Invoicing is vital to business. It’s how you collect payment for your products and services. Without effective invoicing, your bottom line will suffer, and your business will struggle to survive. But do you know how to send an invoice by email?
These days, most invoices are sent electronically. Like everything else in our lives, we want invoicing to be convenient, fast, and available online.
Read these tips to learn how to send an invoice by email and make payment collections more convenient for both you and your customers.
Before you start
Before you send an email invoice to your customers, you have to decide on a few things.
First, clearly communicate with your customers on how and when you expect to be paid. Outline the full process ahead of time, including deadlines and late fees, so there are no surprises. When your customers know exactly what to expect when it comes to payment, they’re more likely to pay on time, and the entire process is much smoother for everyone involved.
Second, be as upfront as possible about the estimated bill. Depending on your type of business, you can’t always predict down to the penny what the total cost will be, but you can give your customers a rough estimate and warn them that things might change depending on factors as varied as time, labor, parts, and more. If your customers receive a bill that’s totally outside the expected range, you’ll run into issues which could impact your cash flow, so it’s best to give customers a realistic expectation of the final cost while also communicating that it might fluctuate.
Third, decide on a method of payment. Will your customers call and make a payment over the phone, or will you set up an easier online method? If you can offer your customers more convenient payment methods, they’ll be more likely to pay promptly.
Once you’ve given some thought to these questions, you can start sending out email invoices.
How to send an invoice by email
The most basic way to send an invoice by email is to create a PDF version of your invoice, attach it to your email, and send it to your customer. However, this process, while more efficient than snail mail, still has room for improvement.
For example, you have to go through the work of creating a PDF version of each invoice and looking up the contact information for each customer. Unless you create pre-made templates, you have to type out each individual email message. And then you have to deal with payment, which could involve several rounds of phone or email tag. Without the right tools, this process can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
The easiest, most efficient way to send an invoice by email is to use an integrated payment application. This type of third-party application seamlessly plugs into your accounting software, giving you the ability to accept payments directly in your accounting software. And once your payments are connected to your accounting software, you can enjoy the benefits of automating your payment and invoicing process.
First, you’ll create an invoice in your accounting software. The integrated payment application will automatically send a templated email to the customer notifying them that an invoice is due. When the customer clicks on the link in the email, they’ll be able to pay off the invoice through a secure online form. Once payment is made, it syncs back to your accounting software and posts to the invoice, eliminating any double data entry.
You don’t have to deal with PDFs, typing up messages, or looking up customer contact information. The only work on your end is creating the initial invoice in your accounting software.
There are a number of advantages to moving your invoicing online. Electronic invoices can’t get lost in the mail, and they’re sent instantaneously, cutting down on wait times. They’re easy for your customers to pay off, so you get paid faster and increase your cash flow. If you automate your invoicing, you don’t have to spend time reaching out and following up with customers. And finally, you spend even less time on manual accounting and reconciliation at the end of the day, since the integrated payment application applies the payment to the invoice for you.
Still stuck in the past? When you learn how to send an invoice by email, email invoicing will benefit both you and your customers by making the invoicing and payment process convenient, quick, and simple. To get even more out of email invoicing, use an integrated payment application like EBizCharge to automate the process and spend less time on manual payment collections.