Blog/Beyond Texting

The Ultimate Payment Failure Message Templates

If you’re unsure how to approach the subject of a failed payment with your customers, these email and text message templates are for you.

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No matter what industry you’re in, payment failures are inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

Mid-market businesses lose $296,800 annually to uncollected payments. In fact, businesses that don’t retry payment failures see an overall failure rate of 3.5%.

The stats speak for themselves: you need to actively reach out to clients and customers when their payment fails.

The good news is that payment failures can be remedied quickly and easily––all you need to do is send a payment request.

These messages, sent out to notify customers and clients of outstanding payments, are known as dunning messages. They are automated messages that alert the customer to the failed payment and explain how to complete it.

Striking the right tone when sending a payment failure message can be a challenge. To make your life easier, we have ten payment failure messages you can use for inspiration.

10 Payment Failure Message Templates

From straight-to-the-point text messages to conversational emails, there are a variety of ways you can communicate a payment failure.

Learning from popular brands and companies is a great way to better understand how you can reach out to customers professionally.

The emails and text message examples below use a variety of tactics to ensure customers pay what they owe.

Failed Payment Email Templates

Given most customers provide companies with their email address, failed payment emails are a popular way to request payments.

There are a range of strategies your business can use to provoke action. Here are some of the most effective.

1. Detailed Payment Request Email

True to form, The New York Times is as direct as its journalism when it comes to missed payments. Here’s what this email does well:

  • The call to action in the email headline lets the reader know immediately what is needed, while the bold text makes it easy to skim read.
  • As a longer email, the reader is also offered a variety of options to reach out to the newspaper’s support team, either to query the payment failure or to remedy it. 
  • Having a large ‘Update Payment Info’ button towards the end is an effective way to make sure the most important piece of information doesn’t get lost within the text.
  • No matter the length of the email, we recommend having a clear button that takes your customer directly to the payment update page.

2. Short Payment Request Email

As a SaaS product, Spotify relies entirely on its customers paying monthly and annual memberships.

So it’s no surprise Spotify’ leads with a clear CTA and then follows up with a summary of how to keep the subscription active.

Once again, a button taking your readers straight to a payment update page makes it easy for even the busiest of customers to update their information.

3. Card Declined Email Example

Even Amazon suffers from purchase failures thanks to customers’ cards declining. 

Here they send an instant email notification to let customers know their order has not been processed.

Amazon’s email is a more formal layout, made up of the company’s signature gold and grey coloring and a large call to action button at the end of the email.

Even if a customer decides not to read the email, they know exactly what they need to do from the first line and the yellow button.

4. Unbranded Payment Failure Email

A branded email is not a must-have when it comes to collecting failed payments. Starter Story uses a simple, direct payment template notifying users of their account suspension.

For smaller businesses, signing off with the CEO or Founder can be an effective way to humanize the company. 

If you’re an SME familiar with your customers, this could be the way to yield results, and you can still put the email into an automated template to save time.

5. B2B Payment Failure Email

If you’re a B2B company, targeting how your customer’s payment failure will impact their own business is an effective way to trigger action.

StoreRocket is a store locator software that reminds businesses of the importance of updating their payment information from the first line. 

Instead of focusing on what the customer should do, it focuses the email on how not paying will have a negative effect on their customer’s business. 

Failed Payment Text Message Templates

While emails are a popular way of sending payment reminders, the average open rate for emails is only 21%. When it comes to failed payments, the most effective method is the one your customers are guaranteed to open. 

With a 98% open rate, text messages offer an alternative that can be used either independently, or in conjunction, with email.

By incorporating SMS into your failed payment strategy, your customers will have no excuse for failing to update their payment information, or missing an invoice.

If you’re struggling with inspiration, here are five examples you can use.

1. Declined Card Text Message

Today 8:00 AM
Your SimpleTexting order #1030223 was declined by your card holder. Money was not taken from your account, please follow the link to update your payment method and re-order your purchase:

When a customer’s card is declined while shopping on your e-commerce site, it’s important to let them know immediately that money has not been taken from their account.

Avoid misinformation and ensure customers are aware their order has not been confirmed by sending a text message straight through to their phone. 

Include a link to make it easy for your customer to update their payment method and place the order again.

2. Informal Failed Payment Text Message

Today 9:20 AM
Uh oh! It looks like your recent payment to SimpleTexting didn’t work. Don’t panic, it happens! Please update your payment method here:

It’s important to remember that most payment failures don’t happen on purpose. Your customer or client’s card could have expired, they could have lost track of their outgoings or they simply forgot to move money into the correct account.

Whatever the reason, an informal approach will work just as well for any customer who has accidentally forgotten to update their payment method. 

Keep things light, and make it clear that if they update their card details quickly, there’s no harm done. 

3. Formal Failed Payment Text Message

Today 10:10 AM
Your payment to SimpleTexting in the amount of $105.00 has failed. If we do not receive payment within 14 days, your account will be suspended. Please follow the link to update your payment method:

Starting a text message with ‘uh oh’ isn’t for everyone. If you’re a corporate business, you may want to take a more direct approach.

In this message template, we’ve both included the sum of the missed payment and added a cancellation notice. This will remind customers that a payment failure has consequences if it’s not remedied quickly.

4. Failed Subscription Text Message

Today 7:45 AM
Your October SimpleTexting subscription payment of $25 has failed. Please update your payment information as soon as possible, or risk losing your subscription.

Managing payments effectively is one of the most important elements of any subscription service. Whether it’s successful or failed payments, a protocol needs to be followed or you risk losing thousands of dollars.

Most of us couldn’t live without our Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriptions, but that doesn’t mean payments are a priority for everyone.

Let the customer know which month’s payment they’ve missed to avoid any confusion, and send them a direct link to rectifying the payment information as soon as possible.

5. Follow-up Payment Failure Text Message

Today 11:12 AM
We recently contacted you regarding your SimpleTexting failure. If the outstanding fee is not paid within 14 days, we must cancel your membership. Please update your payment information as soon as possible:

Sometimes one message isn’t enough. After 3-5 working days, follow-up on your original message reminding the customer of the consequences if they don’t pay. 

Whether it’s a cancelled subscription or membership suspension, give your customers a clear timeframe to remedy their payment failure and avoid their account being cancelled.

The Wrap on Payment Failure Message Templates

Don’t let your customers fall behind on paying you for your service. Both email and text message offer you direct ways to reach out to those whose payments have failed.

While both email and SMS are effective methods of outreach, we recommend using them together when it comes to payment failures. You don’t want to give customers an excuse for not seeing your message.

If you’re looking for a text messaging platform to start using these templates, get started today with SimpleTexting’s 14-day free trial.

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