As a business, your image matters. Every touchpoint with customers and potential clients is a chance to show off who you are and why they should trust you. You’ve spent lots of time and money developing and creating your brand, which should extend to every contact that you have with your customers. You’ve already thoughtfully designed the obvious things like signage and letterhead, but what about the details? What about your invoices?
When customers open up an invoice you’ve sent, they pick up clues about who you are. This is your opportunity to tell them that you are efficient, organized, and a trusted professional. A sleek, modern, easy-to-understand invoice will say to them precisely that. This goes a long way in earning people’s trust and, as a result, their return business. On the flip side, if your invoices look archaic and are messy, handwritten, or even typewritten, you are sending a message that you are behind the times and that maybe your business practices could use some work.
Yes, invoices are about so much more than your brand. They are functional, essential, and informative- but they say more about you than you think, and they are full of opportunities to say more. It’s also a fairly simple task to accomplish by creating an effective invoice template and partnering with someone who offers invoice printing and mailing services. You can make a statement to your customers with just a little legwork.
What is the message you hope to send to your customers? That should be your catalyst when thinking about designing an invoice to represent your business. Take the opportunity to make your invoice a valuable connection point with their customers, and as a result, they will view you as the trusted business that you are.
Benefits of Thoughtful invoices
Establish yourself as an expert in your field by using details, such as invoices, to project yourself as thoughtful and organized. You provide goods and services that you are proud of, and your billing practices are an extension of that. Attention to detail will speak volumes as you build credibility with your customers. Your invoice projects an image to the world. Consider this an opportunity to show that you are the best at what you do in even the smallest ways.
Well done invoices can be used as a tool to drive your sales. Your customers will come back time and again if you not only provide top-notch work but also make payment quick and easy. Customers will come back to you if they remember an all-around great experience, and your invoice in the mail will be a reminder to them of that great experience.
Promote Your Business
Your invoices are free marketing. You already need to spend the money to send them out, so why not make them work for you? Remind your customers why they use you by making sure your invoices are designed to represent you and a tool to keep them coming back. Use the opportunity to remind your customers of your product and service offerings or any upcoming promotions. Use your invoices as a chance to promote other features or services. Add information on how they can upgrade or improve their customer experience. Invoices are a great tool to keep your customers in the loop.
Get Paid Faster
An invoice that is easy-to-read, clear, and professional will be paid faster than one that is hard to decipher. Simple, clear, and straightforward is the goal. Your invoice should include the variety of ways your customers can pay you, the payment due date, and how to contact you if there are any questions. Invoices that aren’t clear will end up at the bottom of a pile, waiting to be paid out.
Designing Effective Invoices
If it’s time for your business to upgrade your invoices, these are the key attributes you’ll want to focus on to ensure your invoices work for you.
- Easy To Understand – You are likely an expert in billing; therefore, invoice terminology is a language you speak fluently. But take a minute to read through your bills with fresh eyes and ensure that your average customer can understand them. If you are flooded with calls after invoices are sent out, it’s a good indicator that you need to make them easier to understand.
- Professional – Invoices that are cluttered and hard to decipher send the wrong message to your customers. Billing shouldn’t be complicated, and a poorly done invoice comes off as unprofessional. Clean, sleek, and modern is the goal.
- Clear – Invoices with clear and concise information get paid faster. Be sure to include a due date as well as easy to find contact information for where they should direct any questions.
- Informative – An invoice should be user-friendly to the person who opens it. They should know exactly what the invoice is for and how and when payment is due. The harder a bill is to pay, the longer someone will take to pay it.
Once you’ve committed to updating your invoice, it is also a perfect excuse to reevaluate your internal billing system. Research new and innovative ways to accept payment, making it easier and more convenient for your customers to get you money.
If you think it’s time to implement a better billing and invoicing system, there’s no time like the present. Not only are your invoices a tool to help you bring in revenue, but they can also serve as something greater- an invaluable marketing tool.