How do I write a strong reminder?

Practical tips

How do I write a strong reminder?

Do you often suffer from customers who do not pay their invoices or pay them late? Then you are not alone. Research shows that 31% of the invoices are not sent on time. Even 10% pays after 90 days or not at all. Of course you want to have your money in your account as soon as possible. A good reminder can help with this.

Most reminders are currently sent digitally. This also makes sense given the convenience. Nevertheless, our experience shows that a registered letter makes the most impression. By writing the letter you try to convince the customer to transfer the amount as soon as possible, without this being at the expense of the relationship. But how do you write a strong reminder that radiates professionalism, but also emphasizes the seriousness of the situation? Below are some tips you can use.

Make sure the base is in order

90% of the written reminders end up directly in the wastebasket. This is because they are open to interpretation, poorly formatted, or lacking a call to action. The most important thing is that you clearly communicate the facts with a reminder:

  • The outstanding amount
  • Date of the invoice
  • Possible consequences in the event of non-payment

Of course you want to maintain a good relationship with the customer on the one hand, but on the other hand you also want to address him in a clear tone, so that he can quickly pay the invoice. The latter is also important when it ends in a lawsuit. Your lawyer can provide hard evidence if your reminder is properly put together.

What are the most common mistakes in a reminder?

In many cases, a written reminder does not work, because your contact person is not reached or because the reminder has not been drawn up correctly. Other common mistakes are:

  • Wrong spelling in contact or address information
  • Incomplete address information
  • Insufficient postage
  • Unclear language or jargon
  • Illegible or unclear handwriting
  • Excessive or too much distracting design
  • Language and spelling mistakes
  • Missing account number

A reminder is also often lacking in strength. Letters are drafted with too soft a tone. For example: “Our records have shown that we still have an outstanding invoice from you. Could it be that you did not receive it? “This is not working. In fact, it seems like it’s your fault that the customer hasn’t paid. So make sure you have a strong letter.

Never put “first reminder” or “first reminder” at the top of your letter. Your customer will then know that a second reminder will follow. The need to take action will therefore be low. Your customer will calmly wait for the second reminder you are about to send. So he wins time and money time after time.

9 tips for a strong reminder

Below are nine tips that you can immediately apply in practice.

1. Use a clear call-to-action
A reminder must clearly state what the customer must do. The following questions must be answered:

What should the customer do?
When is something expected from the customer?
How should the customer pay?

2. Provide well-structured and professional communication
In the title you state that it concerns a reminder, whether registered or not. Start the letter with the reason for the reminder, for example: “You still have an outstanding amount” or “you have not paid within the agreed term”. In the middle of the letter you communicate all the specifications: the invoice number, the amount and the due date. You close the letter with a clear call-to-action and state the consequences of non-payment.

3. Write clearly and simply
The easier you write the reminder, the better the message will be read. Make sentences short and simple. Avoid using jargon and abbreviations.

4. Be specific and concrete
Speak it up and don’t beat around the bush.

5. Start with a positive opening line
By starting out nicely, you increase the chance of a positive response. For example: “With this we wish to remind you of the unpaid invoice”.

6. Make it personal
A reminder is read by a person, not a company or department. Therefore, always sign your reminder with your own name and preferably handwritten signature. This is more polite and if the customer has any questions, he knows where to go.

7. Always send the reminder to the registered office
Always enter the name of your contact person at “for the attention of”. Don’t you have one? In that case, state the department, for example administration. If you are referred, please note the name of the new contact person in your billing system.

8. Make an overview of all invoices, as detailed as possible
Do this for both outstanding invoices and invoices that have not yet expired. Communicate the invoice number, amount and due date. This increases the chance that the customer pays all invoices at once. This will save you extra work in the future.

9. State the benefits to the customer
The chance of payment of the invoice is increased if the customer also benefits from it. For example: If you pay the bill, we can continue to deliver the goods “or” to avoid additional costs “.

And now get started

Hopefully you can continue with the tips given above. Do you have any questions or would you prefer us to collect your invoices? You can always contact us. We can also take care of debtor management, so that you are completely unburdened.

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