Sending invoices and payment reminders through email is one of the quickest ways to communicate with customers. They receive the invoice immediately and can even have the option to pay immediately through an online bill payment portal. However, if you’re currently only sending out letters to all your customers through the mail it is likely that you don’t have the email addresses for your AP contacts. In order to be successful with automating the email process, you need as many email addresses as possible for your contacts. In this blog post of our series on how and why you need to be using email for accounts receivable, we’re going to explain some good tactics to push your customers to use email for invoices and payment.
Let your customers know that you will be making the switch to sending out invoices and payment reminders over email. A lot of the times customers are already using this process with other vendors, and prefer it. They may even be excited to start receiving all their invoice in their inbox. For those that are hesitant, explain in the letter how this will allow you to be more accurate and get the invoices to them more quickly and efficiently.
Although some customers may be excited for the idea to start using email as your main form of communication, others may be hesitant. For this, you may want to consider offering an incentive for all customers that start doing their invoicing and payments with you strictly over email. Using paper invoices, stamps, envelopes and ink costs you a lot of money. Consider giving them a discount on their next purchase as a way to switch them over and thank them for helping you lower your office costs.
If you have some stragglers that haven’t signed up for email yet, get on the phone with them. If they have an invoice due soon, give them a call to make sure they received it and are sending payment soon. Then mention the initial letter you sent about switching to email. Ask them if they are interested in moving over and ask for a good AP email address to send it to.
If you have quite a few customers, this process won’t happen over night. The initial letter will help, but you won’t get every customer’s email address. Over time, you will collect more email addresses. Every time a customer calls, mention getting an email address for them. Once you have gained more emails, you will have more time to make these calls from the accounts receivable automation process.