No one likes being paid late. Yet, many small business owners and freelancers shrink back at the thought of asking a client for the money they owe.

It's almost as though you're reduced to begging. If this is the mindset you have, then late-paying clients are going to walk all over you.

So to prevent yourself from becoming a doormat, you have to step up your game. One way to do so is to implement payment reminders into your business strategy.

You have your tools for completing projects, invoicing platforms like invoicely to send out payment requests, and now you need email templates for the late payers.

Let's take a look at how you can set up your payment reminders using the following copy and paste templates.

Payment Reminder Best Practices

Before we get into the templates, let's go over the best practices for sending payment reminders.

What to Include in Your Payment Reminders

When you send a client a payment reminder, it's critical that you include all pertinent details. If you're dealing with a business, then they likely have many emails coming in.

So you want your payment reminder to be clear about who it's from and why it's important to read. Make sure to include your company name/contact name in the subject line and at the beginning of the email, so they know who it's from and what it's regarding.

It's essential to include updated information about their order, account balance, and if applicable, their payment history.

This will clarify everything for the client and minimizes the chances of them contacting you to get details about their invoice. So the more you provide, the more likely they'll take care of the invoice without all the back and forth.

Also, to make payments easier, your payment reminder should outline which forms of payment you accept. Hopefully, you offer an online payment solution to make it faster to settle the invoice.

Your payment reminders should also include the due date of the invoice (whether it's upcoming or past due). It's good to send this 5 to 7 days in advance, so your customers have time to take care of the bill.

Then if you're using an online invoicing platform, you should include an attachment or link to where they can view the original invoice.

At the end of your email, it's essential to place your contact details. Or the contact details of the one who handles your invoicing.

This way, if they have any questions, they know who to reach out to.

Next, let's dive into 8 different templates you can copy and paste for your payment reminder emails.

1. Payment Reminder Before the Invoice Due Date

Now, as we mentioned, you want to send out payment reminders well before the invoice is due. This way, you give clients a heads up and a means to plan to settle it promptly.

Ideally, you want to send it about a week before the due date.

In this email, you want to politely remind the client that they have a pending invoice that's due soon. You can also verify that they're satisfied with their product or service and that everything's on track for payment.

Be sure your subject is clear about what's inside the email. Here's an example:

Subject: [Name of your company]: Invoice# [Invoice number]


Hi [First name of client],

How are things going?

I wanted to reach out to remind you of the [invoice balance] balance on your most recent invoice that's due [due date].

You can view the invoice here [invoice link].

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and whether everything's on track for payment.

Warm regards,

[Your first name]

2. Payment Reminder 1-2 Days After Due Date

Maybe the client responded to your first email and assured you that everything was great and would pay the invoice on time.

Or maybe they didn't respond at all.

Either way, you should reach out to them soon after the payment becomes overdue. You can wait a day or two (or three) to allow a short grace period before you send a followup email.

You can follow a similar outline from the last template.

It can look something like this:

Subject: [Your company name]: Invoice# [invoice number]


Hi [ client's first name],

I hope things are going well for you.

We noticed your current invoice# [invoice number] in the amount of [balance owed] is overdue as of [day after due date].

You can view the invoice here [invoice link].

It would be much appreciated if you could shoot me an email letting me know when to expect payment.

Kind regards

[Your first name]

3. Payment Reminder for Invoices 14+ Days Overdue

If you've sent an early payment reminder and another a few days after the due date and you still haven't heard from your client, then it's time to send another followup.

This is where your method switches from passive to urgent.

The point of this email is to let the client know that their payment is required ASAP to prevent further actions (legal, collections, etc.) from taking place.

The idea is to get the message across that late payments aren't acceptable, and the balance must be paid urgently.

Here's a great example.

Subject: [Your company name] -- Overdue Payment -- Invoice# [invoice number]


Hi [client's first name]

This is our third attempt to collect a balance of [invoice balance] for invoice# [invoice number] that was due on [due date]. Your payment is now [number of days overdue] overdue.

We kindly request that you immediately satisfy the balance or contact us at [company phone number] to make a payment arrangement.

Here is the link to your invoice [include link].

If we don't hear from you within the next 48 hours, we will have no choice but to escalate this matter.

I look forward to your reply,

[Your first name]

4. Thank You Email for Invoice Payment

If your client pays you right after the first email, then great! But whether your client paid on time or not -- you want to send them a thank you email.

This will help to build a good relationship with your customers (and give them a pat on the back for keeping their account in good standing).

But ultimately, it's to steer your clients towards being on-time payers.

So what should your thank you email look like?

Subject: [Your company name]: Invoice# [invoice number]


Hi [client's first name],

I'm just reaching out today to let you know that we've received your payment for invoice# [invoice number]. I'd like to thank you personally and let you know that we greatly appreciate it!

We look forward to working with you again soon.


[Your first name]

Creating a Strategy to Prevent Late Payments

As a business owner, it's critical to take measures that can help ensure your cash flow goes uninterrupted. You don't ever want to be at the mercy of your clients and their ability (or willingness) to pay you on time.

This is why we recommend putting together a strategy focused on prevention.

Here are some ideas for you.

Create & Sign Payment Terms

As a professional, you need to have contracts and agreements in place that outline the duties and expectations of your business and the client.

This agreement should detail when payments are due. For example, you can give clients 7, 10, 15, or 30 days to pay their invoice.

Anything longer is asking for a roster of late-paying customers.

Whatever you decide, make sure to spell out when the clock starts -- upon completion of the project/service or the date of the invoice.

Then it should list what forms of payment are accepted, when invoices are sent, and what happens if payments are paid late (or not at all).

And this leads us to our next point.

Consider Charging Interest or Fees for Late Payments

One way to deter clients from paying late is to tack on interest or late fees. If you decide to go this route, then it's best to let clients know this upfront.

Add this to your contract and payment terms and have them read and sign it.

Automate Your Payment Reminders

It's easy to forget to follow up with your clients after completing work for them. So if you're not on top of sending out your payment reminder emails, then you're going to have a harder time getting paid on time.

This is why we suggest automating your payment reminders.

You can do this easily using a tool like invoicely that allows you to schedule in advance when payment reminders are sent.

With this setup, all you have to do is watch your inbox and account for replies and payments. It also helps that invoicely allows your clients to pay you online using a credit/debit card, PayPal, Mollie, Stripe, and WePay.

Improve Your Invoicing Process

The better your invoicing strategy, the easier it's going to be to keep clients on track with their payments.

With the above templates, you can automate your payment reminders to promote clients to pay promptly.

Do you have any other tips and ideas for getting paid on time?

Let us know about them in the comments!