Are you scared of asking your new client for upfront payment? Maybe you are afraid that asking for an upfront payment would raise suspicion in the client’s mind. The truth is that many small businesses and freelancers also face the same huddle. This post will show you how to ask for an upfront payment email with samples, whether a business owner or freelancer.

Before you go straight to copying some of our “ask for upfront payment email samples,” you must understand the flow that needs to be created before sending out such emails.

Most clients won’t hesitate to discard your services once you request upfront payment. The reason is that they believe other service providers would willingly offer the same service without asking for an upfront email.

This is a significant hassle that freelancers face due to trust issues from the client side. The feeling of asking for an upfront payment is the same as asking for payment over the phone.

Asking for upfront payment can be essential for businesses and freelancers who want to maintain a healthy cash flow and build trust with clients. However, it can sometimes feel intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of requesting upfront deposits and share tips and examples on how to ask for them politely and professionally.

Upfront payments can boost working capital, keep clients invested in a project, and ensure you have the necessary resources to cover your business expenses. Setting clear payment terms from the onset of your professional relationship can help avoid misunderstandings and make asking for an initial deposit smoother and more comfortable.

Read Also: How to Ask for an Appointment 

Should you ask for Upfront Payment?

Since most freelancers offer services to clients outside of their location, trust becomes an issue with both parties. Nobody wants to be ripped off in this deal, so the client believes that the freelancer should offer the service first and request money if satisfied with the job done.

But in most cases, the client won’t end up paying and do away with the intellectual property of the service provider.

We’ve seen cases where business owners wait 72 days just to get paid. This isn’t sustainable for business, making it imperative to ask for upfront payment, then get the balance as soon as the job has been completed.

You should ask for upfront payment if you know that clients can easily reject a job and still use the service you have provided for them.

Let’s say you have written a sales copy for an organization without requesting initial payment. They can easily reject your service and still use your intellectual property.  So it depends on the category of business you operate.

If you can easily retrieve or suspend your service without affecting your time, finances, and business, you can allow full delivery without requesting upfront costs.

But if your service/product depends on you to produce an initial batch of supplies with cash and paid services, you should ask for an upfront payment.

ask for upfront payment email

How to Ask for Upfront Payment

These steps should guide you to know what your “ask for upfront payment email” would look like or you copy some of our samples.

Let the Client know the Service/Product Process.

Most clients don’t like when a business owner sends an “ask for upfront payment email” because they feel, “why can’t you do the job and let me see what you can deliver first.”

Sometimes, they might change their minds at the last minute, leaving your business or agency with a considerable loss.

Communicating your process to the client will make them understand why you need an upfront payment. That way, they don’t query or make up ideas in their heads.

Show them Reviews from Satisfied Clients.

After you’ve explained your sales process, you should show them reviews you’ve gotten from other satisfied clients. That would also increase their confidence in your job’s quality.

Ensure the reviews are genuine, and you can also add links to contact former clients who gave such reviews. Reviews/testimonials are a great way to improve customers’ buying decisions.

Request for Partial Payment

Most clients won’t readily accept paying a complete upfront payment, especially when it’s their first time doing business with you. So to reduce tension and negotiations, you should create a flexible plan for first-time clients.

You can ask for a first installment, which can be as high as 50% or as low as 10%. The pricing depends on the project, your relationship with the client, and the project’s price.

The aim is to get an upfront payment, make your client invest, and follow up through the rest of the debt. With this method, there’s less pressure on the client for total commitment, and they are equally open to accepting the proposal and commencing the project.

Break the Project Up into Milestones

If the project is long-term, then this strategy should work perfectly fine. Breaking payments into milestones would see the client interested in accepting your upfront payment request.

If the project would last for five months, you can request upfront payment for the first month, then monthly payments after completing each milestone.

The client can review the job and business relationship as the project continues.

Propose an Escrow Account

When creating an “ask for upfront payment email,” all these should be highlighted as options the client can explore.

Proposing an escrow account helps prove that you aren’t in business swindle people and take their money.

Escrow services allow clients to put money into a specific account you can’t touch until both parties complete their transactions.

It shows that you will get your money once the job is done; for the client, it gives them the rest of mind that the business disappears with their money before completing the project.

Read Also: How to Ask for an Appointment on WhatsApp

Setting Clear Terms and Conditions

When asking for upfront payment, setting clear terms and conditions in your contract and invoices is crucial to ensure a smooth payment process. This section focuses on three main sub-sections: Payment Method, Deadlines, and Penalties.

Payment Method

Specify accepted forms of payment for your clients so that there is no confusion when it comes time for them to pay. Some common payment options include credit/debit cards, bank transfers, online payment platforms, and checks. It’s a good idea to provide multiple payment options to make it more convenient for your clients.

For example, your payment terms can state:

“Accepted payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, bank transfers, and PayPal.”


Establish payment deadlines to make it clear when the upfront payment is expected. This can be a specific due date or a time frame, like “Net 30 Days” after the invoice has been issued. Setting a deadline helps prevent misunderstandings and keeps cash flow consistent. For instance:

“Payment is due upon receipt of this invoice, or within 30 days of the invoice date.”

Your payment terms should be clearly stated in your contract and invoices so clients know when payments are due.


Prompt payment is essential for maintaining good cash flow, so be sure to include late payment penalties in your terms and conditions. This will help encourage clients to pay on time and ensure that you receive timely compensation for your work. Penalties can be in the form of a flat fee or a percentage of the total invoice amount.

An example of a penalty clause can be:

“A late payment fee of 5% of the total invoice amount will be applied for every 7 days past the due date.”

By setting clear terms and conditions in your contract and invoices, you can create a transparent upfront payment process that benefits both you and your clients. Remember to always communicate these terms and conditions with your clients during the negotiation process to avoid potential issues down the line.

Upfront Payment Email Samples

Here are some email samples to help you request an upfront payment from your clients and customers. Be sure to modify and customize to fit your conditions.

Upfront Payment Email Sample 1

Hello {Client},

I hope this email reaches you well.

First, thank you for your decision to work with us; it means a lot to our company and our vision of delivering value in the {insert sector}. I will be working hard to ensure the decision to work with our company is justified.

Per our company policy, we usually collect full payment for our projects and deliver them on an agreed date. But being a first-time client, we will be willing to accept an advance payment of 50%.

As discussed, we use the initial payment deposit to {insert reason here} to enable us to do an excellent job for you. We have options of paying via PayPal or using an escrow service.

Let me know your thoughts before I send you the advance payment invoice.

Thank you.

[Your Name]


Upfront Payment Email Sample 2

Hello [Client]

It’s a pleasure reaching you today.

Thank you for deciding to work with us on your [insert project name]. As requested, I have attached more information regarding the project’s timeline.

This is just to inform you that our company’s policy requires full payment before commencing the project. But since we will work together for the next six months, we’ve split the cost into milestones and six installments.

After completing each milestone, we are open to receiving 30% of the total figure as the upfront fee and monthly payments.

All these are going to be stated in the contract. You may choose to pay via PayPal or use an escrow service.

Let me know your thoughts before I send the upfront payment invoice.

Thanks for your time; kind regards.

[Your Name]


Upfront Payment Email Sample 3

Dear [Client]

To begin, thanks for your trust in doing business with me. I will be working hard to make sure your decision to work with me is justified – that’s a promise.

Per our policy, we will need an upfront payment of 50% to purchase everything necessary to start the project. We are open to receiving payments via PayPal or escrow.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions before I send the invoice.

Kind Regards.

[Your name]



If you need a more customized “ask for upfront payment email,” you can reach me, and I will be willing to work with you on that.

Just be sure to sound professional while crafting the email because, as they say, the first impression matters when dealing with corporate clients.

Let me know your thoughts about this post in the comment section.



  • Mike Bush
    Mike Bush

    My name is Mike and I am a Cybersecurity Expert and Software Developer with over 10 years of experience. I discuss Business, Technology, Online Security, and exposing scams on the Internet. You are welcome to buy me a beer if you love my work.

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