Write An Effective Collection Letter

Write An Effective Collection Letter


Many business owners never send out collection letters because they don’t know how to write one – or don’t know how to write one that doesn’t alienate their customer.

Collection letters should do two things: help you get paid and maintain customer goodwill. You know a letter is working when you send out a batch of letters and your phone rings off the hook or payments start arriving.

If you send out a batch of letters and there is no response, you need to write a new letter. The most effective letters are short, to the point and easy to read. Avoid using long or confusing words and sentences. A direct letter reduces misunderstandings.

Writing effective collection letters

These letters are a reflection of your business, so keep them professional.
Your letter should:

  1. Explain the reason for the letter in the first sentence
  2. Explain more about the first sentence in your second sentence
  3. Suggest a solution
  4. Thank the recipient

Sense and Intention

Remember, the purpose of the letter is to persuade someone to send you money. Precise wording and tone are critical, especially if this is a customer you want to continue doing business with. Always assume the customer will pay. Enclosing a pre-addressed envelope for payment is a good idea. If you can include postage on the payment envelope, even better. The easier you make it for the customer to make the payment, the better your chances of getting paid.

Michelle Dunn
Michelle Dunn, author of an award winning book, columnist, one of the Top 5 Women in Collections in 2007 & 2008, one of the Top 50 Most Influential Collection Professionals of 2007 shares her hard-won expertise on debt collection with the titles in her "Collecting Money Series."