Invoice Thank You Note: Creative Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Clients
From love to business, thank you is a simple and powerful phrase in any context, and the ways we express gratitude can define the quality of our relationships. You may have never thought about the opportunity for expressing gratitude for your client relationships that is contained within one simple document: the invoice.Make a Free Invoice Now
When you send out an invoice, you have a lot of choices, each of which makes a distinct statement about your business, your brand, and the relationship dynamic you seek to cultivate with your clients. A dashed-together form invoice with no personalization, sent in an email with no salutation, closer, or subject heading, sets a very different tone from a branded invoice with your logo at the top, customized for the client who is receiving it and accompanied by a note of thanks.
Why Send Invoice Thank You Notes
Your invoice is a request for payment, but it’s also a mode of communication between you or your business and your clients. Because your invoice is a prompt for the client to initiate a payment, it comes at a perfect time for you to include a message or gesture of gratitude, reminding your client that they are supporting a real person and that their business is appreciated. Without a personal note, your invoice risks coming across as cold or indifferent, which is never good for client retention. Consider the message you want to send: thanks for your business, and please return with more business.
Thank you notes can have a powerful positive impact on recipients—much more so than people tend to imagine, according to some research. You want your clients to associate positive feelings with you and the products or services you provide, and while quality work is the most important way to achieve that, a human touch can go a long way too. Supporting small business is an ethical priority for many consumers, so know that your clients chose you out of all the myriad options available to them. Getting some feedback that those choices are impactful can be important feedback for them, and gestures of thanks can build both loyalty and satisfaction into the relationship.
How to Structure a Thank You Note
Thank you notes follow a simple formula. What matters most is that the contents are specific and genuine. Don’t overthink it; just reflect on what you truly appreciate and share that in a sincere way.
Start by greeting your client by name (Dear Elizabeth or Dear Ms. Jacobs, depending on the level of formality of your relationship and previous communications)
What You Appreciate
Next, express your gratitude. Be specific and include details. You want to make your client feel seen and truly appreciated, not like recipient number 89 in a list of form letters you had to sign. (Thank you so much for working with me on the floral arrangements for your wedding. It was an honor to be included in your ceremony and I’m grateful that you chose Best Flowers.)
Reiterate your thanks in the closing (“Thanks again” or “With gratitude”). Close with your name and business name (Flora Robertson, Best Flowers)
The Old-School Option
If you grew up with the kind of mom who made you sit down and write thank you notes for your birthday and holiday gifts, you already know how to do this one (thanks, mom!). If thank you notes are new to you, this is a great time to learn. The genre is simple, and the touchstones are sincerity and brevity.
To send an old-fashioned thank you note with your invoices, you’ll need a physical address for your client. Keep the design of the card either neutral or aligned with your business’s branding—it’s a great idea to order a bulk box of custom cards to keep on hand for this purpose. Around the holidays, avoid options that assume a cultural or religious faith unless you know your client well and are certain how they celebrate. When you buy your stamps, consider the message that your choice of graphic is sending out; some are quite political, which is not typically the best option for business communication.
If you don’t have a physical address for your client and don’t want to ask for one, or if the labor of handwriting cards and going to the post office is more than you care to take on, you can attach an e-card to your digital invoice. Following the same best practices we outlined for physical thank-you notes, compose a thoughtful message using an e-greeting card service with a high-quality design.
E-cards have a lot of appeal: they are eco-friendly and instant, and if sustainability is important to your client population, give e-cards some serious consideration. Their main drawback is the lack of that hard-to-define feeling that we get from a handwritten note. As culture moves further and further into digital communications, a pen-and-ink note that you can hold in your hand and keep on your desk does carry a certain weight, so consider what your priorities are.
If you’re writing just a few notes a quarter, it might be worthwhile to invest the labor into writing by hand and mailing, but if you’re sending out ten or twenty a month, you can do the earth a favor and opt for the more sustainable e-options. The truth about thank you cards is that no matter how well they land, they typically end up in the trash eventually.
Using Invoice Maker to Send Thanks
One great (and low-labor) method of adding a thank-you note to your invoicing process is to embed the note directly into the invoice. Invoice Maker offers the option to include a note at the bottom of your invoice template. In this text box, you can either copy/paste a stock thank you note or write a new custom one for each client or invoice.
The embedded thank you note can be briefer than the card version, but it serves the same purpose: to pair your request for payment with a statement of appreciation. Something as simple as Thank you for your business, Thanks for being a valued client, I/We are grateful for your ongoing support, or Thanks for allowing me to do the work I love, signed with your name and the business name, can go a long way toward personalizing what otherwise just a bill.
If you have instructions for how you prefer to be paid (particularly for new clients), including those directions within the thank you note can make them sound less demanding. There’s “Payment is due within 30 days via Stripe.” And then there’s “Thank you so much for patronizing my small business. We are so grateful for your support, and for payment via Stripe within the next month. With gratitude, Sara Jones, Best Biz.” Which one would make you feel more valued in a client relationship?
Perks and Shoutouts
If you want to really make a client feel the love, consider giving them a perk instead of (or in addition to) a note of thanks. Depending on what your business does or makes, this might look like:
- For service/product businesses like contractors, tattooers, makeup artists, photographers, etcetera, a shoutout on social media. For example: “Loved working with [Client] on her recent photoshoot—check out these amazing images! #BestClientEver” Then tag your client and post (with permission) some screengrabs.
- For product businesses, a freebie added to their package or shipped separately, accompanied by a cute note.
- For service businesses like aestheticians, massage therapists, fitness coaches, etcetera, a bonus service added to their next session (like extra time or an upgrade of service).
- For any type of business, sharing a client’s social media content and/or leaving them comments are impactful (and free, low-labor) ways to boost their and your engagement while expressing thanks for your relationship.
- Everyone loves a discount, and sending a discount code, coupon, or gift certificate for future products or services is an amazing way to make your client feel appreciated while simultaneously increasing the chances they will give you repeat business.
- Remember that some of your clients have their own businesses too, and word-of-mouth referrals are another great way to make your client feel valued—be that person who knows what everyone does and has the perfect recommendation for everything from a house painter to a nanny.
- For “whale” clients, going the extra mile to send flowers, a gift basket, or something fun like pastries to their office can be well worth the expense and effort, particularly at the beginning of the business relationship or at key junctures (like wrapping a big mutual project).
The bigger your small business or freelance hustle gets, the easier it is to lose track of who makes it possible for you to be in business: your clients. Getting in touch with the same excitement and gratitude you had for your very first client and remembering why you love the work you do can put you in a great headspace for genuinely appreciating the people who help you make your living.