email reminders – first reminder

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email reminders – first reminder

Semantics. The words you use, are so important, especially so when chasing slow payers. It’s such a sensitive topic. And the words that you use when you write to someone, whether in a letter or in an email, have to be chosen extraordinarily carefully or you run the very real risk of offending a debtor. So, to the reason for this post.

What is the best wording to use in an email reminder?
The wording to use should apply many of the principles that I’ve mentioned in earlier posts. I’ve put links in the analysis below for you to refer to.


Wording for a FIRST Reminder Email

Dear Sirs,

Invoice for: Camelot Pty Ltd
Invoice No: 67299
Amount: $3,575.00

According to our records, the above amount appears to be outstanding.

If payment has been made, thank you.
If it hasn’t, please organise for settlement in the near future.

Please contact me if you have any queries or if I can be of any assistance.

Kind Regards,
Gwen Iveer


Analysis of the structure and wording used
* The salutation is fairly formal.
* It contains details of the invoice – easy reference for the debtor
* It blames “records” for contacting the debtor (leaving the creditor as the Good Guy)
* Payment “appears” to be overdue (we could be wrong – allows the debtor to retain their pride)
* Thanks the debtor in case the payment has been made (assumption of innocence)
* It doesn’t say “pay”, it asks the debtor to “organise” payment – positioning.
* It doesn’t specify a pay-by date, it suggests “in the near future”
* It uses the words “me” and “I” so the debtor feels more at ease with a real person to contact.
* It makes the debtor feel in a strong position by offering to “be of any assistance” – this non-threatening wording actually encourages debtors to contact the creditor.* “Kind Regards” – very old fashioned, again suggests a soft approach
* It’s sent to them by an “Information Gatherer”, Gwen, not anyone “high up” in the business. The accounts person. A non-threatening person.


In a future post, I’ll show you what is the best wording to use for a second reminder email. The wording in the email above is deliberately very gentle; it allows the wording to become firmer in future communications. Remember, Start Early, Always Be the Good Guy and Become Very Hard To Ignore. This email is step one.


By | 2017-08-21T01:53:01+00:00 February 20th, 2009|wording|0 Comments

About the Author:

Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

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