How to Send a Reminder Email: 6 Templates That Stop No-shows and Late Payments

how to send a reminder email

As a coach or consultant, you’ve probably had to deal with a dreaded late payment from a client, or even no-shows at coaching sessions.

These things happen, but not because your clients have bad intentions. The truth is that your clients probably have a lot going on, and they’re forgetting to do these important tasks.

This is where reminder emails come in. Reminder emails are a friendly way to keep your coaching clients on their toes and make sure they take action.

Let’s explore how to send a reminder email for appointments, payments, and more!

What Is a Reminder Email?

A reminder email is a simple email sent to remind clients to take action in one way or another.

They don’t have to be particularly creative. In fact, it’s important to keep reminder emails simple, short, and focused. Anything else could distract coaching clients from what they need to do.

The more simple they are, the more you can reuse the same emails over and over again for different clients.

Why Is It Worth Sending Reminder Emails?

Our experience is that setting up reminder emails can improve your coaching business in many ways. If you automate them, you don’t even have to do them manually each time. You just schedule them once they will be sent at the exact time you need them (more on this below).

Here’s why it’s worth sending reminder emails to your clients.

  • They help your clients stay accountable
  • They make you look more professional
  • They help busy clients incorporate their coaching sessions into their jam-packed schedule
  • They remind clients about the consequences of not sending through the payment or the intake form (which we found to be the greatest motivation)
  • They make sure you can maintain momentum and build a long-term client relationship
  • They minimize session cancellations and no-shows
  • They improve overall communication between you and your client

When Should You Send Friendly Reminder Emails?

Follow-ups are useful in many scenarios. If you take payment online, reminder emails are a great way to let clients know when their invoice due dates are coming up. They’re also effective when customers are late to make a payment. This can be as simple as a Google sheet invoice if you don’t want to complicate things.

You can also send reminder emails several times before an appointment. It’s up to you to decide what frequency is best, but here are some common appointment reminder settings coaches like to use:

  • 24h before the appointment
  • 1 hour before the appointment
  • 15 minutes before the appointment
  • 5 minutes before the appointment

You don’t have to set up all of these for your own appointments. For example, it’s not necessary to send a 5-minute reminder if you already sent a 15-minute reminder.

Reminder emails can also be used if clients haven’t filled out important documents. For instance, if they need to send files over before their first discovery session, it’s important to remind them to do so before the session takes place.

How to Write a Reminder Email

Writing and sending a reminder email doesn’t always come easy. Some coaches may be scared of offending their clients, while others may be tempted to vent their anger and frustrations via reminder emails.

 Here’s how to send a gentle reminder email when your client’s MIA.

1. Don’t apologize for reminding your clients

Reminder emails are an important part of any coaching business. So you shouldn’t apologize for sending one!

You should avoid writing things like:

I’m sorry to bother you, but I still haven’t received payment for this invoice.

It’s easy to think that clients will get annoyed by reminder emails. But the truth is that people are busy, and it can be incredibly liberating for a business to take ownership of those reminders.

When you’re reminding your clients, you’re taking one more weight off their shoulders. So why apologize for doing that?  

I was guilty of doing this at first, but I’ve learned that apologizing doesn’t solve anything. 

2. Stay polite and avoid shaming the client

On the flip side, reminder emails shouldn’t be used to shame your clients or get angry at them. 

We get it – it can be really frustrating when you don’t receive a payment for a job well done. Be firm in your emails, but stay polite. Put the focus on the invoice that didn’t get paid instead of the fact that the client hasn’t paid.

Here’s what we mean. Instead of writing:

“You still haven’t paid this invoice”

Try this instead:

“This invoice hasn’t been paid yet”

Both sentences communicate the same fact. But as a client, which one would you rather receive?

3. Keep your emails focused

You should only include necessary information in a reminder email. These emails aren’t the right time to ask your client how their family is doing or how they enjoyed their latest vacation.

Write as much information as you need to so that you can get your point across, but no more than necessary.

4. Make it easy for your client to take action

Reminder emails are designed to remind clients to do something.

For them to take action, you should make their lives as easy as possible. For instance, if you’re reminding them to fill out a form, make sure to include a link to that form.

Otherwise, they’ll have to waste time trying to find the original email you sent.

Remember that many people receive dozens of emails a day in their inbox. The easier you make it to access what they need to work with you, the more likely they’ll enjoy your coaching services.

6 Reminder Email Samples and Templates

Stuck on what to write in your reminder emails? Here are six email samples and templates you can use for three different scenarios.

Payment reminder emails

You can send this email a week or a day before a payment is due from your client. Alternatively, you can send this type of reminder email on the same day that the payment is due. Or, you can do both!

Make sure you set up another late payment reminder for a week later in case your client forgets or gets distracted. I use Paypal to send invoices, and I take advantage of the features to make sure I keep track of the invoice activity. For example, I get a notification email when an invoice hasn’t been viewed yet. If they haven’t viewed it yet, I can send a reminder email.  

Finally, it’s important to make it clear if there are consequences for not paying the invoice. In the late payment example below, you’ll see what it looks like if you take appointments only once a payment is made.

Early payment reminder

Subject line: Payment reminder for [invoice number] – Due on [date]

Hi [client name],

This is a friendly reminder that you have a [amount] payment on [invoice number] that’s due for payment tomorrow, on [date].

You can view this invoice and make your payment here:


Don’t hesitate to hit reply or send me an email at [your email address] if you have any questions about this invoice or payment details.


Same-day payment reminder

Subject line: Payment reminder for [invoice number] – Due today

Good morning [client name],

I just wanted to remind you that the [amount] payment on [invoice number] that’s due for payment today.

Just click on this link to access and pay your invoice:


Payment can be made via [payment options].

Don’t hesitate to hit reply or send me an email at [your email address] if you have any questions about this invoice or payment details.


Late payment reminder

Subject line: Your payment for [invoice number] is one day overdue

Hi [client name],

Hope everything is going well.

I’m reaching out because I still haven’t received a payment for [invoice number] for [amount due]. This invoice was due on [date], which means it’s now one day overdue.

You can easily access the invoice via this link:


Payment  can be made via [payment options].

I’d like to remind you that this payment needs to be completed before we have our next appointment together. 

If you’re having technical difficulties with the invoice or if you have any questions, please hit reply or email me at [your email address]


Appointment reminder emails

Every appointment reminder email should include information about where and when the appointment will happen. 

For instance, if you’re meeting via Zoom, make sure to include a link. If you’re calling your client on the phone, remind them to have their phone charged and ready at the time of the call.

If you’d like, you can send a reminder email five minutes before the appointment with similar text to what you would write for a 1-hour reminder. Here’s how to send a reminder email for a meeting or session with your client.

Appointment reminder email to send 24hs before

Subject line: Appointment Reminder: [Name of Session] with [coach name] is on [date] [time]

Hi [client name],

This is a reminder that your appointment with [coach name] for [name of session] will be held on [date] at [time].

Your appointment will be via Zoom and will last [time]. Use this link to join the call:

[Zoom link]

Make sure to have Zoom installed on your device before our appointment time.


Appointment reminder email to send 1 hour before

Subject line: You have a [Name of Session] with [coach name] in one hour

Hi [client name],

This is a reminder that your appointment with [coach name] for [name of session] starts in one hour, at [time].

Your appointment will be via Zoom and will last [time]. Use this link to join the call:

[Zoom link]

Make sure to have Zoom installed on your device before our appointment time.


Intake form reminder email

Many life coaches like to use intake forms to make client onboarding smoother on both ends. But what happens if your client doesn’t fill in their form before your first coaching session together?

To avoid that situation altogether, you can send them a reminder email like this one:

Subject line: Your intake form

Hi [client name],

I’m getting in touch because I noticed the intake form I sent you hasn’t been filled out yet.

This intake form is a must-have so that I can better get to know you before our first session together. With this form, we can make the most of our time together.

You can access your intake form here:

[link to intake form]

Please have this form filled out at least [number of hours] before our first session so that I can prepare adequately to help you get to where you want to be.

If you have any questions or if you get stuck with this form, don’t hesitate to email me back.


When Is It Time to Let a Client Go?

Knowing when it’s time to fire a coaching client can be a challenging decision but is sometimes necessary to maintain professional boundaries and uphold the coaching relationship’s integrity.

Signs that it might be time to consider parting ways with a client include…

  • Consistent non-payment
  • Failure to submit intake forms
  • Frequent session cancellations, especially last-minute or without any reason
  • Not showing up for sessions without cancellation
  • Lack of progress or commitment
  • Violation of boundaries
  • Misalignment of goals

It’s essential to have an open and honest conversation with your client about any concerns before making a decision. Make sure that the expectations you have toward them are clearly communicated and if they still fail to complete them, bring it up the next time you talk to them.

If the issues still persist and negatively impact the coaching process, it may be time to part ways professionally and ethically, always communicating the decision respectfully and with the client’s best interests in mind.

Luckily, automating your reminder emails can prevent many of these issues — PLUS, they make follow-up an easy, set-up-and-forget process. Here’s the simplest way to automate your reminder emails…

How to Send Automated Reminder Emails Using Paperbell

Paperbell is a software tool that runs the entire back-office of your coaching or consulting business, including reminders! In fact they’re baked right into Paperbell, so you’ll never have to send another manual reminder again.

how to send a reminder email

Paperbell allows you to fine-tune your reminders triggered by different types of appointments or purchases. You can put whatever text you like in these emails, so borrow liberally from the examples above!

Paperbell also allows you to eliminate payment reminder emails, as payment is always taken at the time of booking. Plus, payment plans and subscription payments are charged to your client’s card automatically. This means you don’t have to “remind” anyone about payments, it’s all handled automatically!

Send Reminder Emails to Stay Top-Of-Mind for Coaching Clients

Now you know how to send a reminder email to keep things on schedule. But these follow-up messages don’t just keep your clients on their toes — they also make you appear more professional and organized. This is especially important for coaches.

There’s one more mistake that life coaches make with reminder emails – sending them manually! If you’re still sending manual reminder emails, you’re setting yourself up to forget or let stuff fall through the cracks. You’ll likely need reminder emails… to send out reminder emails.

Paperbell is a coaching software that makes it easy to manage payments, contracts, scheduling, and yes, reminder emails. You can set up email templates to send out automatically before appointments or when you want to remind clients for payments.Create your account for free today, and try out automated reminder emails with your clients!

how to send a reminder email

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2021 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
August 7, 2023

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