If you run any kind of online business, you’re almost guaranteed to be sending out invoice emails regularly. At Postmark (hi 👋) we help thousands of customers delivers theirs every day, and we put together a list of helpful guidelines to help you write and send effective invoice emails with great deliverability in mind.
A well-designed invoice has two main jobs: let a recipient know a payment is due and give them the details they need to fulfill it. To make it happen, ensure your invoice emails follow these guidelines:
Use your subject line and pre-header space to let the recipient know a payment needs to be made. If you’re using Gmail’s Inbox Actions, include a link to the primary action for extra helpfulness.
Have a clear, unambiguous ‘From’ address with the name of the company that sent the email. For example, an email from us might say “Postmark Support” or “Postmark Billing.” Unless your company is big enough for those to be different departments, “company name” is likely enough.
Accepting replies from customers is particularly important when dealing with payments—you do not want them to experience an issue, be unable to contact you about it, and cancel their subscription/skip a payment as a result. Avoid a noreply@ address wherever possible, and make sure you clearly explain how to get in touch with customer support should anyone need to.
To help customers process your invoices, at a minimum you’ll need to state:
Total amount due
Invoice due date
Payment details (e.g. an account number) for manual processing
A CTA taking people to a payment page for online payment
Accepted payment methods, if applicable
Your invoice emails will probably be filed away by folks in the accounting department. To make their jobs easier, consider attaching a printable PDF of the invoice to the email.
Test extensively on the mobile devices used by your customers (e.g. with a device testing lab or a tool like Litmus), and use media queries to ensure your invoices look great on smaller screens.
While you can obviously personalize your invoice emails with your brand logo and colors, there is no need to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch every time. Save yourself some time by using a content-ready, mobile-friendly, and beautiful-across-all-major-clients template like the one we’re sharing here.
At Postmark, we’re big fans of transactional emails that get delivered quickly and reliably. That’s why we are adding a few extra tips to ensure great deliverability and timely responses from your customers:
Implement BIMI so your customers’ inbox will display your logo next to your authenticated email invoice. Check out the BIMI implementation steps here (spoiler alert: you will need to set up DMARC compliance, your logo, and update your DNS with the BIMI TXT record).
Note: if you cannot set up BIMI, you can try to use default avatars for your application’s email addresses, so that users can see application avatars instead of the generic default avatar for their mail client.
Consider email authentication and markup: like all transactional emails, invoices are important for your business, so you shouldn’t neglect anything that can improve delivery rates or protect your brand from email security issues. By setting up your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC standards, you’re sending additional trust signals to email inbox providers, protecting your domain from being spoofed, and building a reputation to ensure high delivery in the future.
Monitor delivery and open rates: it’s very common to closely monitor results for email marketing campaigns, but transactional emails like invoices are just as susceptible to problems (we’ve seen cases where simply including a company’s phone numbers led to any emails with that phone number going straight to the spam folder). Frequently review your delivery statistics for each type of transactional email you send (not just invoices!) to ensure none of them are encountering delivery issues.
One more pro tip 🔥: if your customers don’t take action after receiving your invoice, you’ll find yourself with an outstanding payment. When this happens, it helps to have a follow-up payment reminder email ready to go: send it a few days after the first notification to remind customers of the action they still need to take.
You can mostly re-use the same invoice email template as before, including the .pdf attachment, but subtly tweak the subject line (e.g. by adding the word “reminder”) and the main body (e.g. by clearly stating the payment is overdue, clarifying whether there will be any late payment fees, and adding a timeframe the customer needs to send it your way by).