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How to set up and send automatic reminder emails before an invoice is due

This article explains how to set up automatic invoice reminder emails to send to customers before an invoice is due.

1.Create an invoice reminder template

Begin by selecting ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner and selecting ‘Email Templates’.

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Select the 'Add Invoice Reminder' button from the ‘Email Templates’ page.

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2.Set rules for the invoice reminder template

Once you’ve created an invoice reminder template you need to set some rules for how the reminder email should behave. On the right-hand side of the screen is an ‘Email Tags’ section to help you insert relevant data into the email. Hover over the ‘?’ to the right of each tag for an explanation of the data that the tag will insert into the email. 

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When the reminder should be sent

In the ‘Invoice Reminder Rules’ section, enter the number of days and choose whether you would like the reminder to be sent before or after the invoice due date.

If you choose to send the reminder after an invoice is due, you can also select the ‘Send recurring reminders?’ tick box to send the reminder again at recurring intervals until the invoice is paid. Reminders will automatically stop once an invoice has been paid in full. If you choose not to set this rule, you can still manually send an invoice reminder email to a client after an invoice has become overdue.

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Where the invoice reminder should be sent from

Select the email address you would like the invoice reminder to be sent from in the ‘From’ drop-down menu. If you would like a copy of the invoice reminder to be sent to the sender, select the ‘Email a copy to Sender’ tick box.

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Where the reminder email should be sent to

Enter either the ‘[contact_email]’, ‘[contact_billing_email]’ or ‘[billing_or_contact_email]’ tag in the ‘To’ field. This will insert the email address of the customer based on their contact or billing details in FreeAgent. The default setting is the ‘[contact_email]’ address tag.

Please note, if you put ‘[contact_billing_email],[contact_email]’ in the ‘To’ field, the email will be sent to the email address entered in the [contact_billing_email] field and the [contact_email] field. If the contact has both a [contact_billing_email] and a [contact_email], it will be sent to both email addresses.

If you want to send the email to one address or the other, use the [billing_or_contact_email] tag. This will send the email to the [contact_billing_email] if there is one, and only send to the [contact_email] if there isn't a [contact_billing_email].

What the subject line and email message should be

By default, the email ‘Subject’ field includes the ‘[reference]’ tag, which means it will include the invoice reference number.

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The main body of the email is captured in the ‘Content’ section. Default sample text is provided. You can edit or replace this text and use the email tags to customise the email for each customer.

If you’d like to use your own wording for the subject line and email message, enter it in the relevant fields.

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If you wish, you can set up multiple invoice reminders, each with a custom subject line and email message. For example, you can create one reminder to send to customers just before payment is due and another to remind them once an invoice is overdue.

What attachments the reminder email should include

The invoice that you're reminding the customer about will be attached to that email as a PDF.

To attach other files to an invoice reminder, select ‘Attach Files’, then select a file from your company files in FreeAgent or upload a file from your computer. All attached files will be included in all invoice reminder emails that use this reminder rule.

Please note, attachments over 7MB will be compressed into a zip file and a download link will be included in the body of the email. After 120 days the download link will expire.

Once you're happy with the reminder rules you have set, select ‘Create Invoice Reminder’.

Sending an invoice reminder using the template

Once you’ve created the invoice reminder template and set the rules for it, you’ll be able to use it when you create a new invoice or edit an existing ‘draft’ invoice in FreeAgent.

Begin by navigating to ‘Invoice Emails’ in the ‘Invoice Details’ section of the invoice. Next, select the ‘Email payment reminders if the invoice goes unpaid' tick box. Once all the details of the invoice are complete, select ‘Create New Invoice’ or ‘Save Changes’.

If you’ve set default options for the customer you’re invoicing, this option will be updated automatically.

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Once you have sent the invoice, the reminder emails will start sending automatically on the appropriate dates.

Please note, the reminder emails will only be sent when the invoice has been marked as ‘Sent’ or sent via email to your customer. Reminder emails are not sent for draft invoices.

Reviewing which invoices have reminders set

To review which of your invoices have reminders set, navigate to the ‘Work’ tab and select ‘Invoicing’.

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Next, select ‘With active reminder emails’ from the drop-down menu.

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Select an invoice from the list and you’ll be able to see whether any reminder rules are operating. You’ll also be able to see when a reminder email is scheduled to be sent.

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