How to Send an Invoice via Email

Updated on February 7, 2020
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Holiday cards and wedding invitations are great for sending through snail mail. Invoices? Not so much.

Businesses send invoices because they want to get paid. And in the interest of getting paid as quickly as possible, more small business owners are skipping the snail mail and sending their invoices electronically. 

Ready to learn how to send an invoice via email to simplify this accounting task? This article will explain that and more. Let’s get started.

How to Send an Invoice via Email in 6 Steps

Convinced to send your invoices through email yet? Good. Now we’ll walk you through how to do just that.

Step 1: Creating an Invoice

Below, we’re covering three different methods on how to create an invoice:

Create a DIY Invoice

You can use Microsoft or Google Suite to create an invoice from scratch. If you’re doing this, be sure to include all the following information:

  • Your company information (name and business address)
  • Your customer’s information (name and business address)
  • Date issued
  • Payment due date
  • Itemized list of product or services provided
  • Cost per product or service
  • Taxes
  • Discounts
  • Late payment fees
  • Total amount due

Download an Invoice Template

Adjusting your cell blocks and filling in the headings yourself can be time-consuming. You can save time with downloadable templates, whether you’re using Microsoft Office or Google Suite. 

Downloading an invoice template will generate a ready-to-use layout. All you need to do is plug in the information. These guides on how to create an invoice in Excel and Word can walk you through the process.

Use Invoice Software

If you want to further simplify the process of sending invoices, consider using invoice software. Invoice software, like FreshBooks and Zoho Invoice can help you create professional branded invoices in a couple of seconds.

Also, you have the added bonus of storing all your invoice and receipt records on one platform. This can be a more efficient way to track your invoices, in contrast to making your own folders on your computer.

Step 2: Prepare Your Invoice for Attachment

Once your invoice is created, there are a few more steps to take before you’re ready to send it out.

For Microsoft Office or Google Suite Invoices

Whether you created your invoice from scratch or downloaded a template, you’ll want to save your invoice as a PDF. It’s important to save your invoice as a PDF so that it can’t be edited by anyone other than you.

Here’s how you can do that:

Microsoft Office

  1. Open your invoice.
  2. Click File.
  3. Click Print.
  4. Click Print from the print menu.
  5. For “Print Settings,” select Active Sheet.
  6. For “Page Orientation,” select Portrait.
  7. If needed, click Scaling and select “Fit Sheet on One Page” from the drop-down menu.
  8. Click Print.
  9. For Destination, select “Save as PDF” from the drop-down menu.
  10. Click Save.
  11. In the “Save As” field, label your invoice file.
  12. Click Save.

Google Suite

  1. Open your invoice.
  2. Click File.
  3. Click Download.
  4. Click PDF document (.pdf). This will open the Print Setting interface.
  5. If needed, click Scale to open the drop-down menu. Click “Fit to Page.”
  6. Click Export to save the invoice to your computer.

For Invoice Software

Every invoice software has its own procedure for downloading your invoice as a template. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with your software to learn the unique process, or check out their help center or online tutorials to learn more. These explainers from FreshBooks and Zoho will give you a better idea.

Step 3: Attach the Invoice to Your Email

Now that you’ve created your invoice and converted it into PDF format, it’s time to craft your email.

Attach Your Invoice

1. Log into your email platform.
2. Click your email platform’s button for creating a new email.

“Compose” for Gmail and Yahoo
“New Message” for Outlook

3. Click the “Attach file” button, usually signified by a paper clip. 

how to send an invoice via email

4. Locate the invoice file in your computer storage.
5. Double-click the invoice file to attach it.

Craft Your Email Message

In the subject line, write a clear title for your email. Here is a good formula to follow:

Invoice [Number] from [Your Business Name] Due: [Date payment is due]

In your email body, be brief and concise. Your email should act as a cover letter of sorts and should include:

  • Invoice number
  • Total amount due
  • Payment due date
  • Brief description of the products or services rendered
  • Statement that the invoice is attached

Here’s a template you can swipe for your own business:

Subject Line: Invoice [Number] from [Your Business Name] Due: [Date]

Hello [Client’s Name],

Attached is an invoice for the [services/products] that I provided on [date services/products were provided]. 

Please pay the balance of [amount] by [due date].

You can make a payment online by clicking this link:

[link]

You may also mail a check to:

[your business address]

Please let me know if you have any questions.

[Your signature block and phone number]

Step 4: Review and Send Your Invoice

After you write your email, take a moment to review everything. 

  1. Double-check that the information on your invoice is correct. 
  2. Next, verify that your email is free of grammatical errors. 
  3. Finally, confirm that your attachment is attached.

If everything looks correct, press Send. You’re done!

Step 5: Set a Reminder for Yourself

Many small business owners lead busy lives. Unfortunately, that means you can sometimes drop the ball. If you don’t have a dedicated accounting team to follow up on invoice payments, you should schedule reminders for yourself. You can write a reminder in your paper agenda, or set an alert on your electronic calendar. Some invoice software will also send you reminder alerts if an invoice payment date is approaching or overdue.

Creating a reminder system ensures payments are issued and that your business has regular cash flow.

Snooze With Gmail

If you use Gmail, you can set a snooze reminder for yourself. This can be useful because you don’t need to use an external task service. Everything can be completed through your email provider.

Here’s how you can do it.

1. Go to your Sent folder.
2. Find the email you sent with the invoice attached.
3. Hover over the email line.
4. On the right, click the Clock icon.

how to send an invoice via email

5. From the drop-down menu, click one of the preset reminders. You can also click “Pick date & time” to set your own reminder.

how to send an invoice via email6. When your snooze is triggered, Gmail will flag the email and move it to the top of your inbox.

Step 6: Send Payment Email Reminders

Following up on your invoice can be awkward, but a necessary business practice. After all, your business runs on the revenue you bring in. While your invoice should include clear payment terms that both you and your client have previously agreed upon, that doesn’t always mean you’ll be paid on time. Here are some email templates you can use when payment due dates are approaching or overdue.

Before the Payment Due Date

Your invoice’s payment due date is approaching, but you still haven’t received payment.

To ensure you get paid on time, take the initiative and send the customer a payment reminder.

To do this, you’ll want to reply to the email you sent to them. This will keep all correspondence relevant to that invoice in the same thread. Also, it makes it easier for your customer to find the invoice.

You can find the email in the Sent folder of your email provider. You may also type out your subject line in the email search bar.

For the email body, here is a template you can implement:

Dear [Client Name],

I am sending you a reminder that payment in the amount of [amount] for [Invoice number] is due on [Due date].

The invoice has been attached to this email for your convenience. 

Kindly send confirmation upon receipt of this invoice and whether payment has been scheduled. 

Please note that a late payment fee will be incurred if payment has not been submitted by the due date.

Thank you,

[Your signature block]

After the Payment Due Date

Sometimes, clients and customers forget to pay your invoice. If you’ve outlined a late payment fee in your contract’s terms and conditions—which all business owners should—you can exercise your right to collect those fees. 

If this is a regular client, be sure to send them notice before the payment deadline. This will help build positive rapport between you and your client.

Here is an email template you can use when you’re following up on late payments:

Subject Line: Invoice [Number] from {[our Business Name] **PAST DUE**

Dear [Client name],

I am notifying you that payment for [Invoice number] was due by [Due date].

I have yet to receive payment for this invoice. Please note that a late fee will apply and the total amount due is now: [Fee amount].

This invoice is now [Number] days past due. Please provide an ETA on when payment can be expected.

Thank you,

[Your signature block]

Why You Should Send an Invoice via Email

There are several reasons why you should consider sending your invoices via email rather than through the traditional postage system. These include:

Email Is Frequently Checked

A survey by Statista shows that 63% of the respondents checked their email more than one time throughout the day. If you email your invoice, it increases the chance that your invoice will be seen by your customer, who is likely checking their physical mailbox less frequently.

Less Room for Error

Who hasn’t had something lost in the mail? Whether it’s delivered to the wrong address, signed for and forgotten, or lost in the recesses of the postal system, there are many ways your invoice can fail to be delivered if you send it through regular mail. Plus, there’s always the chance your client simply tells you the invoice wasn’t delivered, which unless you’ve paid extra for tracking information, you have no way to dispute.

With emailed invoices, you have an electronic trail showing when your invoice was sent. While emails can sometimes fail to send as well—if your connection is bad or an attachment is too large, for instance—it is less likely and easier to fix.

Save Money

There are several soft costs attached to printing invoices. You need to pay for ink, paper, postage, envelopes, and maintenance costs (if your printer breaks down).

When you learn how to send an invoice through email, you’re free from these worries. Depending on which service you use, you can create and send invoices for free (excluding online credit card processing fees).

Get Paid Faster

The faster your customer receives the invoice, the faster you get paid. However, it may take three to seven business days before your customer receives your invoice through snail mail. Also, if your customer waits until the last day to issue payment, you must still allow for mailing time following the invoice due date.

If you email your invoice instead, the customer might see it as early the same or next day.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

More offices are going green. Transitioning from paper invoices to electronic invoices is one way you can start. Electronic invoices save space in your office and don’t add to our planet’s landfills.

Final Thoughts

Sending an invoice through email is a more efficient business practice than sending it in the regular mail. Your clients receive it more quickly, invoices are easier to track, and you save on soft costs.

When you run a business, your time and energy is precious. Any business practice that saves you money or optimizes a work procedure is invaluable.

Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, you can start sending your invoices through email. We hope that this guide helps you get paid faster and leads to greater growth in your own business.

Contributing Writer at Fundera

Dan Marticio

Dan Marticio is a freelance writer and Smart Blogger Certified content marketer specializing in personal finance and entrepreneurship. He helps SMBs scale and profit with compelling content that ranks, drives leads, and builds authority.
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