Of all the mail we receive, bills get the most notice. Well, except perhaps for a big, juicy check.
Typically, bills and invoices include a lot of empty space, kind of like a forlorn, empty lot in a city block. Like the vacant lot, this blank space on your invoices is generally prime real estate, waiting for something interesting, useful or eye-catching to be built upon it.
Electric power companies do a great job of this. They remind us to keep ladders away from electrical wires; they tell us what to do if we see a downed power line. Think about information your company could share with its clients. A mortgage company could include tips on home repairs and upkeep; a credit card company could include tips to avoid identity theft.
Things change, and an invoice is a good place to make an important announcement or reinforce an announcement that has been made elsewhere. If your office has moved, remind customers with a note–maybe even a nice picture of the new digs–on an invoice. If your office will be closed for several holidays, provide a list of those dates and, if needed, the emergency number customers can when the office is closed.
We all assume our customers know everything there is to know about our businesses. Wrong! You must remind them of what your company does, often, and in varied ways. An invoice is the perfect place to include a list of products and services your firm provides or spotlight a particular service line that needs more exposure.
Bills never seem like much fun, probably because they signal that more hard-earned cash will soon depart our bank account. By using your vacant invoice space in fun, even humorous ways, you can show customers that your company is peopled by, well, real people. Picture an employee who has done something stupendous or who has been with the company a significant time; publish an inspirational or humorous quote that is tied to business; write a short take on a current trend in your industry that will interest your customers.
Remember, a well-designed invoice can be much more than a reminder of payment due.
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