3 Invoice Design Tips That Get You Paid Faster

By on June 11th, 2014 in Industry Insights

We all want to be paid by our customers as early as possible. While getting invoices out as soon as a job is done and following up to assure payments are two great tips, there actually several design cues that you can include to improve the way your invoice is handled. We’re put together a list of the top 3 invoice design tips that get you paid faster.

Why Do I Need Invoice Design Tips?

Nobody likes paying. We all love buying, but the payment part is the hard part. Because of that, we use any excuse we can to put off, delay or just forget about bills. Correct invoice design and wording leads to lower cognitive load, and to lower objection to paying your bill. After all, you want to be at the top of the pile, where bills get paid.

3 Invoice Design Tips That Get You Paid Faster

The following tips are a result of TrueAccord’s research into communication language that works when talking to late paying customers. Much like handling excuses, you need to know what to say, to whom, and when.

Invoice Design Tip #1: State The Facts

The easiest way to undermine the payment process is to dispute the facts: when was a job done, what were the payment terms, what was delivered. It’s in your best interest to define the facts and set the stage for the demand for payment. That way, you reinforce the value you provided to your customer, and help them agree with the fact that you need to pay. Include a clear statement of work and the breakdown of all related charges, note when the job was delivered, and refer to your signed contract.

Invoice Design Tip #2: Define The Path To Payment

Arguing about method of payment is the easiest way to avoid paying. From “the check is in the mail” to “I only pay via bank transfer”, customers will have multiple excuses to why they can’t pay right here and now. Providing an easy way to pay (via an online form) and a variety of ways to pay (wire transfer, mailed check and so on) will reduce friction and increase your collection rate. Your job is to be able to reply to every “But I prefer…” with a “No problem, here’s how you do it. Please pay right now.”

Invoice Design Tip #3: Instill A Sense Of Urgency

It’s important to make it clear that you expect action from your customer within a limited time frame. Lack of deadlines and generally laid back language will get your invoice tossed to the end of the line. Use bold colors, explain that the customer is expected to act as soon as possible, and add a concrete time frame (“Please pay or contact us to make a payment within the next seven (7) days, by [Date].”) Make sure you are polite but assert the need to act now and make a payment. Add a due date and use contracting colors to highlight important next steps.

Bottom Line

You want to get paid for work you already did. Too often, business owners neglect this important function only to find that they did all the work but are not getting anything in return for their efforts. Other business owners aren’t scammers – like you, they’re trying to juggle cash flow and the incoming bills. You need to make sure that you are properly set up to be on top of their mind when they look at that pile.