Invoicing Etiquette for Businesses

Businesses should word their invoices in a professional tone while using clear, plain language. It’s important to always be polite when sending an invoice to a client and in all other business communications related to payments.

The wording of an invoice should be as clear as possible. Plainly state the invoice due date, amount owing and services provided. If an invoice or its accompanying email contains vague language, the client can be left confused, misinterpret information and can be late sending payment as a result.

Here are topics to help you learn how to word an invoice professionally:

Tips for Sending Invoices That Get Paid

Sample Invoice Email Template

How to Follow up on Unpaid Invoices [Email Template]

Tips for Sending Invoices That Get Paid

Invoices are documents that enable small businesses to receive payment from their clients, but there are strategies for sending invoices that are more likely to get you paid quickly. The right messaging both within the invoice itself and in the accompanying email can motivate clients to pay the invoice right away. Here are some tips for communicating with clients about invoices:

1. Send Invoices Promptly

It’s important to create your invoices and send them out to clients as soon as you complete the work you’re billing for. Not only does it mean you’ll get paid sooner for your services, it also means you’re writing invoices while the work is fresh in your mind. When you write invoices as soon as the work is done, you’ll remember all the details and be less likely to make mistakes in your invoice, which can confuse or anger clients, delaying payment.

2. Always Be Polite

Always be polite when wording invoices and all accompanying communications, like emails. Courteous communication helps you maintain strong professional relationships with your clients, which increases your chances of landing repeat business. Being polite in your invoices also helps you get paid faster, according to a FreshBooks study. The study found that using words like “please” and “thank you” when writing invoices can increase the percentage of invoices paid by more than five percent.

3. Always Be Concise

When wording your invoices, always be concise and to the point. Clearly state the information clients need to pay you according to your terms: list the amount due and the due date. Sometimes, businesses try to use fancy terms when writing invoices, but this can confuse clients. For example, instead of using wording on invoices such as “payment due upon receipt,” which is vague, just list the due date, i.e. “payment due December 31, 2018.”

4. Make Payment Easy

Make it easy for your clients to pay your invoices, so that they have a better customer experience and so you get paid faster. Include clear wording in your invoice that tells your clients the different payment methods they can use. If you accept checks, include wording that covers all the necessary details, like “Please make checks payable to My Small Business and mail the check to This Business Address.” If you accept online payments, include a “Pay Now” button at the bottom of your invoice or in the body of your accompanying email linking directly to the online payment page, to make it as easy as possible for your clients to find it.

5. Sample Invoice Email Template

It’s important to word invoice emails in a polite, concise manner so that your tone is professional and the information conveyed is clear to clients. This sample invoice email template can help you write professional emails to accompany your invoices:

Subject Line: Your Business’s Name: Invoice #001

Dear Client’s Name,

I hope you’re doing well.

I wanted to let you know a new invoice #001 has been created on your account. You can find the invoice attached to this email. Please pay the balance of $500 by December 31, 2018.

You can pay by mailing a check to:

Your Business Name
Your Full Business Address
Your Zip Code

Thank you for your business; I look forward to working with you again soon.

Kind Regards,

Your Name
Your Contact Details

How to Follow up on Unpaid Invoices [Email Template]

It’s important to follow up on unpaid invoices as soon as they become past due. The wording you use to follow up on unpaid invoices should be polite but direct. Give your client the benefit of the doubt: there’s a good chance that the late payment is due to a clerical error and they aren’t withholding payment maliciously.

Here is an email template to help small businesses follow up on unpaid invoices:

Subject Line: Your Business’s Name: Invoice #001

Dear Client’s Name,

I hope you’re doing well. I’m contacting you in regard to invoice #001. This is a friendly reminder that the payment was due on December 31, 2018. Please send payment as soon as possible.

You can pay by mailing a check to:

Your Business Name
Your Full Business Address
Your Zip Code

I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,
Your Name
Your Contact Details

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