How to write a great thank you note
Obviously, as a stationery queen, I am all about the handwritten thank you note. But for many, like pretty much everyone else in my family, it can be a daunting task. What do you say? How much should you say? I waited too long - should I still send one? I am going to walk you through my tried and true method for sending great thank you notes, that are painless for you, but will mean so much to the person who receives it.
When to write a thank you note:
There is no rule that says you can’t send a thank you note for just about anything. So if someone does something extra special for you or makes an impact in your life in some way, don’t be stingy - send them a thank you! Here are a few other examples of times when etiquette states it is a good idea to send a note.
- When you receive a gift - particularly if the giver was not there to receive an in person thanks.
- After a job interview
- When you stay overnight at someone’s home
- When someone has you over for dinner
- When someone throws a party for you
What do I say? Here is a great framework to get you going:
Address the person or people the card is intended for. Be sure to check the spelling of their names and that you are using the correct prefix like Mr., Mrs., or Miss, etc. Examples:
- Dear Miss Durham,
- Dear Aunt Sallie,
- Dear Bob and Susan,
2. Express your thanks
The first sentence should show gratitude - this is as easy as saying:
- Thank you for the…
- I am grateful for…
- I appreciated the…
3. Be specific - state what you are thankful for
Be sure to state what they did or gave you that you are thanking them for. Do not say “thank you for the gift” - it is super generic and could be sent to anyone. It also suggests you might not even remember exactly which gift they gave you! Examples include:
- Thank you for the candles you gave me for my birthday.
- I am grateful for you watching my kids while I took care of my mother.
- I appreciate the gift card to X store.
- The candles will look great on my coffee table!
- You are so good with my kids and they had a blast with you.
- I plan to buy that watch I have been wanting!
5. Include a forward looking statement
This is another place to add specific details about the person and the circumstances surrounding the reason for the thank you card. You can mention the next time you will be seeing them, invite them over for dinner again soon, or simply say, ‘I hope to see you again soon”. The less generic the better here though!
6. Sign your note
Another great place to infuse a personal touch that is specific to your relationship with that person. The more you know the person, the more personal your signature will be. For example:
- Your friend,
What if you didn’t send the note right away? That is ok, better to send it when you can than not at all!! The receiver will still appreciate it, even if it is late. Rule of thumb is to get notes to the recipient as soon as possible but within a month.
And of course I believe that the best stationery is always personalized!! It makes it way more fun to use and adds an extra special touch for the person receiving it. Bonus, if these are for a job interview, the thank you card is a great way to show your style and make a more lasting impression.
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