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How to send an invoice to your customers: Steps and methods

Sending invoices is a crucial aspect of running a business. This is particularly true for B2B (business-to-business) transactions, where it serves as a common payment method. 

While the process may seem straightforward, it’s essential to understand the various methods used for sending invoices and the best practices to streamline payment processing. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to send an invoice efficiently, covering everything from invoice creation to delivery methods and payment reminders.

How to send an invoice: Step-by-step guide

Generating invoices is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. This is especially true when using invoicing software or invoice email templates, which can significantly expedite and streamline the process.

Whether you’re new to sending invoices or seeking to enhance your invoicing process, we will help you avoid overlooking any important details.

Here is our breakdown of how to send an invoice to customers:

Step 1. Decide the method of generating invoices

The first and perhaps most crucial step is to decide on the method you will use for generating the invoice – whether that will be through invoicing software, an invoice email template, manual creation via a word processor or any other method.

Step 2. Make sure that you add all essential information

Regardless of how you create the invoice, make sure to input all necessary details, such as your company name, customer details, invoice number, due date, description of goods or services rendered, quantity and any applicable taxes or discounts.

Step 3. Consider what branding details to add

If possible, customise the invoice. You can incorporate your company logo, colours, and any other branding elements to make it look professional and aligned with your brand identity. This always leaves a good impression.

Step 4. Check you invoices

Take a final look at your work and double-check all invoice details, including quantities, calculations, your business information, and your customer’s contact details, for accuracy. 

Step 5. Consider how to send your invoices to the customers

If you send the invoice via email as an attachment, it is best to convert it into a PDF. This provides additional security to the information in the document and ensures compatibility.

Step 6. Choose delivery method

Send the invoice to your customer using your chosen delivery method. If you’re sending it via email, make sure you include the invoice attachment and mention that you are sending an invoice in the subject line.

Step 7. Manage your unpaid invoices

In case of an unpaid invoice, don’t hesitate to send a friendly due date reminder to your customer. Emails and notifications can sometimes be overlooked. Also, if you’ve opted for the postal delivery, be prepared for certain delays in the process.

And that’s it. Make sure to record all invoices you’ve sent and the payments received. Utilising software comes in handy for this task. Alternatively, you can use a spreadsheet, which will help you stay organised, track the status of each invoice and monitor your cash flow

Another helpful habit to employ is archiving invoices for easy reference and retrieval in the future. This ensures seamless auditing and financial record-keeping processes.

In addition, keep in mind that the steps may vary slightly depending on a specific client, your business nature, and your chosen delivery method. You may require additional steps to tailor the process to your unique invoicing needs.

What should an invoice include?

What should an invoice include?

While the contents and style of an invoice can vary widely depending on the business, several elements are considered standard for every invoice. Without them, the payment document might not even be seen as legitimate.

If you’re sending your very first invoice, don’t worry. Below, you can find everything you need to include. 

Here are the essential elements every professional invoice includes:

  • Invoice number;
  • Company name, business address and bank account;
  • Recipient’s name and contact details;
  • Description of products or services provided (an itemised list is optional);
  • Net price, applicable taxes, total payment amount and any additional fees, if applicable;
  • Date of services rendered, invoice date and due date;
  • Payment terms and conditions.

Businesses typically create their own custom templates to streamline their invoicing process in the long run. You can use an invoicing software tool or download a free invoice template online. There are plenty of options available that will assist you in easily creating professional invoices.

Efficient methods for sending invoices to customers

When you choose to utilise invoices as a payment method in your business, you must consider how you will send them. You have a few options – via email, invoicing software or postal mail. While this decision may not initially seem challenging, it is essential. 

Depending on your customers’ preferences, relying solely on one method may not suffice. Sometimes, employing a combination of methods may be necessary to ensure your invoices are received.

Here are the three most common methods used for sending invoices.


Email is perhaps the most common method of sending invoices to customers. It is fast, convenient, and ensures prompt delivery to the intended recipient. Invoice emails arrive instantly, thereby saving time. Implementing this method will help you collect payments faster.

Once you’ve created the payment document, whether through dedicated accounting software or a word processor, you simply need to convert it into a PDF for added security.

When you write an invoice email, remember to indicate in the subject line that there’s an invoice attached to ensure you are sending a professional email that doesn’t get overlooked. Double-check that the attached invoice is correct and that you’re sending it to the correct client’s email address.

Invoicing software

Invoicing software is a modern digital tool for generating, sending, and managing professional invoices. However, its capabilities extend far beyond these tasks. Such software solutions offer features such as invoice tracking, customising invoice templates, scheduling payment reminders, client data management, and reporting.

This method is relatively easy to use and straightforward. You create the online invoice and send your customer a link to it. A useful feature is that you can track the status of the invoice and see when it has been opened. It offers various payment options that allow your clients to choose their preferred method to settle the transaction. 

The best part is that such software enables you to access all necessary features and manage your finances from one platform, which simplify the invoicing process and saving you time.

Most merchants, specifically small business owners, opt for invoicing software as it helps them stay organised, keep track of payments, and enhance efficiency. Additionally, there are plenty of free options available that offer all essential features for those with budget constraints.


Sending invoices via postal mail is a slightly outdated method, but some companies and customers still prefer it. It has notable drawbacks – it’s slower, more expensive, and less secure than the other methods. Additionally, a potential change in the customer’s address over time can complicate matters. 

However, postal mail may be suitable for customers who don’t check their emails frequently or might not even use email. Ultimately, the choice of whether to send invoices via post comes down to the business’s client base and preferred delivery method.

useful tips for invoicing

Useful tips to get paid faster

We’ve already discussed how online invoicing via email and software prompts faster payments than a paper invoice. However, additional factors can influence the speed of receiving a payment.

Here are some tips to help you set up your payments for faster processing from the start:

  • Agree on terms with your customerDiscuss the payment terms with your customer before you generate and send the invoice or provide the product or service. Ensure they understand the pricing to avoid surprises that could lead to payment delays or complications. Additionally, discuss any specific information the client may require on the invoice or if they prefer a specific template.
  • Utilise payment links and buttons: If you use invoicing software, include a payment button in the document to get paid immediately. This simple step allows customers to use their preferred payment method, such as an e-wallet or a credit card. Moreover, the software enables you to add this feature with just a few clicks, making the process very convenient.
  • Whenever possible, ask for a purchase order: Before issuing the invoice, ask your customer if they have a purchase order for the products or services rendered. If they provide you with one, make sure to include it in the invoice. This document can also be used for any follow-ups that may be necessary.
  • Set up due date reminders: Sending payment reminders to clients can significantly speed up payment processing. Reminding customers of upcoming deadlines ensures they have enough time to prepare and helps prevent them from overlooking or forgetting the invoice.

What to do in case of late payments?

When you follow the advice we’ve shared in the sections above, you can avoid chasing up unpaid invoices or charging your customers with late payment fees. We recommend you to ensure all payment details are included, the document is sent to the correct address, and payment reminders are scheduled. All that will definitely help guarantee your invoices are paid promptly.

However, consider sending a follow-up invoice if you encounter payment delays even after trying the above tips. The initial invoice might have been lost, especially if you used postal delivery. To prevent this from happening again and ensure your clients receive invoices trouble-free, consider using a different delivery method than the one used initially.

Without a doubt, investing in invoicing software can significantly help if you deal with frequent delays. Firstly, it streamlines the process, making it easy to write an invoice. Additionally, integration with payment links or online payment gateways offers a more convenient and faster way for customers to pay, expediting payment collection.

Finally, the software enables payment reminders, which eliminates the need for manual follow-ups with your buyers.

Benefits of using invoicing software

Benefits of using invoicing software

Online invoicing software is a commonly used tool by enterprises of all sizes. They can prove very beneficial, particularly for small businesses, by saving time and effort previously spent on manual invoicing and accounting processes.  

Here are the key advantages:

  • Centralised Management: Access to all necessary accounting features in one platform.
  • Professionalism: Choose between a variety of invoice templates or customise your own.
  • Payment Flexibility: Integration with payment gateways offers various options for online payments.
  • Prompt Payment Settlement: Automated reminders encourage timely payments, reducing the risk of delays.
  • Accuracy: Minimise errors associated with manual data entry, ensuring precise financial records.
  • Insights: Detailed reports provide valuable insights into your cash flow and overall financial performance.
  • Compliance and Security: Ensure compliance with tax regulations and protect sensitive data with robust security features.

As you can see, the benefits of using invoicing software extend far beyond time efficiency, making it an invaluable tool for businesses. Moreover, plenty of options are available to suit varying business needs, ranging from free alternatives to comprehensive platforms with additional features.


From creating invoices to selecting delivery methods and implementing strategies for faster payments, there are numerous factors to consider in the invoicing process.

One of the most important considerations is determining the right delivery method – whether email, dedicated software, or postal mail. While invoice email templates or invoicing software can significantly simplify the process, some businesses still prefer traditional postal delivery due to customer preferences.

If you often experience delays in invoice payments, there are several strategies you can employ. Setting up due date reminders for buyers, utilising payment links for immediate transaction settlement or changing the delivery method to better suit your customer’s preferences can all prove effective.

Overall, plenty of efficient invoicing methods and technologies are available to help small businesses optimise their financial operations. By using modern tools, you can ensure tax compliance, convenience, time efficiency and prompt payments.

Frequently asked questions

When sending invoices directly to your customers online, there’s always a chance that your message might get overlooked. To address this, it’s essential to send payment reminders. You can create an email template specifically for this purpose or use invoicing software, which typically allows you to easily schedule such reminders. This approach ensures that your clients are regularly reminded of the due date, increasing the likelihood of receiving payment on time.

There is no universal rule for when you should send an invoice. It all depends on the circumstances. Many small businesses prefer to send invoices before providing the product or commencing work, as this gives them upfront resources and a sense of security. However, for clients with whom you have an established relationship, you might consider sending the invoice once the product or service has been rendered. For ongoing projects, periodic invoicing is often the best approach.

If a customer wants specific details of the invoice revised, first evaluate whether the changes are reasonable. If you agree with the requested adjustments, make the necessary changes and confirm with the client that the updated invoice is final. Then, send the revised invoice like you did the initial one.

Consider the taxes and import duties that may apply to both parties. Additionally, it’s crucial to specify the currency for all prices in the invoice and provide the conversion rate used to avoid misunderstandings and discrepancies. Offering several payment methods is also essential to ensure your international customers find a suitable payment method.

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