I suppose that at first blush, it makes more sense to send out your invoices by email. The time and cost to print-up and send these out, especially a large number of them, is neither efficient nor effective in comparison to sending by email. However, there are times when sending invoices by snail mail may be more appropriate. Here are a couple of them.
1) The client requests an actual hard copy of the invoice. Depending on the nature of the relationship and the size of the sale, sending a hard copy of the invoice is also part of the customer service being provided. In other words, although the customer could very well make their own printed copy from an invoice sent by email, taking the time to accommodate their request shows your commitment to Total Client Satisfaction.
2) Just as invoices can get lost in the regular mail, there are times that technology will fail and an email won’t arrive. This is often the case when the technology capabilities on the receiving end may not comport to those on the sending end. I have read where at times Mac computers can bounce emails or categorize emails as spam that have attachments. There are other situations in which older technology on the receiving end cannot handle the receipt of large files where the invoice requires a great deal of supporting documentation.
Whatever side of the sale you are on, I think most companies today have comfortably transitioned to sending and receiving their invoices by e-mail.
Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc.