How to Send Invoices + Payment Reminder Texts & Emails
How to Send Invoices + Payment Reminder Texts & Emails

How to Send an Invoice & Remind Someone to Pay You with Payment Reminders + Templates

Sending invoices and payment reminders can take a lot of time. Especially if you haven’t set up payment automation.

It’s why I frequently hear questions like:

  • What is the best way to send an invoice?
  • When is the best time to politely remind someone to pay you?
  • How can you automate payment reminders?

So in this article, I cover:

  1. What invoices and payment reminders are
  2. Why sending invoices and payment reminders is hard (but doesn’t have to be)
  3. How to create an invoice and how to invoice someone
  4. How to use text message payment reminders to remind someone to pay you
  5. Text message invoice and payment reminder templates
  6. Email invoice and payment reminder templates
  7. Frequently asked payment reminder and invoicing for small business questions

By the end you’ll have the invoice and payment reminder knowledge needed to get paid faster and on time.

Read on for more.

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Why Sending Invoices and Payment Reminders is Hard (But Doesn’t Have to Be)

You hustle and you’re serious about the work you do. There's no reason why you shouldn’t get paid on time.

However, in a recent survey of 400 businesses:

  • 27% of respondents said they have a hard time creating and sending invoices.
  • Another 46% said they have difficulty getting paid on time.
  • And 49% said they have a hard time following up on late payments.

These numbers aren’t surprising.

This is because many businesses and organizations don’t have the right combination of invoice processes and payment reminder tools.

So what’s the fix?

Start by studying your current invoice collection and payment reminder process.

Then, create a diagram of what that process looks like by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What type of payments and accounting software do you currently use to invoice?
  2. How do you currently create or generate invoices?
  3. Where do you store your invoice and payment information?
  4. What’s your current step-by-step process from invoice creation to payment received?
  5. Are there any unnecessary steps or “friction” that occur in this process?
  6. How long does it typically take for someone to pay an outstanding invoice?
  7. How many reminder messages do you send to collect payment?

Got everything diagrammed and mapped out? Now you can start looking for time-saving opportunities and software to help you send invoices and payment reminders.

This is where it helps to think in terms of friction. The harder it is for someone to pay you, then the less likely you are to get paid. It’s that simple.

So the more you can remove unnecessary steps, or tools, and streamline the invoice and payments process the better.

Mapping and diagraming your process ultimately helps you determine what kinds of tools you need to get paid faster.


How to Send an Invoice

Ok, you’ve mapped your invoice and payment reminder process. But how do you actually send someone an invoice?

1. Determine invoicing and payment timelines before doing business

Just as you discuss pricing before closing a deal, you should also set forth billing and invoicing terms.

Making your payment terms clear and concise can save you and your customers a lot of time. It’ll answer questions up-front and keep things transparent. It's just good customer service.

Your payment terms should:

  1. Explain when you’ll invoice (before or after the job’s done)
  2. How long the customer has to pay (payment timeline)
  3. Establish when and how you’d like to get paid (due date and payment method)

Here are several common payment timelines:

  • Net 30 (payment due within 30 days of the invoice date)
  • Net 15 (payment due within 15 days of the invoice date)
  • Net 10 (payment due within 10 days of the invoice date)

Once you have your payment terms, conditions, and timelines established you can create your invoice.

2. How to create an invoice

  1. Title your invoice and give it a unique invoice number.
  2. Brand your invoice with your business logo.
  3. Include your business name and address.
  4. Add customer contact details.
  5. Include a customer purchase order number or reference number (if applicable).
  6. Describe the goods or services provided.
  7. Quantify the number and price of goods or services.
  8. Calculate the total invoice amount to be paid (including applicable tax).
  9. State your payment terms, payment methods, and payment due date.
  10. Include your tax identification number (TIN) - (if applicable).

Here’s what a sample PDF invoice looks like:

example invoice

A PDF invoice creates a clear record and keeps everything transparent. You can find free PDF invoice templates for Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs, and Sheets on the web.

Many small business accounting software and payment solutions also come with customizable invoice templates.

Or you can use a free invoice template generator. These work well if you don’t have the time or graphic design capability to create your own invoice template.

Free invoice template generators:

  1. QuickBooks Online Invoice Template Generator
  2. Xero Invoice Template Generator
  3. FreshBooks Invoice Template Generator
  4. Shopify Invoice Template Generator
  5. PayPal Invoice Template Generator
  6. Hubspot Invoice Template Generator
  7. Zoho Invoice Template Generator

Once you’ve created your invoice, be sure to save it as a template for future use.


3. Know the best time to send an invoice

The best time to send an invoice is as soon as you've finished work for a customer. Sending invoices right after the job is done is the best way for businesses and organizations to keep cash flow consistent, cover business expenses, and grow.

Alternatively, you may:

  • Send an invoice while at the job site or service location.
  • Send an invoice within 48 hours of rendering goods or services.
  • Send monthly recurring invoices for goods or services.

Many businesses send invoices after filling an order or completing a job. This is best for lower-volume, big, contracted projects. You’ll get paid faster if you collect payment immediately or send an invoice when the work gets done.

Businesses with subscription-oriented, recurring services, or retainer contracts will need to send recurring invoices at regular intervals. In these cases, you’ll want to implement automated invoice and payment reminders (more on that below).

4. Send invoices via SMS text message and email

Email and SMS messages are some of the best ways to send an invoice to someone. There’s almost no reason to send a friendly payment reminder letter.

This is because:

  • Everyone has a smartphone with access to texts and emails.
  • Almost all invoices are digital PDFs or otherwise.
  • SMS and email both support URL links to invoices and payments software.

Ultimately, you’ll want to use a balance of both texts and emails to send invoices and payment reminders. But text messages have some clear advantages and benefits that are worth discussing.

Compared to email, texts have higher open, click, and engagement rates. This is because texts get sent straight to a person’s phone. Whereas email inboxes are overflowing. Many emails get marked as spam.

But with text messages, you can see up to a 98% open rate and a 45% response rate. That’s how texting invoices and payment reminders can get you paid faster: better engagement.

Here’s a breakdown:

Open Rate Response Rate Spam Rate
Text message invoices and payment reminders 98% 45% 3%
Email invoices and payment reminders 20% 6% 53%

5. Follow up after you send your invoice

It’s important to use both texts and emails to send past-due invoice reminders. But what exactly does the invoice and payment reminder process look like?

Here’s a simple text message payment reminder sequence setup using MessageDesk’s text-to-pay and QuickBooks Online integration:


  1. Invoice created: Automatically send texts when a new invoice is created in your accounting provider.
  2. Invoice paid: Automatically sends texts when an invoice is paid (Great for sending “thank you for your business” messages).
  3. Reminder 1: A premade reminder that sends a text a certain number of days before an invoice is due. You can customize this.
  4. Reminder 2: Another payment reminder that sends a text a certain number of days before an invoice is due. You can customize this.
  5. Reminder 3: Another payment reminder that sends a text a certain number of days before an invoice is due. You can customize this.

Below are additional invoice and payment reminder sequences that utilize texts, emails, and even personal phone calls.

Sample net 30 payment reminder sequence

  • Day 1: email and text customers a link to their invoice
  • Day 5: text invoice reminder
  • Day 10: text invoice reminder
  • Day 15: text invoice reminder
  • Day 20: email and text link to the invoice
  • Day 30: call customer

Sample invoice collection campaign using email, texts, and phone calls

  • Day 1: email and text link to invoice
  • Day 2: text invoice reminder
  • Day 3: text invoice reminder
  • Day 5: text invoice reminder
  • Day 7: email and text link to invoice
  • Day 9: call customer

How to Remind Someone to Pay You with Text Message Payment Reminders

Texts get more engagement than email. But how do you send SMS payment reminders?

For starters, you’ll need a proper text reminder app. Texting as a business or organization isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work.

Some businesses and organizations allow staff and employees to text payment reminders from their personal mobile phones. But there are major drawbacks and liabilities with this.

One drawback is that there’s no way for a team to keep track of text conversations on their personal phones. No one else in your organization can see who has and hasn’t received payment confirmation and payment reminder text messages.

So here’s how to ask for payment politely via text message.

1. Choose a text message payment reminder service

You’ve got options when choosing a business text messaging service to send payment reminders or even appointment reminders.

But the two major features you’ll need are a shared team SMS inbox and broadcast text messages.

Shared team SMS inboxes make it possible to send and receive one-way and two-way text messages as a team.

If someone texts you with invoice or billing questions, you can automatically assign and route the conversation to the right teammate. You can even add comments that mention a colleague directly in the conversation thread.


Additionally, you’ll need an SMS reminder service that makes it easy to send text message broadcasts. This feature allows you to schedule text messages in bulk.

MessageDesk offers both of the above features and more including:

  • Separate text-enabled 10-digit local or toll-free 800 SMS phone numbers
  • A shared team SMS inbox for assigning and routing conversations
  • Text message broadcasts for sending mass text messages
  • Text message templates and tags to personalize text messages
  • Support for MMS picture messaging
  • Scheduled texts and automation for scaling messaging
  • Text message signatures so people know who you are
  • Automatic out-of-office messages to let people know you’re away
  • Support for high-volume carrier-verified A2P 10DLC text messaging
  • Built-in opt-out and opt-in tools for TCPA compliance


2. Create a free account

Regardless of the payment reminder text messaging app you choose, create a free account first. This gives you a chance to test drive and understand how things work.

You’re always free to meet with a messaging expert if you’re interested in getting started with MessageDesk.


3. Set up your SMS phone number

Next, you need to get a business text number or text-enable your existing business number.

Many business texting platforms and text message reminder services allow you to text from a variety of SMS phone number types. You can even text-enable phone number extensions.

For businesses and organizations, your number options include:

  • 10-digit local phone numbers
  • Toll-free 800 phone numbers

A local area code with a ten-digit number is often the best option for sending text message payment reminders. These numbers look familiar, so people won’t disregard your reminder messages as spam.

You can also text-enable your business landline or an existing office phone through number hosting. This allows you to keep your current voice provider and also send and receive texts on your main business line.


4. Integrate with small business accounting software

Are you currently sending invoices using QuickBooks Online, Xero, or FreshBooks?

Then services like MessageDesk can automatically sync all of your invoices and customer information into text messages. This makes it simple to automate text payment reminders.

All you have to do is connect with your invoice and payment provider to start sending payment reminder messages.

Many messaging services like MessageDesk, also integrate with Zapier for connecting to other third-party party payment and invoicing apps. Zapier requires a little setup, but it’s another easy, no-code way to start automating invoice and payment reminders.



5. Create text message payment reminder templates with CTAs and links

Time savings start with templates. These are great when you or your staff have to send the same invoice reminder messages over and over again.

Text reminder apps (like MessageDesk) allow you to customize text messages and save them as templates. Templates can include emojis, images, media, and even personalization tags.

Personalization tags like {{ FirstName }} automatically insert contact details like name, email, and other info like {{ AmountDue }} into a text message. You can even add a text message signature to all of your texts.

You can also use custom fields to save other relevant info like account number, last payment date, and more.


6. Include calls to action and links to payments software in your invoice reminder and confirmation text messages

Next, you’ll want to add calls to action to your payment reminder and confirmation texts.

Calls to action in your automated messages tell customers how to pay. They also eliminate confusion.

Every time you send an invoice reminder email or text, you want to include a link and call to action like “Pay Now”. The easier it is for a customer to pay an overdue invoice, the more likely you are to get paid.
Invoice and payment reminder calls to action look like:

  • Pay now (a link to a payment collection portal)
  • Contact us (phone number or email address for immediate service)
  • See terms (link to a webpage with payment terms)

One of the best ways to include a call to action is with a link in a text message. Your CTAs should make it clear to people how to complete payments.

A link can take your customer to a payment portal. This is often handled by a secure, third-party, merchant services provider like Stripe or Square.

This lets your customer pay immediately via a credit card, debit card, or automated clearing house (ACH). Platforms like MessageDesk even allow you to shorten these links for use in text messages.


7. Schedule broadcasts and text automatic payment reminders

Automating any of your day-to-day tasks and messaging saves you time.

But automating your payment reminders allows you to stay persistent.

This is important because collecting on late payments comes down to messaging volume. When you’re manually sending emails or texts, you can only move so fast.

This is why most payments get missed. There simply wasn’t enough timely messaging to remind someone about their overdue invoice payment.

But text message broadcasts and automated text messages can prevent forgotten payment reminders. Everything gets taken care of automatically.

Your accounting software can keep a list of all your invoices and watch for bank deposits that match payments. But if an invoice goes unpaid on its due date, you’ll want to automatically send a text message invoice reminder.

Below is an example of an invoice event from QuickBooks Online triggering a text message payment reminder in MessageDesk.


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Text Message Invoice and Payment Reminder Templates

Below is a list of text message payment reminders. Feel free to copy and paste or check out my 100+ text message templates, examples, and samples for more.

1. Credit card charge and renewal text message reminder

Hi {{ FirstName }}, it’s {{ OrganizationName }}. Just reminding you that your credit card on file will be charged {{ InvoiceAmount }} on {{ PaymentDueDate }} for your monthly renewal. Questions? Please reply via text or call our number for product service at {{ OrganizationPhone }}.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

2. Due date payment reminder text message template

Hello {{ FirstName }}, please remember that your invoice for {{ InvoiceAmount }} is due today {{ PaymentDueDate }}. Let us know if you have any questions. Please feel free to pay via this link: [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

3. Past due invoice reminder text message template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, our records indicate that your account has a balance of {{ InvoiceAmount }} that was due on {{ PaymentDueDate }}. Please make a payment by visiting our online payment portal [ invoice link ].

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

4. Invoice reminder text with a review ask template

Hey there {{ FirstName }} thanks for using {{ OrganizationName }}. We know we have a choice and appreciate your business. Here’s a link to your invoice payment for {{ InvoiceAmount }} due on {{ PaymentDueDate }}: [ invoice link ]. Feel free to review our services on Google: [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

5. Follow-up late payment text message template

{{ FirstName }}, your payment is now a day overdue, please pay as soon as possible to avoid additional late fees. We’ve attached a copy of your invoice here: [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

6. Late payment reminder text message sample

Hi {{ FirstName }}, an overdue invoice has been on your account for longer than 10 business days. If not paid within 24 hours, a collections agency will be assigned to collect the outstanding balance.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

7. Rent reminder text message sample

Hi {{ FirstName }}, just sending you a friendly reminder of payment due for rent coming up on {{ Date }}. Visit our website for payment questions, payment method updates, and to pay your rent online. [ Link ]

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

8. Outstanding payment reminder SMS template

Hello {{ FirstName }}, you’re receiving this text because you have an outstanding payment with {{ OrganizationName }}. Please contact us immediately to pay your bill.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

9. Payment request SMS template

Hi {{ FirstName }}. Just sending you an {{ OrganizationName }} payment request in advance. Your payment is due on {{ Date }}. Please respond to this text or call our office for questions regarding payment.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am

10. Overdue payment payment reminder SMS template

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is your third overdue payment reminder. Please pay your outstanding invoice as soon as possible. You’ve currently accumulated {{ LateFeeAmount }} in late fees. Please follow this link to pay [ Link ] or text or call {{ OrganizationName }} at {{ OrganizationNumber }}.

Delivered 01/06/23, 07:01 am


Invoice and payment reminder email templates

There are many ways to send an invoice via email.

But I don’t cover how to send payment reminder emails in this article. Some accounting platforms like QuickBooks even have built-in automation for sending an invoice email.

Regardless, here are some professional invoice email templates for how to politely remind someone to pay you.

Suggested Article: Guide to QuickBooks Online Invoicing

1. Here’s your invoice email template

Here’s your invoice email template
Here’s your invoice from {{ OrganizaitonName }}

Hi {{ FirstName }},

Thanks for your recent purchase. Here’s {{ InvoiceNumber }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. >Your payment of {{ InvoiceAmount }} is due on {{ PaymentDueDate }}. Thanks again for your business.

P.S. Feel free to rate your experience on Google.

{{ Signature }}

2. Email invoice reminder template

Email invoice reminder template
{{ InvoiceNumber }} from {{ OrganizaitonName }}

Hi {{ FirstName }},

Click this [ Link ] to view a copy of the invoice, from {{ OrganizationName }}. Thanks again for your business.


3. Payment reminder email sample

Payment reminder email sample
SOON: Friendly Reminder to Pay Invoice

Hi {{ First Name }},

We hope that you’re enjoying your [Insert Product/Service Name].

At {{ OrganizationName }} we take pride in making sure that all of our customers enjoy what we provide them.

I’d like to mention that I haven’t received payment from you just yet. No worries, this is just a friendly payment reminder. Your payment isn’t due until {{ PaymentDueDate }} (one week from today).

You can pay by mailing us a check at {{ Company Address }} or online here - [Link to invoice]. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reply to this email or give us a call at {{ Phone Number }}.

Warm Regards,

{{ Signature }}

4. Upcoming payment reminder email example

Upcoming payment reminder email example
Upcoming payment due

Hi there {{ FirstName }},

Our records indicate that your payment of {{ Amount }} will be due on {{ PaymentDueDate }}. >This is just a gentle reminder for payment message. Please be mindful of our late payment policies.

Follow this link to complete your payment or update your payment method: {{ PaymentLink }}

Thank you,

{{ Signature }}

5. Overdue payment reminder email sample

Overdue payment reminder email sample
Payment Past Due

Hi there {{ FirstName }},

Our records indicate that your payment of {{ Amount }} was due on {{ PaymentDueDate }} and is now late. Please be mindful of our late payment policies.

Follow this link to complete your payment: {{ PaymentLink }}

Thank you,

{{ Signature }}

6. Overdue invoice reminder email template

Overdue invoice reminder email template
Invoice #[Invoice Number] is 30 Days Overdue - Are You Receiving This?

{{ FirstName }},

I’ve tried reaching out to you multiple times over the past month regarding your balance of {{ >AmountDue }} from invoice #{{ InvoiceNumber }}.

I’m writing to you again to let you know that your balance with us is now 30 days overdue.

You can pay your invoice by clicking this link [ Link ].

It’s possible that my previous emails fell through the cracks. Could you please reply to this email to let me know that you’ve received it?


{{ Signature }}


Answers to Frequently Asked Invoice and Payment Reminder Questions

When to send an invoice

The best time to send an invoice is after you’ve rendered a good or service to a customer. If you're working on a big project, you might send interim invoices every two to four weeks.

What to include in an invoice

Invoices should include the following information:

  1. Invoice title
  2. Invoice number
  3. Your business logo
  4. Your business name and address
  5. Customer contact details
  6. Customer purchase order number or reference number
  7. Description of goods or services provided
  8. Quantity and price of goods or services (including applicable tax)
  9. Total amount to pay
  10. Your payment terms
  11. Payment due date
  12. Tax identification number (TIN) - (if applicable)

When is the best time to remind someone to pay you?

The best time to remind someone to pay you depends on your payment process and payment terms. Businesses and organizations that collect payments on net 30 payment schedules should start sending payment reminders weeks in advance.

Are you running a cashless business with a payment reminder app, payment portals, integrations, and automation? All of these tools can aid in this invoice collection process and help you determine when to send a payment reminder.

But every business and customer relationship is different. There's no one-size-fits-all timing for billing reminders.

What is the best way to invoice for small business?

The best small business invoicing solutions are QuickBooks Online, Xero, and FreshBooks. All of these small business accounting software come with accounting features like:

  • Customizable invoices
  • Unlimited invoice tracking
  • Estimates
  • Accounts receivable to see who owes you money
  • Payment status updates
  • Time tracking
  • Expense tracking
  • And more

Each has a mobile app and app an ecosystem that can help you get unpaid invoices paid faster.

You can try all of these free invoicing software for 30 days.

How many messages should you send to get someone to pay you?

The number of payment reminders you send also comes down to your product or service and customer preference.

Overall, the efficacy of payment reminders tends to decrease as you send more. But a good rule of thumb is five messages.

So it's a good idea to know the best payment schedule (net 30, net 15, net 10, etc.) for your business first.

For businesses running on a net 30 payment cycle, I suggest the following:

  • Day 1: email and text customers a link to their invoice
  • Day 5: text invoice reminder
  • Day 10: text invoice reminder
  • Day 15: text invoice reminder
  • Day 20: email and text link to the invoice
  • Day 30: call customer

How do I collect late payments that need to go to collections?

Dunning is the technical term for accounts receivable collection. Dunning includes all of the steps from following up on invoice payments to working with a payment collection agency.

In most cases, you shouldn’t need a payment collection agency to get a customer to pay their bill. Should this need arise, there are a number of collections agencies as well as some slick dunning options like Collbox.

Collbox syncs with your accounting software. This lets you see how much you’re owed to place delinquent accounts into collections. Collbox will work on your behalf with a network of collections agencies to collect open invoices and get you paid.

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No switching carriers. Just add texting. Talk to Sales to get started.
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Ready to start texting invoices and payment reminders?

I’ve covered how to remind someone to pay you with examples. Now what?
MessageDesk is here to help with smarter, simpler ways to text SMS payment reminders.

If you’re ready, schedule a demo and meet with one of our messaging experts.

We’re here to help you improve your messaging and find success.

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