Freelancing 101

How To Ask Clients for Payment: 7 Best Email Templates for Freelancers

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 1/02/2210 min read
How To Ask Clients for Payment: 7 Best Email Templates for Freelancers

Table of Contents 

  • Why You Should Ask Clients for Payment 
  • How to Ask Clients for Payment
  • How to Write a Professional Email Asking For Payment 
  • Payment Reminder Email Templates
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion 
  • FAQs 

There are many benefits of choosing a freelance career—from the freedom to select clients and projects to workload control. You benefit from immense flexibility of location and time too. Freelancing enables faster growth opportunities as compared to any traditional job. 

However, with these tremendous advantages come challenges in a freelance role. Cash flow is a major challenge for freelancers, especially those new to the field. Knowing how to ask clients for payments can seem a bit daunting. According to the Freelancers Union study, over 70% of freelancers have struggled to collect payment at least once in their career. Knowing how to ask clients for a payment in a professional way – and learning freelancer email etiquette – is one of the most important skills you can learn as a freelancer.

This article will discuss how to ask a client for payment and write a professional email to that effect. But, before that, it’s essential to understand why it is important to ask clients for payment.

Why You Should Ask Clients for Payment

Getting paid for your work on time is more significant than you think. Once you complete a project within the stipulated time, it is imperative to ask clients for payment to know you are committed and prompt in all your actions. The quicker you bill them, the sooner they clear your dues. Having to chase clients for overdue payments not only causes a lot of anxiety and stress, but it’s also a time-consuming and humiliating process. Besides, it’s important to not dismiss this as a problem that is too big to manage.

Source

How to Ask Clients for Payment

Set up a schedule to ask clients for payment of your fees. Setting a schedule for emailing clients regarding payments will keep you organized. When you put in place a clear procedure, it makes you look well-organized and professional rather than rude and nagging. 

For instance, you can set a schedule for payment reminder emails.

  • A week before the due date
  • The day the payment is due
  • One two days after the due date
  • A week after the due date
  • Two weeks after the due date 
  • Few days after the two weeks 
  • One month after the due date

Make sure you don’t let too much time pass before asking a client for the payment. Sending an email to your client regarding your fee payment soon after the deadline has passed can improve your chances of getting paid without further complications. Maybe the client has simply forgotten about it. If not, your emails serve as a reminder. 

How to Write a Professional Email Asking For Payment

Below are some pieces of information you always want to include in every payment reminder email.

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • Total balance payment
  • Due date
  • Attached copy of the invoice 

Depending on your relationship with your client, you can also include additional pieces of information like accepted payment methods and read receipts.

Here are some examples of how to ask clients for payment by setting up an email reminder schedule.

Source

Send polite payment reminder emails before the due date

When sending a payment reminder before the due date, do it in a friendly and concise way. Their payment isn’t due or past-due yet, so use it as an opportunity to express your pleasure in working with them as a subtle way to remind them that you’ll be expecting the payment soon.

Send a slightly more direct email on the due date.

You can send a slightly more direct email than the previous one if the client has still not made the payment on the payment deadline day. The language can remain friendly and polite but include a clear call-to-action to close the account by a certain time.

Send a firm reminder when the payment is overdue.

In this communication, you’ll want to be a bit more direct than the previous one. Be clear about the overdue payment in your email message, but you must maintain a polite and professional tone. 

Payment Reminder Email Templates

Email template 1: A week before the due date

The emails you send to your clients before the due date should be gentle reminders.

You don’t want to seem rude or too demanding and pushy.

Make sure your email is: 

  • Short
  • Clearly outlined
  • Friendly

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) Due in one week

Hi (Client name),

I hope you are well.

It has been a pleasure working on (project) together. I’m reaching out to give you a quick heads up that the invoice (reference number) with a total of (amount) is due one week from today.

Please find attached the invoice for the services rendered. You can pay via (your preferred payment method).

Should you have any questions about the invoice, payment methods, or services rendered, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Thank you. I look forward to working with you in the future soon.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

Email template 1 is an excellent example of a payment reminder email you could send before the invoice is due. You’re reminding the client that the due date is around the corner in a helpful and friendly manner. You’re also inviting the opportunity to do more work with them in the coming future.

Email template 2: The day the payment is due

The email you send your client on the day when the invoice is due once again should be a friendly reminder. 

However, this time you should be more direct in communication and make payment the main focus of your email content while still using polite and helpful language.

Make sure your email is:

  • Short
  • Friendly
  • Has a clear call-to-action

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) Due today

Hi (Client name),

I hope you are fine.

I’m sure you are a bit busy during this time, but I just wanted to send out a friendly reminder that the payment for (project name) is due today.

I’ve attached a copy of the invoice to this email for your reference. The total balance amount is (amount), and you can make the payment via (your preferred payment methods).

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the payment, invoice, or services rendered. 

Thank you.

Kind regards, 

(Your name)

Email template 2 is a perfect example of a payment reminder email that you could send when the invoice is due. You want this email reminder to be direct about the fact that the client needs to make the payment to you today. Avoid including any additional pieces of information in your email that could distract your client from the fact that they need to make the payment to you. You should still maintain a polite, friendly, and informative tone when you ask a client for payment.

Email template 3: One/two days past the due date

The emails you send to your clients one/two days past the due date should serve as a firm reminder.

You should be firm about the fact that the payment has passed the due date, and they need to pay you.

Make sure your email is:

  • Firm
  • Informative
  • Emphasizes that the payment has passed the due date

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) One/two days overdue

Hi (Client name),

I hope you’re having a great day. 

This email is just a quick reminder that the payment for (project name) was due on the (past date) and is now one/two days overdue. I completely understand your busy schedule and want to ensure you received my previous email reminders dated (date of previously sent emails).

I’ve attached a copy of the invoice to this email. You can make the payment via (your preferred payment methods).

Should you have any questions or need more information about the invoice, payment methods, or services rendered, please feel free to reach out.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

Email template 3 is an excellent example of a payment reminder email that you could use once the due date has passed. You should be able to give clients a grace period of a few days before sending out this email, especially if the due date fell over a weekend. You must use firm but informative language in this email.

Email template 4: A week after the due date

Okay, so you’ve already sent them email reminders a few times before, and you still haven’t heard back from them. Don’t get angry or go into panic mode straight away. Maybe they’re genuinely swamped, and it probably just slipped their mind.

Regardless of their circumstances, you still need to get paid. You should be firm that the payment is overdue, and they need to pay you as soon as possible.

However, you should altogether avoid using rude words or phrases because it might mean that they will be less likely to pay you. 

Make sure your email is:

  • Firm
  • Clearly outlined
  • Emphasizing that the payment has passed the due date
  • Not personal 

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) One week overdue

Hi (Client name),

I hope you’re having a great week.

According to my records, I haven’t yet received the payment of (amount) for invoice (reference number), which is now one week overdue. 

Please let me know if there’s someone else I can communicate with regarding the payment or if you have any update on when this payment should be received. 

For your convenience, I’ve attached a copy of the invoice to this email, which you can pay via (your preferred payment methods).

I kindly request you to make the payment at your earliest.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

If you’re getting worried and struggling to understand how to ask a client for payment after one week overdue, then email template 4 is the best example to refer to chase the client for non-payment. If you have an agreement with your client that outlines late fee charges, you should include that in this email. Even as time passes, refrain from being rude and personally targeting the client. You should keep your professional demeanor at all times.

Email template 5: Two weeks after the due date

After two weeks of not receiving any response from your client, you’ll want to add a sense of urgency to your email. Do not get angry and lose your temper. However, it’s okay to switch to a more serious tone as your invoice becomes two weeks late.

Make sure your email is:

  • Direct
  • Has a clear call-to-action
  • Emphasizes on the time the payment is overdue
  • Asks for confirmation that they’ve received the email 
  • Mentions potential late payment fee if any

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) Two weeks overdue

Hi (Client’s name),

I hope this email finds you well.

I’m writing to you because my records indicate an outstanding balance of (insert amount) for invoice (reference number), which was due on (due date). Do you have any updates on when this payment should be received?

I’ve attached a copy of the invoice to this email for your reference.

As a reminder, I accept payment via (your preferred payment methods). Please let me know if there is an easier process that I can implement to make payment easier on your end or if there’s any way I can be of further assistance.

Please note that any payments over a month are subject to a late payment fee as described in our agreement terms.

I kindly request you to reply to this email to let me know you have received it.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

Email template 5 is an excellent example of a payment reminder email that you could send your client when they’re two weeks late on the payment. You’re free to use a firmer and tougher tone in this email reminder—just make sure you remain polite and professional as much as possible. 

Email Template 6: A few days past two weeks

When a late period extends for over two weeks, you’ll want to follow up with a more direct and stern approach with this email.

However, you should refrain from directly accusing or threatening your client as it might tarnish your reputation, and you’ll be less likely to get paid.

Make sure your email is:

  • Direct
  • Stern approach
  • Still professional and kind
  • Avoid personally targeting the client

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Payment reminder: Invoice (reference number) (number of days from due date)

Hi (Client name),

I was wondering whether you have received my email reminders regarding the payment of (project name). Invoice (reference number), which was due on (due date), is now (number of days) overdue and needs your immediate attention. 

As per my terms, please be informed that any payments over a month are subject to an additional fee.

If you’ve already initiated the payment, please disregard this email, and notify me. 

Should you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

Email template 6 can be used any time past the two weeks due date. Even if you haven’t received the payment from your client at this point, you should still maintain a calm and professional approach. Your emails could be going to their spam, or they could’ve changed their email address, or they could be in the midst of an emergency. 

Email Template 7: One month overdue

So, you’ve sent multiple payment reminder emails over a month, but the client still doesn’t respond or pay you.

In those cases, you should send them a final notice with persuasive words or phrasing where you clearly outline your agreement policy for handling overdue payments.

Make sure your email is:

  • Concise, polite, and short
  • Clearly outlined
  • Not personally targeting clients for non-payment
  • Summarizing all the payment details

From: (Your name)

To: (Your client’s name)

Subject: Final notice: Invoice (reference number) One month overdue

Hi (Client’s name),

This is my final reminder that your invoice payment (reference number) is passed (due date). 

I’ve attempted to contact you multiple times about arranging the payment. According to our agreement, please be aware that any payments that are due past a month are subject to a late fee of (insert amount) for every additional day. If you do not close your balance by (date), I will have to escalate this matter to collect payment.

For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the invoice to this email which you can pay via (your preferred payment methods).

Please organize the payment for this invoice as soon as possible to keep your account in good standing.

Thank you.

Best regards,

(Your name)

Email template 7 can be used when all of your emails have gone completely unanswered for over a month. Even if you feel frustrated and angry at your client, try to keep a cool head. However, you’re free to use a tougher approach to get your client to pay you on time. 

Key Takeaways

  • Whether you’re a start-up business owner or freelancer, asking clients for payment doesn’t need to be a dreadful experience. Being professional and polite about it and having a set schedule in place from the very beginning can make things a lot simpler and more efficient.
  • Make sure you draw a suitable written agreement or contract with your clients that clearly outlines your payment terms and policies for your freelance work- preferably with a deposit clause.
  • Don’t let emotions get the best of you, always maintain a professional demeanor and react politely.
  • Send the invoice to the client immediately after completing the work. The quicker you send it, the sooner they pay you.
  • Give clear instructions to your clients about your preferred payment methods. Make it simpler for them to pay you by choosing an efficient payment processor. 

Conclusion

When wondering how to ask a client for payment without seeming rude, the most crucial thing you need to keep in mind is to be direct, polite, kind, and professional. Always remember that you are well within your right to ask clients for the payment you’ve worked for.

It is important to set up a schedule for emailing clients so that your payment reminders come across as simply professional rather than demanding or pushy. In your emails, clearly outline how they can make the payment to you. Never personally target or accuse clients of non-payment; more often than not, it might have just slipped their minds.

FAQs

1. How to politely ask for money from a client?

The polite way to ask clients for payment is via payment reminder emails. Sending an email reminder to your client and following it up with another one if payment is not made is an easy and effective way to get paid on time.

2. When should I send a payment reminder to the client?

It will be in your best interest to notify the client about the payment a week before the due date. That way, you’ll give them ample time to look over the invoice payment.

3. How long should I wait before contacting the debt collection agency?

Typically, if the invoice is past due over 90 days, you can decide to contact a debt collection agency. But before escalating the issue to credit control, it is advisable to determine whether a collection agency is worth money and time. Also, be sure to let the clients know that you’ll be pursuing a debt collection agency to collect the payment.

4. How do I avoid late payments?

If you’re struggling with late payments, here are a few simple steps you can use to help prevent the delay:
– Clearly outline your payment terms
– Add a fee for late payments
– Offer efficient payment methods like PayPal, Google Pay, etc.
– Set up a schedule for payment reminders

5. How to ask for a pending payment from a client as a freelancer?

Ask clients for a payment politely and professionally. Never feel uncomfortable or awkward asking clients for payment for the work you’ve offered them.

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