The Four Paragraph Email You ~Need~ to Memorize For When Clients Owe You Money (But You Aren’t Sure What to SAY)

Recently, my friend S called and said:

“Shit, balls, fuck, I’m running out of cash flow—my clients owe me money but they haven’t paid yet and I don’t know what to…say?

Okay, so maybe I added the “shit, balls, fuck” bit, but you know it’s exactly what’s going through your mind unless you’re a Mormon. Not that I have anything against Mormons, but let’s all stick to our strengths here, shall we?

(Yes, my strengths are li-ter-ary.)

So I told her the truth: 99% of the time, clients are just plain busy—and, yes, they’re forgetful fatsos, just like the rest of us. An invoice you sent two weeks ago might be at the bottom of a 200-email pile of garbage that they’re trying like hell to get through, but alas, there it is, sunk on the bottom of the ocean. So you could do the passive aggressive thing, which is to re-send the invoice without saying anything. ~shoots you mom look, eyebrows raised, hand on hip~ OR, you could put your big girl panties on and craft an easy-going but clear email that asks for what you need.

Here’s a template you can use to ask your clients to pay the fridge up—before you call Benny the Hammer.



Today’s one of those days where I’m doing adult things, such as “bathing” and “bookkeeping” (the two B’s of success), and turns out? We’ve still got an open invoice for you under accounts receivable. ?

I KNOW, annoying! Why can’t there just be a fairy money mother who leaves giant wads of $100 bills under all our pillows at night? That would be much easier for everybody. You, because you don’t have to feel the pain of parting with it, and me, because I don’t have to feel the pain of bothering you when I know you’re super busy. You know I’m not a nag—but my bookkeeper? She’s a beast.

Will you help me get her an answer as to when we can expect payment so we can get that closed out—and also so she doesn’t eat me?

Promise I'll take you out for ice cream after. Rainbow sprinkles even, TREAT YOURSELF.



Remember: an uncomfortable topic doesn’t have to make for an uncomfortable email. There’s always a way to say something gracefully, and even make it a pleasure to do business with you.

A few more things you might want to peep:

  • I have an entire collection of 300+ email templates just like this! It’s called Unf*ckwithable Words and it is awesome. There’s a straight-laced version and a personality-infused version for each script. And a huge new update is coming soon – free for all current customers!
  • I also run a creative writing workshop that helps you learn how to write with originality and style and instantly edit your content to feel more fresh, fun, creative and funk-yeah this year, no matter what you're writing. This is one of our best-selling courses. ~swagger~ You can put yourself on the waitlist for the next live session, or buy the instant replay. Holla.



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