Research from UCLA found that words only convey 7% of the message you are trying to send, vocal elements convey 38% and nonverbal elements convey the remaining 55% which means your accounts receivable email strategy needs to be buttoned up pretty tight if you want them to help you get paid on time.

Below are a handful of accounts receivable commandments that anyone writing collections emails need to know.


  • An e-mail may not be your best avenue for communication.

    Before you hit “send” take a moment and consider if an email is the best way to communicate this particular message. A more sensitive or complex topic may be more successful in another form, like a phone call.

  • Add attachments first.

    How many times have you hit send only to realize you never attached the invoice, work order, etc? This can make you look unprofessional (even though we all do it from time to time) and worse, it can delay payment if you do not realize your mistake and correct it right away. To avoid this, attach your documents before you start to write.

  • Add recipient email address last.

    Many times we spend time writing and email and our automatic response is to hit the “send” button as soon as we sign off, but did you take a second look? If you follow this rule you can double check everything, re-read to make sure the message is clear, it is without grammatical or spelling mistakes, etc.

  • Always remember etiquette.

    Just because it’s an email does not mean it should be any less professional than a letter or a conversation. Be sure to address the email appropriately and follow business etiquette basics. Remember, you’re not only representing yourself but your entire company.

  • Organize the email content.

    Only send the relevant information so your customer can quickly read and understand what you are telling them; feel free to use bold text where appropriate, headings, sub-headings, bullet points, etc. If you’re having a hard time clearly and concisely telling your customer why you are contacting them, go back to the first thing we discussed in this article… is an email really appropriate or should you pick up the phone?

  • Use Templates.

    How much time do you spend writing an accounts receivable email? Stop reinventing the wheel and save your most common and most effective emails as templates! That way, rather than painstakingly creating the perfect past due notice again and again, you can just customize the template, send it, and move on to other more pressing matters.

We’ve put together sample email/letter templates and call scripts that cover many different topics related in accounts receivable throughout the process. Now you don’t even have to waste time creating them yourself, just download ours and modify them however you’d like!