15 Text Templates to Collect More Payments

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You need to collect past due payments, but clients don’t answer your phone calls or emails. Whether they’re tied up at work, in a place where they can’t answer the phone, or just plain don’t want to deal with checking their email for bills, clients aren’t seeing your payment reminders.

So what’s a channel you can use to cut through the noise and get the due payments you need (and earned!) to keep revenue flowing?

Text messages are read within seconds regardless of who they come from. Your clients can open them without disrupting the people around them. Plus they’re short and sweet, so there’s no hassle in responding.

Businesses who switch to texting for collections see a significant increase in response rates, because it’s the #1 way consumers prefer to communicate.

It’s the perfect channel to shoot quick bill reminders and updates, which is why I’m giving you 15 text templates you can use to collect more payments!

Why should you text to collect payments?

When clients don’t see your collection requests it costs you time, frustration, and most importantly revenue that you’ve already earned. But when 99% of texts are read, and 90% are open within three minutes, you know you’re going to get an increase in responses.

In fact, the average response rate to a text message is 40% to 50%! Compare that to the 20% of people who are willing to answer a call, plus the small 10% of emails that get responses, and it’s clear which channel is going to have the highest chance of reaching your clients and getting results.

“We’ve gotten a ton more results on follow-ups, and our response rate in terms of collections is significantly higher than email and phone calls. Texting is just expected by our clients now, and I don’t think we could go back to the time before we were using Text Request. It significantly speeds up the amount of time it takes for us to get loans finished and processed, plus ensures we get all the stuff we need on file!” - Courtney Dickerson, Dowell Federal Credit Union

Is texting clients for payments compliant?

Unless your clients have already consented to receiving texts from your business, you can’t start messaging them out of the blue to make payments.

Instead, you need to invite them to receive payment reminders and updates first, which you can do by:

1. Getting them to say “yes” to receiving SMS payment reminders over the phone or email.

2. Encouraging them to text you first, so you have permission to text them back.

3. Having them sign a form on your website, that includes a box with the terms, “You can contact me by phone call, SMS, or email using the info I’ve given you.”

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations do not explicitly cover text messaging—so getting clients to agree to be texted in the ways described above are absolute musts if you want to cover yourself.

As long as you only text clients for the things you’ve been given permission to text them for, plus offer them a clear way to opt-out if they’d like the messages to stop, you’ll be in the clear.

Text Request automatically includes an “opt-out” message option to help your business stay compliant.

For a more in depth guide on compliance and texting for collections, click here.

15 Templates to Request Client Payments

1. Use keywords to encourage clients to opt-in for SMS payment reminders.

So you want to start texting your clients payment reminders, but you still need a way for them to opt-in to receiving messages.

Keywords can be the perfect, compliant solution to bring your clients’ attention to your new SMS payment updates option!

A keyword is a word that clients can text to opt-in to certain text threads. You can display your keyword in ads on your brick-and-mortar location, social media posts, or website banner with a call-to-action, like:

“Text BILL to [Business Number] to automatically receive payment reminders a day before they’re due!”

When clients text the keyword they’ll automatically receive a message you can customize to look something like the templates below.

Template 1: “Hi, and thanks for texting [Keyword] to [Company]! We’ll start sending you payment reminders the day before they’re due.”

Template 2: “Thanks for opting in for our automatic payment reminders! Every time your bill is due, we’ll send you a reminder three days in advance.”

Template 3: “Thanks for texting [Keyword]. You’ll now receive updates when a new billing statement is ready.”

Text Request makes it easy to manage keyword groups and the template messages that automatically send whenever clients opt-in for payment reminders.

Related: How to Build a Powerful SMS Subscriber List

2. Schedule payment reminders in advance.

Instead of texting all your payment reminders on the same day bills are due, you can schedule them in advance using Text Request.

This frees up your hands to do other tasks, when you know you have messages like the ones below queued up.

Template 4: “Hi [First Name], your new online billing statement is ready.”

Template 5: “[First Name], this is a reminder that your next upcoming payment is due [Date]. You can visit our online payment portal at: [Link]”

Template 6: “Hey [First Name], your next payment is due on [Date] before [Time]. You can make it in person or online at: [Link].”

These scheduled messages can also include links, so you clients know exactly where to go to make their payments.

3. Request information to finalize payments.

Sometimes clients do get to their bills on time, but they’ll put in the wrong card number or leave out required information elsewhere.

Texting is a great way to reach out to clients for that missing information, so you can get those transactions completed!

Template 7: “Hey [First Name], we still need [Information] before we can process your payment. Would you like to schedule a call to share it?”

Template 8: “Hi [First Name], your card was declined on your last payment. Would you like to schedule a call to share new payment info, or try a different method online?”

Template 9: “[First Name], thanks for choosing [Company] for your [service]. All we need is your [Information] and we can finalize your payment.”

Remember that texts have a 40% to 50% response rate, plus an average response time of 90 seconds, which means both a higher and quicker turnaround time for you!

“Emails can go unread for days or even months, and people will not answer your calls if they don’t recognize the number—but text messages are opened within seconds regardless of who they come from. Clients love how text frees up their time and allows them to take charge of what they need to take care of in their own time.” - Courtney Dickerson, Dowell Federal Credit Union

4. Send mass updates to request overdue payments.

When you have more than one client with an overdue bill, Text Merge can help you send out mass texts with custom names and dates payments were due.

All you need is a CSV file with the custom fields you want to fill, and you can easily format custom messages for a mass reminder.

Template 10: “Hi [First Name], this is a reminder that your last payment was due [Date].”

Template 11: “[First Name], your payment of [$$] for [service] was due [date]. Please pay online at [link]”

Template 12: “Hey [First Name], we’re still waiting on a payment before we can move on to the next step of [Service]. You can view the bill here: [Link]”

Instead of formatting multiple messages for multiple overdue groups or individuals, you can save time and take care of all your past due updates in one swing!

5. Setup autoresponses to direct members to payment portals.

If you work in collections, you know that clients sometimes wait last minute to make payments. This can be a problem when they remember they need to pay a bill at 9 p.m., and your team isn’t readily available to direct them to where they need to go.

That’s why autoresponses can be a lifesaver for both you and your clients. You can format them to direct clients exactly to where they need to go to make payments, so you don’t have to stress about getting back to them after hours.

Autoresponses trigger whenever clients text in, and can be formatted with links like the examples below.

Template 13: “Thanks for texting [Company]! To view your online banking statement, visit: [Link]”

Template 14: “Thanks for choosing [Company]. Our office hours are [Time] through [Time], but you can view and make a payment at: [Link]”

Template 15: “Hi! Text us your name and question, and one of our reps will respond shortly. You can also go directly to our payment portal if you know what you need: [Link]”

Text Request lets you choose when these autoresponses trigger, so clients can receive different messages depending on the time of day or week.

Ready to start texting for collections?

Texting and collections go hand in hand, because it gives clients the ability to handle bills on their own terms without disrupting what’s going on around them. That means they’re more likely to respond, which means a faster turnaround time for you.

When 99% of texts are open, you know your payment requests will be seen!

Related: 15 Text Templates for Requesting Customer Reviews