Track Client Invoice Views and Eliminate the Suspense

Clients can have a knack for suspense, especially the times after an invoice is sent. You’re left in the dark with little or no insight into whether they’ve seen an invoice. We’ve made things less theatrical by eliminating the detective work. Now you can tell exactly when clients view the Harvest Web Invoice in their browser.

Every time the client views the invoice via his/her unique Web Invoice link, the corresponding date and time appear under Invoice History for your eyes only.

Invoice Views

Of course, you can still view the Web Invoice and not be mistaken for your client– just make sure you’re signed in to your Harvest account before doing so. We hope this feature helps you communicate with your clients better and ultimately gets you paid. Let us know if you have any feedback!

40 Comments so far
  • Very nice, is there also tracking possible when clients opens attached pdf invoice?

  • Nice. This is one feature that I’ve always wanted. @Dave, they can’t attach analytics to an e-mail attachement. It would be nice, however, if we could know when a client viewed the sent e-mail – which is possible. Harvest, any chance that’s on the way?

  • How about Estimates?

  • I agree with Dave. I send PDF invoices. It would be nice were this feature extended to include those, too.

    Otherwise, pretty sweet!

  • I really like this feature and would stop sending PDF attachments wherever possible so I could keep track of this; however, there is one problem. I don’t want to accept online payments.

    I would love to have the option of sending the web link without the payment engine so my client could view the invoice online and download the PDF from that page if they wanted. That way I could have the best of both – PDF and tracking.

    Could we add the option to send the web invoice even without payment engines turned on?

  • @Ken No plans to track whether a client opened an actual e-mail. Thanks for letting us know it’s something you’re interested in.

    @Ryan Estimates is something we’d like to add, however, I can’t say we’re working on it right now.

    @Chris You should be able to send the Web Invoice without any payment gateways enabled. And client invoice views will be tracked. Let us know if this still isn’t working for you: support@harvestapp.com

  • Hi Sri and Harvest Team

    Really great feature, thanks for adding it.

    I have to add my +1 on the estimates. It makes you follow up from an assured position. Sometimes you send an estimate and don’t know if the client saw it – I hate the phone call that you have to start by:”Did you get my quote?”

    If you get notified of an estimate “open”, you know what to expect and if you can give a client a day or so before following up and closing the sale.

    Thanks for listening.

  • +1 on tracking email opens. I also send PDFs because some clients prefer it. Without knowing if they’ve received/opened the email, there’s still an element of “suspense.” It’s happened to me before that an email is lost; I’ve waited months only to find out an invoice was never received. If I knew that after a week or two, it hadn’t even been opened, I could follow up with another email or phone call.

  • Another feature together with this could be to send an alert internally if the client hasn’t viewed the invoice within X days. Maybe even the option to send the customer a reminder that there is an invoice to look at.

  • Sri

    Me again.. Just realised I misread the “Web Invoice” part. I’m with Ken on this +1 the fact that we need to see when a sent email is viewed.

    Or as an alternative, an easy way where you can grab the invoice url code in the “Send Invoice” screen. It would serve the same function, but in order to do it now, I have to click on the Web Invoice button, grab the url there and go back to invoice send screen and then embed it.

    This would be a fairly simple way – just bring the “grab url” field into the “Send Invoice” screen just below the “Include a PDF version of the invoice” tick box –

    Please, consider this.

  • Aaahhh. I just discovered the %invoice_url% tag to insert into the custom messages. That solved my query, thanks!

  • @Casper We hear you on estimates/ tracking e-mail opens. Thank you for sharing!

    @Lars Alerts are a great idea, and something we’ll consider on our side.

  • +1 for estimates!

  • Where/how can I enable this?

  • Also +1 for estimates.

    An invoice is not that important, because it doesn’t matter for me when they did see it. They need to pay it anyway….. An estimate is really helpful to know, so you know how interested they are, (for example did they check it once or often etc).

    Regards,

  • Nicolas Pascual January 21, 2013

    Great feature team!
    Please, keep improving as you do!

    Best!

  • @Barbara It’s already enabled for you! When you send along the Web Invoice to a client, invoice views are tracked under the Invoice History section. The Invoice History is located beneath an invoice accessed from Invoices > Overview.

    You can test this feature by visiting a Web Invoice when signed out of your Harvest account. Harvest will record it as client invoice view – you’ll note this under the Invoice History section of the invoice when you sign in to Harvest again. Feel free to contact us at support@harvestapp.com if you still need a hand.

  • I wish on the desktop app, it would be hours:minutes:seconds
    I really want a way to turn on seconds like there is on Toggl.

  • This article seems to have morphed into a feature request garden. What’s the use-case for needing seconds? Do you bill by the half-minute?

  • No I bill using raw time. I don’t round. In addition, I also simply prefer seeing the seconds, which probably comes from using Toggl recently. It doesn’t need to be default on, but simply adding the seconds as an option that could be turned on in the desktop app or the online timer would be nice.

  • Yeah, +1 on opening of the email. I also like to attach a PDF for the client so they can keep for their own records– but the problem is sometimes they won’t bother to click the “view invoice” when the PDF is already attached.

  • Great work!

    Is there a way to send the “client” special link in an email, sometimes I don’t use the send invoice button, I just paste the “web invoice” link into an email?

  • @Brad Thanks for the kind words. When you have an invoice draft open, click on the ‘Web Invoice’ button on the top right. From here, you’ll see a link underneath ‘Grab this URL’ (also located top right). You can easily copy this unique link and e-mail it off to a client.

  • Right but will it track as the client?

  • @Brad Yup, that’s right. Any visit to that link will count and be recorded as a client invoice view (so long as the person viewing it is not signed in to your Harvest account).

    To avoid any erroneously logged views, only share the unique link with your client. And if you need to view the web invoice, do so when signed in to your Harvest account. Hope that’s helpful!

  • Sweet! Just tested with incognito, nice work!

  • Do you see in a near future the possibility to add a feature that allows my client to confirm he received the invoice by clicking a button “RECEIVED”?

  • @Louis-Martin that’s where email open tracking will come in. Although, it would be nice to think the client would notify you when they received the invoice. Not sure they would though.

  • This is a great feature — and in reading through the comments and also thinking about “email click-through tracking” — it almost makes sense for me to not check the “include pdf” option when emailing an invoice via Harvest if I want to track viewing/email engagement. That encourages the client/recipient to have to click through for more detail on the invoice — and they still have the option to print/export a .pdf off the top of their invoice page. Once they do so — I know they’ve received the email — and viewed the invoice.

  • Dave Cuddy February 3, 2013

    If I generate and send a LEDES-formatted invoice, can I also provide client with a Web Invoice link? I have a client whose accounting dept requires that I issue LEDES invoices to be uploaded into their billing system. But they are not (easily) readable by humans. A web link would satisfy requirement for client to view/approve the invoice as well as keep his accounting dept happy. And a happy accounting department leads to prompt payment!

    Thanks.

  • This is a great feature and most likely the deciding factor for me to jump from FreshBooks. FreshBooks is great but the Harvest pricing model fits my business better.

  • +1 for estimates!

  • I used to use this function to send draft invoices to client to view before I raised and sent them. I now cannot do this since a ‘view’ marks the invoice as ‘sent’ which is confusing the hell out of our account department. Not a fan here

  • @Hannah Marking the invoice as sent once viewed was not intended. It should be fixed now. Sorry for the trouble!

  • estimates ++

    I’ve been waiting to call a client until I’m certain she’s received and viewed the quote. Would be nice to know ahead of time prior to reviewing.

  • Thanks for all the estimates feedback! We’ll certainly consider adding this in the future.

    @Dave So long as “Include link to Web Invoice for online payment” is selected when sending the Harvest invoice to the client, it should appear. If you’d like to avoid sending the invoice e-mail, you can determine the link from Invoices > [Individual Invoice] > Web Invoice. This is also something the client can accomplish from his/her own dashboard.

  • This is a great step, but to be perfect, how about an email notification to me letting me know that a client has viewed the invoice? If you can track it, you should be able to fire off a short email letting me know it’s happened. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Alberto Ramos-Izquierdo March 14, 2013

    I would like a way to search for what invoices have been viewed or not. I set myself up to only use web invoices. When there are a lot of pending invoices it would be nice to search for wich have been viewed or not in a report before doing the rounds and calling for follow ups.

  • @Harvest – kudos on the feature release. Looks like you’ve tapped a nerve – Harvest users want more info about whether their customers have viewed the invoice or if there’s been a problem that requires follow up.

    Harvest is one of our favorite invoicing apps here at ZenCash and love the innovation and useful tools provided to its users to follow up with slow-paying clients (the regular, repeated email reminders were a nice addition last year). But in case users are looking for a more robust tool to follow up with customers, some free accounts are still available at ZenCash with only usage-based fees for services.

    ZenCash is a Harvest-friendly app that provides automated follow-up tools like outsourced phone calls, beautifully printed invoices and reminder notes, and we’re working on new tools that use email and web follow-up, including open notifications, such as those requested in some of the comments here.

  • This is just awesome guys, great work.

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