When branding your business, you are probably aware of the big stuff – like making sure you have a tight brand identity and that it is applied consistently across all marketing channels. By using your same logo, style, imagery and messages repeatedly, your brand becomes more recognizable to customers. Opportunities abound, and the most effective are when you already have the customer’s attention. One of the best, often overlooked opportunities is your customer invoice.
Since an invoice asks for money owed, it has your customers attention.
Take advantage of this attention to make a positive impression. Invoices must serve their practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be an effective tool to gain a repeat customer. Bottom line… don’t let it be boring or forgettable.
When evaluating the look and feel of any business document, take care to maintain its primary purpose. An invoice must include detailed financial information. With that in mind, imagine how your customers see your invoice. Is there anything visually appealing about your invoice? Is the formatting clear and understandable while still interesting? What about the envelope – does it match your brand standards?
Considering your customer’s perspective is important because having to pay can trigger an emotional response.
While your branding won’t change the financial terms, a message focusing on services value and ROI might help soften the blow.
Good branding fosters a trusting relationship. A professional execution of your brand image can send a message of respect for your customer. That said, don’t get too cheeky or fancy – Foil embossing and other expensive printing effects may be perceived as extravagant, which, on an invoice, are likely to send the wrong message. Stay true to your brand and the impression you want to make on your customers.
Those examples may be extreme, but every little effort can make a difference towards making a repeat customer. Or even the invoice being paid on time. Statistics show that “you’re 3x more likely to get paid if you add a company logo to your invoice”.
What makes a good invoice?
- Logo and company information
- Clear description of services or products
- Directions on how to pay
- Email or phone number to contact with questions
- Aesthetically pleasing and a reflection of your company
- A thank you or appreciation of your client’s business
- Branding on the envelope you are mailing it in or on the email that is delivering it
While this list is not all inclusive of what needs to be on an invoice, these items impact customer responds. Use this as a guideline to find opportunities to improve your invoice.
What about taking it one step further and offering a future promotion or product announcement? How about requesting a Google review or asking for customer referrals? Might be one more opportunity to take your invoice beyond a basic, boring document.
Obviously, a cool looking invoice is not going to replace your next big campaign – but it is a simple and effective way to help build brand recognition.