Not too long ago, businesses were sending out invoices in the mail or by fax. Now, with the prevalence of technology in our lives, many are opting to send their product and service invoices through email or other online options. If you are wondering how to send an invoice for your small business, and which one offers the most advantages, then continue below.
With the various ways to send an invoice, the most suitable methods have changed over the years. This article will take a look at the different forms of sending out invoices as listed below:
- By mail or courier
Learn the advantages and disadvantages associated with each one, and understand the best way your business can send invoices now.
How to Send an Invoice with Email
Invoices have gone online thanks to the quicker form of communication and payments found on the internet. Both consumers and businesses are opting for more convenient ways to send and receive payments. Small companies looking for more efficient ways to transact their business can do so with invoice emailing.
So, how can you send an invoice via email? Using accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, can help you create branded invoices, or you can use the various templates available online. Once you’ve made your customer invoice, you’ll want to send it out with your company email, rather than your personal email, so the customer knows who is sending it.
Invoice Email Template
Write what the invoice is for in the subject line, and attach the document to the email. Do not paste it directly into the body of the email. Providing a PDF format invoice allows your customers to print out and save the document to reference payment terms and other important information of the sale.
Within the body of the email, you will want to provide your clients with a personal greeting and a quick overview of the document, so they know exactly what the invoice is for. Creating an invoice email template is a great way to stay consistent with your customers.
Subject line: [Company] Invoice # for [Service/Product] due [Date]
Dear [Customer name],
I hope this email finds you well. Please find attached the invoice number [x] for the [Product or Service] provided by [Business Name], due on [Date]. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me through email, or by phone at [phone number]. Thank you for your patronage.
Advantages of Invoice Emailing
Sending out your source documents through email is a quick and easy way to ensure these essential documents reach the appropriate clients. It leaves an electronic paper trail that you can easily reference should you need to. You won’t have to worry about postage delays or the fees that come attached to sending letters through the mail. Statistics show that in 2018 the shift to online payments and electronic funds transfers has skyrocketed, illustrating they are the go-to form for paying businesses.
The time it takes to create and send invoice emails is substantially quicker, and you could increase your company’s cash flow with timelier payments. If there is an error in the invoice, it can quickly be fixed and sent out in just a few minutes, instead of days. Using email and electronic documentation is a big way to stay relevant and competitive in the market too. Always ensure you have the customer’s correct email address before hitting send. Learn more about the benefits of electronic invoicing.
How to Send an Invoice by Mail or Courier
Sending invoices using the mailing service means that it will be delivered through the public postal service, whereas utilizing a courier means sending your invoice through a private mailing service. However, using mailing and courier services should only be used if your client base does not check or use email at all. If it is one of the only ways to contact your client, then mailing these sales documents will be your best bet to reach them.
To send an invoice by mail or courier, you will want to address the envelope, as usual, using your company’s address for the return label. Inside you will want to place a copy of the invoice with all the relevant information. You can also write a letter explaining the invoice if you so wish. This message can add a personal touch to the business transaction that your customer could appreciate.
Pitfalls of Mailing Invoices
For the most part, however, the disadvantages of mailing an invoice far outweigh the advantages. It drastically increases the time it takes to reach your client and is far less secure than online these days. If you write the wrong address, or your client has recently moved, then the time it takes to get paid will increase substantially.
How to Invoice with PayPal
These days, many businesses offer the option to pay online using secure third-party payment methods, such as PayPal. Still, PayPal also provides invoice options for businesses. PayPal Invoicing is another excellent choice for online payments that streamline the process for both companies and customers.
To invoice with PayPal, follow these steps:
- Sign up for a PayPal Business Account, or log in if you already have one
- Create and send your invoices from the computer or your smartphone.
- PayPal will send an email to your customer with a link to the invoice, or you can share the link another way.
- Customers will then have the option to pay online, and you will receive a notice from PayPal informing you when the money lands in your account.
Advantages of PayPal Invoicing
A PayPal invoice can be made once you have an account with the platform, allowing people to customize and send out invoices while tracking their status. This platform offers quick payment options where the customer can pay directly through the invoice.
The money reaches your business account in as little as three days. Your customers don’t even need a PayPal account to use and pay your invoice! They’ll have the option to pay with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account if they have one.
How to Fax an Invoice
You might be asking yourself, do people still use fax machines these days? The answer is a resounding yes, as many companies turn to fax machines to quickly send documents that must be signed by hand versus electronic signing.
In some cases, people will choose to fax over electronic messaging, as their work habits are better suited to this machine. Businesses like real estate offices, car dealerships, and medical companies will often fax invoices and other documents instead of sending them online.
To send an invoice with a fax, you will first need to have a machine at your disposal. You will also need to ensure that the customer or company on the other end of the transaction also has a machine available. If both of you have access to a device, then all you will need to do is make the invoice, print it out, and send it through the fax to the recipient’s faxing address.
Advantages of Invoice Faxing
Faxing offers businesses a secure and relatively quick way to send out confidential documents that require signatures. Sending an invoice through fax can be beneficial as the machine can be integrated with the internet, but can also be isolated from it. Many large companies still use fax machines, therefore offering businesses a large user base and an easy form of communication between two entities.
Provide an Invoice in Person
For some people, there is nothing that beats an in-person interaction when transacting deals. If you want to build a personal relationship with your client base, handing over an invoice during a face to face meeting can do just that. However, not all businesses are physically close to their clients.
The advantage of in-person invoices allows for relationship building between you and your customers. You first need to ensure that the invoice and all service or product information is correct before printing off this document. If you notice a mistake while in your meeting, it could be hard to get another copy to your client before going your separate ways. For those who do business across the country and cannot realistically meet in person, then in-person invoicing won’t be the best option for you.
Using Invoicing Software to Streamline the Process
Online invoices are one of the easiest ways to create an invoice and send out these important transaction documents for your business. Using invoicing software can streamline the whole process, offering quicker creation, contacts, tracking, and automatic updating of records for your small business. Even the Canadian Tax Foundation has championed electronic invoicing, underlining the fact that the Canada Revenue Agency could benefit significantly with a reduction in disputes come tax time and reduce administration costs.
Sending an invoice is quick and easy when choosing to use QuickBooks Online to create, send, and track invoices. Receive payments quicker too, with the Pay Now button that allows customers to pay online directly through the invoice. Try it free today to see how efficient this process is.