Anyone Emailing invoices?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Up North, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    I'm thinking about switching over to emailing invoices out. Does anyone do this currently? I didn't do a search so if this has been discussed already I apologize. But it would just be easier for me to complete the invoices and fire them off via email then to print each one, fold it, stuff it, stamp it, then take them to the post office or drop box. I'd save some time & a few $$ by not having to buy so many stamps. I can set up the email so that when the customer gets it & opens it, a notification comes back to me letting me know that it has been received and opened. I've talked to a few of my commercial accounts and they are all for it.

    Anyone with suggestions, experience, or otherwise on this?

    Buck
     
  2. ealbertson

    ealbertson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 256

    I started doing that this year. Yes, it is far better and does save considerable time. We spent $175.00 last year on mostly stamps. I do it through Quick Books 2006 which isn't too hard to set up. The customers all but one seem to like it as well. One draw back is I don't have any way of telling if they got their invoice. The person I talked to at QB support said there is no way to do that. I have a request in the email for them to respond back to let me know they got the invoice etc.. but that still doesn't tell me who didn't get one. If you want more info. on how QB works and the set up required let me know.

    Take care, Ed
     
  3. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    Hi there Up North...I have never tryed the e-mail thing ...but it sounds like a great way to invoice.
     
  4. EvandSeby

    EvandSeby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I just started E-Mailing my invoices to about one-third of my customers. Many of whom live out of state or leave for the summer. It has been working fine so far (two months now). Some of the older folks still want to receive a bill and hand me a check in person.
     
  5. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    I have 10 customers that do not have computers and get invoices by regular mail. The rest get email. Most like it because it puts the information on their computers for them.
     
  6. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    I had quite a few who were sent email invoices, worked great, cause then they could log into their bank and pay me, no waiting. highly recommended for clients who are 'into' email.


    Buck, my dawg is gunna eat that ol' moose lol!~
     
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I emailed one for a customer who requested it, it saves some money and significant time stuffing envelopes, but there are a few downsides too.

    You can use the 'request read receipt" function, but you still have to go through and check your return receipts vs your customer list to make sure people got them.

    Another problem I see is that some people need the physical presence of an invoice to remind them to pay it. They may read the email, then forget about it.

    You also cannot include a reply envelope in an email, so people may delay payment if they don't have an envelope handy.

    Some customers rarely check the email accounts they give you, preferring their work ones not get out to you, so they may not read the invoice till after the due date.

    And finally, of course some customers will be resistant to the idea, since they are infrequent internet users. So you'll still be mailing some.
     
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    For those who are using e-mail invoices, how did you introduce the idea to your customers? One of you said the customer requested, but what about the others? Did you make some kind of stipulations, such as "Do you check your e-mail daily?" or other such questions. I know some people have given me their e-mail address for routine matters, related to lawn care or not, but when I've sent them an e-mail, I learn later they check their IN box every couple of weeks.

    Obviously, I would prefer everybody get on board, and from some comments here, that just will not happen.
     
  9. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Posts: 1,063

    Yeah I guess one of my concerns, actually 2 of my concerns are having a customer open the email, see the invoice and think okay, I'll take care of it later, then accidently deleting the email or forgetting about it. Or the other concern is them not checking email for a week or two. But in either case that would be more of a residential concern of which I only have a couple residential customers, most are commercial. I may do some trial runs with some customers first, just see how it goes. Far as I can most all my customers have email, only one I'm not sure of as she's fairly old, but that doesn't mean anything. Plus I normally hand deliver her invoice as I think she likes the company and a little visit.

    I'd think I'd have to have some reassurances in hand before going ahead with this, such as Roger stated. Check email daily? Maybe set up a folder for the email/invoices so they can save the data and go back to check if a question arises about getting or not getting the email. I don't know, guess I'll have to play around with this a bit and see how it works.

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Buck
     
  10. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    Hey Buck how's it going?

    I've emailed invoices with no problems (the slow payers will be slow payers no matter how they get their bill!!) With commercial props it works great.
    The only difficulty I've encountered is with the residential customers, especially older folks, that are not comfortable with computers.
     

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