5 Invoice Email Templates You Can Use to Chase Late Payers

According to available statistics on late invoice payments, almost 60% of invoices don’t get paid on time. For most freelancers, this is not only a concerning figure. Potentially, it is a threat to financial survival. 

There are many reasons why customers pay late or never. It can simply be a matter of irresponsibility. But also, poor management or a disrupted cash flow can cause late payments as well.

In some cases, even cultural differences contribute to the way clients pay. 

However, regardless of the cause, late payments are a serious issue for businesses and freelancers providing goods and services. Therefore, you need to be ready and have impactful reminder emails in case a problem occurs.  

So, if you want to know how to send invoices as freelancers or business owners, here are some of the most effective email templates to prevent remittance delays and ensure a steady financial inflow.

Email Templates for Late Payers 

Contemporary professional correspondence is based on emails. Therefore, knowing how to write a professional email is a necessary skill for anyone interacting online. And especially so for remote and independent workers. An average business person receives and writes more than 120 emails each day.

As you can imagine, emails you use to chase late payers aren’t easy to compose. How do you express your dissatisfaction without putting the relationship with your customer at risk? Although challenging, the balance is possible to achieve.


And of course, it goes without saying that you aren’t supposed to manually remind each late payer. On the contrary, most businesses these days use software to automate invoicing, including the process of sending reminder emails in case of delays. Automation is the only way to keep up with the fast pace of the modern business environment.

So, let’s get to the point, and see examples of emails you can send to customers who aren’t discharging their obligations.

Due Now: A Friendly Reminder

Prevention is always a smart move. Sometimes, people are overwhelmed with their workload and only need a short reminder to make the payment.

Therefore, a follow-up email a day before the due date can do wonders for reducing the risk of late payments. Another option is to send the reminder on the due date. However, that leaves less time for the customer in case they have forgotten or have something else planned for that day.

Remember to keep a friendly tone at this step. Technically, the client isn’t late yet. Also, there might be a valid reason why they still didn’t pay. Besides, it can happen that the payment hasn’t been processed yet. So, you don’t want to agitate yet.

The follow-up email could say something like this: 

Subject line: [Company name/Service provided]: invoice [invoice reference number] is due soon


Dear [Customer name],

I hope this email finds you well. This is a reminder that payment of [invoice number] is due today. Please find the invoice with the payment details in the attachment. 

Thank you!

[Your name]

Do you know how to send an invoice as a freelancer? 

Less Than Two Weeks Overdue: A Courteous Notice

Now, once the customer is late for a couple of days, you get the right to sharpen the tone a bit. There is still no need to be unfriendly, but the agreement has been broken and you have the right to point that out.

Here is what you could say:

Subject line: [Company name/Service provided]: invoice [invoice number] is overdue


Dear [Customer name],

I hope this email finds you well. 

This is to inform you that [Invoice number] was due on [date] and is now [X] days overdue. I kindly ask you to pay the total amount of this invoice at your earliest convenience.

Please find the invoice with billing information in the attachment. 

Also, can you please let me know when I can expect payment from you?

Thank you!

[Your name]

However, things are different if a customer has contacted you in the meantime, explaining the reasons for delays. If you find the excuse reasonable, you should respond accordingly. Sending a generic email isn’t convenient in this case. Taking the other side of the story into consideration shows goodwill and improves the chances of a positive outcome.

More Than Two Weeks Late: A Firm Reminder

If a payment is more than 14 days late, and there is no word from the customer, that is already a red flag. It means that your patience, time, and effort aren’t valued properly. Such a situation requires decisive action. 

Therefore, at this point, you are entitled to bring up the possibility of legal measures and late fees. You could address the client with an email like this:

Subject: [Company name/Service provided]: invoice [invoice number] is overdue - second request


Dear [Customer name],

I hope this email finds you well. Further to my previous correspondence, I am contacting you regarding late invoice payment [Invoice Number]. The invoice was due on [Due Date], and payment is now overdue by [X] days.

In line with our payment policies, you will be charged a daily fee of [the fee amount] unless this invoice is paid ASAP.

Please find the invoice with the billing details in the attachment.

I kindly ask you to arrange the payment as soon as possible to avoid escalation and legal proceedings.

Thank you!

[Your name]

If you have late-paying clients and you plan to include fees and interest, set up your invoice template so that it’s easy to add those figures later without having to create a completely new document. Mainstream software, such as a WordPress ecommerce site with an associated billing package, lets you quickly edit the invoice to inform the client about the new total amount owed.

More Than a Month Late: Final Notice 

If you don’t receive your earnings after 30 or more days, you are entitled to warn the customer of the potential consequences of further delays. In case there is a signed contract between you and your customer, it is time to point out that further collaboration is at stake. 

Additionally, according to the law, payments late more than 30 days are subject to late fees and interests.

Final notice emails address a serious issue and unethical behavior of your customer, so they need to be pointed out. Since you are dealing with someone quite brazen, you need to pick strong words. Take a lesson from copywriters and write a powerful hook sentence to get their attention. It could sound something like this:

Subject line: URGENT: [Company name/Service provided]: Overdue Payment – [Invoice Number] – Final Notice


Dear  [Customer name],

I am disappointed to note that I have still not received a payment of the overdue amount on your account.

Invoice [Invoice Number] is now overdue by [Number of Days Overdue]. If we do not receive the payment within [X] working days, we will refer the matter to a collection agency. As a last resort, we will seek to resolve the matter in court.

Our invoice terms are [X] days from the date of issue, and late fees of [Fee Amount] are applied. Given that the invoice is now 30 days overdue, an [X] percent fee has been added. You can find the updated invoice attached.

Please confirm your receipt of this invoice and inform me when to expect the payment.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Invoice Paid

Hopefully, the customer will eventually pay what they are supposed to. Once that happens, you should properly thank them. Try to leave emotions on the side here. Regardless of how angry you might be, the issue is solved and the money is on your account.

Subject line: [Company name/Service provided]: Payment received, thank you


Dear [Customer name],

We've received payment of [invoice number]. Thank you for doing business with us.

Thank you!

[Your name]

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, working as a freelancer can feel like the customers have an upper hand when it comes to payments. You are expected to deliver first and then hope that the customers will do their part properly. 

However, eventually, you will learn how to choose customers wisely and apply proper email strategies that will prevent and mitigate late payment risks. 


Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.