invoice

Invoices are obvious vehicles for getting compensated for the goods and services that you provide. But, did you know you can also use your invoices to market your business even further to your existing customers? That may sound complicated, but if you can easily turn your invoices into lean, mean marketing machines. Here are a few marketing tips to incorporate in your online invoices that every business owner should know.

That may sound complicated, but if you can easily turn your invoices into lean, mean marketing machines. Here are a few marketing tips to incorporate in your online invoices that every business owner should know.

Brand Your Invoices

Branding is necessary when marketing your business – regardless if you’re a freelancer or managing an enterprise level business. As explained by Catherine Alford in a previous Due post, “You should have something to stand behind, a brand that defines who you are and what you believe in.” Catherine adds that everything from your logo, color scheme, tagline, and theme should be taken into consideration since these will set you apart from other businesses.

Believe it or not, your invoices are an ideal platform for you to spread your brand’s awareness if they include;

  • Your business name in bold, easy-to-read letters at the top of your invoice.
  • Your logo since this is a visual representation of your business.
  • Colors that will catch the eye of your customers, as well as reinforce your brand.
  • A theme or template that matches your brand.
  • Social media icons, such as buttons or links to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts, so that your customers can easily learn more about you, your business, and stay current with your latest business happenings.

Include a ‘Thank You’

With most invoicing templates there’s a section for you to include a message. This is where you can Show your clients and customers how much you appreciate them with a brief, personalized ‘thank you’ note. Just by acknowledging how much their business means, both personally and professionally, is a simple and effective way to nurture long-term relationships and build loyalty.

When composing your note, make sure that it reflects the overall message of your brand. For example, if you’re a freelancer who is known for your one-on-one contact, then don’t send a generic, cold note. It should be authentic, genuine, and personalized. In this case, a handwritten note would go a long way,

Add an “Offer Box”

The messaging area of your invoices can also be used to promote other products, services, and special offers. One way to do this is by creating an “offer box.” Despite its name, this doesn’t have to be a particular shape. It does, however, have to be visually appealing so that your customers can easily notice and read the offers.

Whatever offers you want to share is up to you. It’s probably going to vary depending on your business, audience, and season. For instance, you could offer free shipping during the holidays if you run an online eCommerce site. But, if you’re a freelancer writer that wouldn’t be effective. In that situation you may want to offer a percentage based discount like 5% on future work.

Slip In a Brochure, Catalog, Flyer, Invitation

What if you don’t have enough room for an “offer box?” You could always include;

  • A brochure that introduces your clients and customers to additional products/services you provide.
  • A flyer/sales sheet to promote upcoming specials or announce new products.
  • A mini-catalog that highlights all of the products or services that you offer.
  • An invitation to an exclusive VIP event.

If you still send out paper-based invoices, you could also print these marketing materials out and send them with the bill. However, if you’ve made the switch to electronic invoicing, you could simply include an email attachment when the invoice is sent. Just make sure that you inform the client that there’s an additional attachment. Each invoice should be sent separately.

Ask For Testimonials and Feedback

Whether if they’re positive or negative, customers pay attention to reviews. That’s because we use reviews to make a final purchasing decision. After all, why take a chance on a business if there aren’t any reviews to validate if it’s legit?

The best part is that there are plenty of software tools that allow you to place a customer testimonial link directly into the template of your invoice. This makes it easy and convenient to ask your customers for those coveted testimonials.

On top of asking for testimonials, you can also ask your customers for feedback on their experience with your business. This gives you the chance to improve any areas that may not be up to your customers’ standards.

Referral Incentives

Offering a discount to client or customers if they refer your business isn’t a new strategy. But, it’s been used by seasoned marketers for years in order to gain new business. Invoices are a perfect time to ask for referrals since you just completed a deal, and if the client is satisfied with the good or services you provided, they won’t hesitate to refer you to others.

Offer Freebies

We all enjoy getting something for free from time-to-time. It’s a pleasant surprise that makes clients and customers happy.

When sending out your invoices, you could also send along a link or attachment to a free report, White Paper, or instructional video. The type of freebie that you offer is up-to-you. But, it should be something that solves a problem or provides value to your customers. And, it should be something that proves that you’re an industry thought leader.

Conclusion

Make no mistake about it. Invoices are bills, but that doesn’t you can’t use your invoices to market your business. When generating your invoices, don’t forget to include add-ons like offers and incentives that entice your customers to make future purchases, as well as illustrate that you’re an industry leader.

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Eli Schwartz is the Director of International Marketing for SurveyMonkey, the world’s largest online survey platform, and he oversees SurveyMonkey’s marketing efforts outside the US. He just returned from nearly 2 years in Singapore where he lead SurveyMonkey’s marketing for the APAC region. Prior to his stint overseas, he was the head of global SEO at SurveyMonkey.

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