4 overdue invoice email templates that will help you get paid faster

When a customer doesn’t pay you on time, it opens up a number of problems. Your cashflow can be disrupted and you will likely have to spend more admin time chasing up the late payer. 

On a more personal level, there is also that awkward moment when you have to contact the customer. What can you say that will help you get paid faster and at the same time not jeopardise your working relationship?

Here are a few ideas for overdue invoice emails that will both help you get paid on time and, hopefully, avoid any awkwardness.

1. Due soon

This example isn’t technically for an overdue invoice, but by prompting clients to pay before there’s a problem, it could be the most valuable of them all. Even if you have payment terms that specify a number of days for the customer to pay upon receipt of your invoice, a gentle nudge as soon as you send the invoice out is a great way to begin the conversation.

It’s best to keep this email simple, polite and friendly. For example:

Hi [customer name],

This is a quick heads-up that I’ve just sent invoice [number]. I’d really appreciate it if you could arrange the payment.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

2. Due now

If you’re still waiting on payment - or even a response - when the due date is up, it’s time to follow up with a polite reminder.

Although it might be frustrating not to get paid on time, it’s best to stay friendly at this point. There may well be a valid reason that the customer hasn’t paid yet and you don’t want to ruin any future collaboration. Here’s an example:

Hi [customer name],

This is a reminder that invoice [number] is now due. I’d really appreciate it if you could arrange the payment as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

3. Overdue

The timing of this next reminder depends on the circumstances. The customer may have been in touch to explain why they haven’t paid. Alternatively, they may not have responded to your previous messages at all. At this point, you might begin to fear that the customer is not be planning to pay, but it’s important to remember that:

  • you have done the work and you are entitled to be paid
  • you are asking for no more than what you are due
  • it is the customer who is being rude by not paying, not you who is being rude by asking

Remember that as a self-employed business owner, you have to operate in many different roles - in this case, you’re assuming the role of your business’s finance department. You might want to favour a more formal tone over the friendly tone of the previous two emails. For example:

Dear [customer name],

This is a reminder that invoice [number] is now [X] days overdue and beyond the set payment terms. Please arrange the payment as soon as possible to avoid escalation.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

4. Very late

When you feel like your customer is ignoring you and you suspect you're simply not going to get paid, don’t get too downhearted. There are legal methods you can employ to help you get your money - just keep remembering that you did the work, so you’re entitled to get paid for it.

Dear [customer name],

This is a final reminder that invoice [number] is now [X] days overdue and beyond the set payment terms. If payment isn’t received by [date] we will begin legal proceedings.


[Your name]

Save time and awkwardness by automating your overdue invoice email reminders

FreeAgent’s automatic invoice reminders can send your overdue invoice emails for you. By setting up multiple invoice reminders to send at different times, each with a custom subject line and email message, you can just get on with your work and let your invoices chase themselves.

Find out more about invoicing in FreeAgent.

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