Industry’s best collection letter

Writing collection letter to a customer can be scary.  How to ask for money owed without coming off as rude and annoying?

Direct and to the point

Customers don’t read long mails; so the amount and due date should be be in bold and in the first sentence of your collection letter.  I usually recommend to add it to the subject of the mail or the letter title.

“Our record shows that you have 2 unpaid invoices with us with a balance of $12,563, 30 days past due.”

Provide a payment method with the collection email/letter

a recent survey showed that more than 50% of past due invoices are with customers that are lacking organizational skills.  Very often, small businesses don’t have the staff to follow up on the paperwork.  So I always suggest a link to payment method right below the first sentence.  I personally provide 2 ways: Paypal and a quick-link to a payment gateway (I use Stripe)

Provide the details!

No need for the customer to procrastinate and delay the payment because she/he needs time to find what these invoices are.  I recommend you provide a link to the invoices; orders or quotes shared with her/him in the first place.
Finish on a personal note

Your collection letter is a reflection of your business, remember that your letter is to persuade someone to send you money. Your wording and tone are critical, especially if this is a customer you want to continue to do business with. Always assume the customer will pay.

I personally finish with something like “Sending payment reminders for past due invoices is my least favorite part of the job!  We love your business and hope that you will rapidly remit these invoices.”

and don’t forget to sign!

“yours truly,..”