Tips to Craft a Friendly Payment Reminder Email

As a business owner, you’ll have to deal with overdue payments sooner or later.

When this happens, your best course of action is to reach your customers by sending them reminder emails. That’s the fastest and easiest way to reach your customers.

However, SaaS companies often have difficulties getting their customers to open their payment reminder emails in the first place.

How come?

Reports show that an average person in the US receives around 70 emails every day. Not all of those emails are important or require immediate attention, so people usually skim over them or flag them as spam to prioritize relevant tasks.

So, if your payment reminder emails don’t look relevant to your customers, they’re going to get ignored. And as a result, you won’t get paid.

To help you prevent this unfortunate development, and stand out in the sea of unread messages, we’re going to provide you with actionable tips on how to write better payment reminder emails. Then you can spur your customers into action and get the money you’re owed fast.

Let’s start!

Have a Catchy Subject Line

Every friendly payment reminder email should start with an eye-catching subject line to get the recipients to open it.

People decide whether the email is relevant or not in an instant. That means you have a very short window to capture their attention and convince them to open your message.

In fact, according to research, almost 47% of emails get opened based on the subject line alone.

So, your first step to collecting payments is to write better subject lines for your reminder emails. In doing that, keep in mind two key things: expressing urgency and brevity.

You should be able to get your point across in five words or less. In fact, try to keep your subject lines under 40 characters, because those have a better open rate than longer ones.

Therefore, the trick to writing good subject lines is cutting out unnecessary words to get your point across quickly, while using powerful language.

Here’s an example from Netlify. Look at their subject line. Does it spur you into immediate action?

Have a Catchy Subject Line
Source: Success by LiveChat

When people see the words “action required” in their inboxes, they’re eager to learn what they should do—right away.

In other words, the phrasing creates a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to open their emails and read the message you want them to receive.

The company implements all the principles we’ve touched upon here, so if you want to get your customers to open your email, follow Netlify’s example.

Use a Friendly Greeting

Now that you convinced your customers to open your email, you have to set the right tone with your greeting.

The first impression is important, and you have to appear friendly and engaging. In this way, you’re leveraging the relationship you’ve established with your customer, before telling them the bad news.

First of all, the level of formality you convey in your greeting depends on your branding and the way you usually relate to your customers.

For instance, if you want to appear professional, yet approachable, consider using ‘’Hi’’ or ‘’Hello’’ and addressing the recipient by their first name.

Just like in this email.

Use a friendly greeting
Source: Baremetrics

Using a customer’s first name provides a personal touch and shows you want a connection with them.

On the other hand, if you want to appear more formal, use ‘’Dear [Name]’’.

Moreover, if you don’t know your customer’s name, the best way to convey the same level of friendliness and professionalism is to use a good generic greeting. Some companies use ‘’Greetings’’ or ‘’Hi there’’.

By setting the right tone of the greeting, you position yourself as a professional and detail-oriented company that cares about its customers. This makes customers trust you more, and, as a result, they will want to solve their payment problems faster.

Provide Clear Context in Your Email Body

Your email body should briefly explain the main points of why you’re emailing your customer.

You must provide enough information about the issue that transpired and explain what the customer should do next.

So, to do that, you need to keep them short and only include relevant information. The more specific you are, the better.

To give you a better understanding of what to include, we’ll break down an example of a payment reminder email. In your first paragraph, provide context for what happened. Like here:

Provide Clear Context in Your Email Body

The company provides the invoice number and the due date for that invoice. So, now the customer knows what happened.

In your next paragraph, you should provide them with a course of action to solve the problem.

Then, in the email above, the company politely asks the customer to look at the invoice and pay what they owe. Notice the words and the assertive tone they used. They want to remain professional but urge the customer to take action.

Provide Clear Context in Your Email Body

The final thing to do is to offer assistance so you can help your customer solve their payment problems quicker. You have to consider that some of them might have further problems or additional questions, so having an open communication channel will make you appear approachable.

Provide Clear Context in Your Email Body

Remember, your email body should clearly communicate the primary purpose of your reminder email so the customer can take necessary action.

Close Your Email Effectively

When you have a closing that’s consistent with the overall tone of the rest of your email, you’re basically putting a positive stamp on your company’s image.

So, if you used a formal tone in the email body, maintain it by featuring a closing that includes a long email signature with name, title, company, address, and email, like in this example from HubSpot.

Close Your Emails Effectively
Source: HubSpot

On the other hand, use informal closings such as these if your payment reminder has a less formal tone:

  • Sincerely
  • Thanks
  • All the best
  • Regards

But just like in your more formal emails, you should sign off with a name from someone in your team. That way, you appear more relatable to the customer, and they trust a real person more when they receive bad news.

Your closing should leave them on a positive note, so they’re more likely to take the action you requested. Additionally, you want to remind your customer that you have their back should they have problems in the future.

Also see: Mailerlite vs AWeber vs Moosend


Payment reminder emails have to be polite and professional to get the point across.

When they finish reading, your customers should know what the issue is and what they need to do to resolve it.

However, they should also internalize positive feelings about your company, so they don’t churn before the next billing cycle.

Now that you’re equipped with essential knowledge about writing friendly payment reminder emails, you should be able to craft payment reminder emails that achieve all of those goals.

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