Collection Email to Customer (Examples & Templates)

Collection Email to Customer (Examples & Templates)

A collection email to a customer is an email written to a customer to collect a debt. Collection emails can be a valuable accounts receivable tool. Creating collection emails that perform well takes a bit of planning, but the benefits far outweigh the obstacles.

In this article you will learn why some emails don’t perform and the elements of effective collection emails. You will also find a format to use for collection emails and a sample email.

Common Collection Email Pitfalls To Avoid

The following are common reasons that customers fail to follow up with payment after receiving collection emails. Knowing the pitfalls helps you create better, more effective emails.

  • Overuse or Misuse. Using the same email in every collection situation can cause your emails to under-perform. Overused and inappropriate emails tend to be ignored at best and antagonizing to your customers at worst.
  • Unfriendly tone. Everybody appreciates kindness and bristles at unfriendliness. Emails are “short and to-the-point,” but they don’t need to be unkind.
  • Aggression. Aggressive collection tactics rarely work except to create defensive customers who don’t want to pay their invoices.
  • Lack of humanity. If your customers perceive your emails as automated and lacking a human touch, they will not respond as well to them.
  • Lack of Invoice Copy. You can avoid the “I didn’t get your invoice” excuse by attaching invoices and statements to your collection emails.

Essential Elements of Effective Collection Emails

The following email elements increase the effectiveness of your email collection efforts. Include these elements in your collection emails for the best results.

  • Clear and concise subject line. Your customer’s contact receives as many emails as we all do, and a clear and concise subject line can help ensure your customer reads and responds to your email. Because subject lines have limited space, state your purpose for contact clearly and in as few words as possible. Testing shows that a subject line containing your business name and the invoice reference number works best for a collection email.
  • Thoughtful opening line. An opening line such as “I hope this message finds you well” helps to defuse defensiveness. Kindness works in all situations. This small kindness can help lead to a beneficial resolution of the debt.
  • Informal reminder. Bring up the financial message in a casual way. “I just wanted to drop you a note to remind you…” tends to work better than a more direct and formal demand for payment.
  • Include the details of the debt. Be sure to include the amount, the invoice reference number, and the due date in your message.
  • Inquiry about the payment. It’s good to remember that everyone involved is a human just doing their job. State that you would be grateful if the recipient could inform you about when you can expect payment. Or tell the recipient you would sincerely appreciate an update. Politeness goes a long way toward establishing good working relationships with your customers and aids in your collection efforts.
  • If payment is late, politely encourage them to pay. Include the word OVERDUE in the subject line, and tell your customer that the issue is problematic for your company. Ask for payment details “as a matter of urgency.”
  • Attach invoice(s). If you are writing about multiple invoices, state the total due and attach a statement with the invoices.

When your customer pays the debt, send a thoughtful thank you email. Again, be polite, clear, and concise in all your communications with your customers.

Format for a Collection Email

Subject: {your company name}: Invoice {invoice reference number} {Include OVERDUE if applicable}

Hi {recipient’s first name},

I hope this message finds you well.

I just wanted to send you a quick reminder that our invoice number {invoice reference number} for {amount} {(is) or (was)} due on {due date}. {This invoice is now {number} days overdue. This late status is becoming problematic for us.}

I would be truly grateful if you could inform me of the payment status for this invoice {as a matter of urgency}. I have attached a copy of the invoice {and statement} for your review.

Best regards,

{your first name}

{your contact information}

Sample Collection Email

Subject: Avery Aircraft: Invoice 48976, OVERDUE

Hi Allison,

I hope you are well.

I was going through our records and noticed our invoice number 48976 for $3400 became late as of 11/15/2030. The invoice is 15 days overdue at this time, and lack of payment could quickly become problematic for us.

I would be grateful if you could inform me of the payment status for this invoice as a matter of urgency. I have attached a copy of the invoice for your review.

Best regards,



Collection Email to Customer (Word Template)

File Format
  • MS Word

Key Points

  • Write collection emails in a polite and kind tone
  • Include your invoice reference number, amount, and due date in your email
  • Ask to be updated on payment status
  • Attach invoices and statements to your message