How To Ask For Payment Of An Invoice Politely - Guide and Email Templates

June 2nd, 2022 by Felix Cheruiyot

How To Ask For Payment

This article provides a guide on how to ask for payment for an invoice politely, do's and don'ts, and in addition, email templates that you can use to request payments today.

Asking someone for payments owed to you can always be a slightly uncomfortable situation. What's worse is having to ask multiple times. In fact, nearly 29% of freelancers are paid late by their clients. However, what's important to understand is that you have to be patient and polite above all else.

Be sure to give your client the benefit of the doubt every time. This is especially the case if you’re contracting or freelancing small to mid-scale businesses. It's likely that the owner or department heads have a lot on their table and have genuinely forgotten!

What you need to do is send them reminder emails frequently and stay in constant contact with them. Keep reading to learn more about how to ask for payment politely over email.

What To Include In Your Payment Request Email?

Many people find it tricky to draft a payment request email. To be able to send a persuasive email, you need to be able to strike the perfect balance between being polite and friendly, and assertive at the same time. Below are some helpful pointers to keep in mind when working on a payment request email.

Be As Friendly As Possible

When sending a request for payment to a customer by email, the subject line is the first thing you need to keep in mind. If the subject line of your email is poorly written, your customer might decide not to bother reading the rest of the message. Here are a few things to consider:

Be Sure To Attach A Copy Of The Invoice

When it comes to how to request payment, a copy of the invoice must be attached to each and every payment request email. Your customers will be able to immediately recall the work that was submitted to them and the amount that they owe you as a result of this. Invoices and the specifics of payments might, however, cause some people to become a little bit confused at times. The following are some important factors to keep in mind when thinking about how to follow up on invoice:

Politely Remind The Clients Of The Payment Deadline

Your contract and invoice need to be crystal clear on what your payment terms are. The payment procedure, the deadline for making payments, and any late fees that will be applied should all be outlined in the contract.

At the very least, the date or time range within which payment is required, such as "Net 30 Days," should be included on your invoice.

Add Your Payment Details

Another basic of how to ask for payment is by adding how you would like to get paid. These can be payment links or simply your bank details. The goal is to make the money transfer as easy as possible for the client. This avoids any time being wasted in back and forth communication.

Remind Your Clients Of The Payment Terms

Include the payment information in the payment request emails and the physical invoice itself, together with all of your contact information.

If at all possible, provide your customers with the option to pay via credit card as well as online payment methods such as direct transfer. As you begin to place more pressure on your client, you should work on providing simpler methods of payment for them in order to prevent further instances of late payment.

Keep Your Payment Request Emails Short And Sweet

Email etiquette dictates that messages should be concise and to the point, and the same holds true for payment reminder letters.

There's no harm in keeping your feelings about the missing money to yourself, even if they're raw. Opt for a few short paragraphs and include a copy of your invoice whenever possible instead.

How Do You Politely Ask For Your Payment Via Email?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the ways how to ask for payment via email let’s take a look at how to draft payment request emails depending on when you're going to be sending them out.

Below are some email options you can use depending on how long it's been since the due date. Keep in mind that these are to be sent after you’ve sent the initial email with the invoice.

Payment Remind Email To Send When The Payment Is A Few Days Late

A payment deadline has passed, and you haven't received payment despite sending the invoice to the client. However, it's only been less than a week since the project was submitted. This isn't great, but it's not terrible either.

Using this payment reminder email template can be helpful in a situation like this:

Subject line: Payment reminder for the invoice past due

Hi [client’s name],

Hope this email finds you in good health. I’m writing to just remind you that the invoice I sent you on [inser the date when you sent the invoice] is now overdue. Please find a copy of it attached below.

My payment information: [your details].


[your name]

Payment Request Email To Send When Its 2 Week After The Payment Deadline

Feeling vexed is justified when payment is more than a week late. Chasing payments is never a good situation to be in. However, when you send a second payment reminder email, be sure to make it professional and straightforward.

If the money is coming from outside the country, it's very important to find out the status of the transfer and when you might anticipate it. A possible explanation for this is that although the customer has made the payment as agreed, funds have not yet been received in your account.

You can use this email template:

Subject line: Invoice for [your service or product] two weeks overdue

Hi [client’s name],

I just wanted to quickly remind you that the invoice attached below is now due two weeks ago. I have yet to receive payment. Could you please update me on the status? I would also appreciate an approximate date of arrival for the payments.

My payment information: [insert your bank details here].


[your name].

Payment Request Email To Send When Its A Month After The Deadline

You must remind your client of the arrangement you made if it's been more than a month since the payment was due. The contract should be attached to the payment request email, or the client should be informed of any late payment charges if applicable. If you and the customer are working together regularly, you can put the project on hold until the past work is paid for.

The client has already received several payment request emails, so you can be more demanding. Remain courteous, but don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Here's a starting point:

Subject line: Invoice is now due over a month

Hi [client’s name],

The invoice for [your product or service] is now due over a month; hence the payment is a month overdue too. Please refer to the invoice attached to this email.

I’d also like to remind you that as per our written agreement, a late fee can be applied to the invoices that are past [x] number of days overdue.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions regarding the payment. If not, please make the payment as agreed.

My payment information: [you bank details]


[your name]

What To Do When Your Payment Request Emails Are Being Ignored

If it's starting to feel like your client is ignoring your payment request emails, there are a few things you can do to grab their attention. We’ve listed a few below:

Attempt Different Modes Of Communication

When a customer avoids payment, having multiple ways to contact them can be helpful. If your follow-up invoice emails haven't been acknowledged, pick up the phone and try to speak with them instead. You may be able to identify the reason for any missed payments and resolve the problem more quickly this way.

Alternatively, see if you can contact someone else within the organization, ideally someone from the same team as your customer, to see if they can help.

Opt For Factoring

Factoring involves selling your invoices to a company in exchange for an upfront payment. Typically, the company will offer you a percentage of the invoice's value.

Kabbage, for example, offers 75%, which is quite a bit of money, especially if you've been dealing with an outstanding invoice for months with no payment in sight.

Seek Legal Action

Many small businesses are hesitant to pursue legal action since it is costly, time-consuming, and nerve-racking. Contact a small business lawyer in your area who charges reasonable fees for sending letters for unpaid invoices. The threat of legal action can sometimes be enough to get people to open their wallets and pay the amount owed.

You can also inform the client that you intend to file a claim in small claims court. Your state will have laws specifically about how much your client owes you to be eligible to go to court. It is usually in the thousands but less than $10,000.

Clients do not have to take advantage of small businesses. Demonstrate your willingness to advocate for yourself.

How Not To Go About A Payment Request

Let's go over a few templates to study examples of the dont’s of how to request payment.

Email Before Due Date

Subject line: Payment for services

Hi [client’s name],

How are you doing today? Hope you're well and not too tired (like myself!) Anyhoo, I was just about to finish up with your project. It was quite time-consuming, and I think I did a really good job at it!

I’m attaching the invoice for the job. Make sure to pay for it on time!


[your name]

Here’s what's wrong with the email:

A Month Overdue Email

Subject line: Late payment fee on Invoice

Hi [client’s name],

It's been a month since you haven't paid me. I'm not sure what you're waiting around for! When I developed that web page for you, I was not late.

Additional costs will be added to your statement because you are 30 days late. The bill will climb by $90 every day. Pay me via PayPal ([email protected]) or direct transfer what you owe me (12345667890).

If you do not pay within a week, I will go ahead and hire a collection agency and file a lawsuit against you.

[your name]

Here’s what's wrong with the email:


Whether you're a small business owner or a freelancer, payment collection doesn't have to be a nightmare. Being clever and polite about it and following a specific protocol can make things much smoother and more effective.

Make sure you have all of the information you need regarding your overall accounts receivable, as well as any other freelancing work you're owed.

Prepare for the worst-case situation, and adjust your future business terms to suit clients that need to be reminded frequently to pay for your services.

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