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What to Write in a Thank You Note

04122013

“THANK YOU.”  Most everyone says this daily and it feels perfectly natural to say it.
But for special situations, when we want to put our gratitude in print, it’s different and, sometimes, even difficult. So once you’ve got a great card or some nice stationery, what comes next in thanking someone for a gift, an interview, a thoughtful gesture? Perhaps
the tips below can help you write a thank you note that’s not only sincere, but appropriate as well.

Handwritten Thank You Note

First, know that a handwritten thank you note is always appreciated. With email being such a common form of communication, personal notes are more valued than ever. And taking the time to acknowledge someone’s kindness or time will mean the world to them. Simply the fact that you’re writing a note sets you up for success.

Be Timely

Next, try to be timely. A thank you note is best sent within a week. For a large event, like
a shower or wedding, up to three months is acceptable, but “sooner” is preferred than “later.”  If time gets away from you, just offer a humble apology, but don’t dwell on your delay. The note shouldn’t sound like it was a burden to write.

For more formal or business thank yous, such as after an interview, a thank you email can be sent immediately if there is a sense of urgency (say in placing an order or filling a position,) but it should still be followed up with a thank you note or letter sent shortly after the event–within 2 to 3 days. (See links below for more information.)

A few ideas for business thank yous…

  • I’m so happy you recommended our company to one of your friends…many thanks for your thoughtfulness. 
  • Or: We were so happy with your____________, we just wanted you to know we’ll recommend you to all our friends.
  • Thank you for the time you spent showing me…
  • Thank you for showing us what “above and beyond” really means…
  • I know your time is valuable, so I just wanted to thank you for making room in your schedule for me.

Be Yourself and Be Specific

Now, just be yourself…but be specific. Address the recipient in the way that’s comfortable for both of you, and then focus on your reason for writing. There’s no need for a long lead-in as you might do in a letter. Let the recipient know right away what you’re thanking them for, and describe it thoughtfully. Saying the gift is incredibly useful, the dinner was delicious, or their act of kindness was enormously helpful are personal touches that mean
a lot.

Add Some Details

Don’t hesitate to add more details to genuinely express your gratitude. For example, if you’ll think of the gift giver whenever you use their present, tell them so. If you felt the dinner guests were a great group of people, let the host know it. If thinking about what someone did still makes you smile, that’s something they’d like to know. Elaborating on the reasons for your gratitude helps people see themselves positively from your point of view—and doubles the joy of the gesture.

End With a Compliment

Finally, finish the note with a sincere compliment that will leave a lasting effect. Whether they’re a one-of-a-kind wonderful friend, an amazing cook, a prospective employer, or you appreciate the time they took out of their busy schedule, now is the time to tell them you noticed—and it will make them feel extra special.

Remember, the thank you note itself, although expected, can often be a pleasant surprise. And everyone wants to feel appreciated. So, the few minutes you take to tell someone you’re thankful could brighten their whole day…and yours!

A few ideas for social thank yous…

  • You always know the perfect thing to (do, say, give, etc.)
  • Your kindess during a difficult time was sincerely appreciated.
  • I feel doubly blessed…first for what you did, but mostly, for what
    you mean to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What to Write in a Thank You Card

 

We recently gave some advice on how to write a Thank You Note, and now we’re here with suggestions on what to write inside a Thank You card or eCard. You might be saying, “What’s the difference?” Although not vastly different, there are some points to take into consideration. You may want to write a bit more inside a Thank You card because there’s simply more room. Perhaps you’d like to be a bit more serious in a card… Read on for more tips and advice when writing a Thank You card.

Reflect on the person and situation you want to address. Is this someone you feel especially close to? Is the thank you for a gift or is this about a person’s generosity or thoughtfulness? If it’s the latter, remind them of how often you notice their generous spirit or willingness to do kind things.

Think about what the thank you is for. If for a gift, is it clear to you that they took time to choose it? Was their gift a reminder that you’re special to them? Is this for something nice they did for you or someone you care about? When you start answering some of these questions, it will help you develop some ideas of what to say.

Address them in a warm and personal way, thanking them for the specific gift or special thing they did. If they’re someone close to you, you can mention that you’re thankful for the gift, etc., but more than that, you’re thankful for their friendship, which you cherish all year through.

Let them know what the gift means to you. Did you eat the cookies they gave you right away or share them with your family? Did you wear the new scarf to work and everyone commented on it? Did their hospitality allow you to truly relax and enjoy yourself? Let them know that this gift has meaning for you.

You can then finish your note with a comment on how their gift or thoughtfulness makes you smile each time you think about it or let them know it added special meaning to your day.

The most important thing to remember is to be sincere…and to be yourself. Whether you go the traditional route or if funny is your thing, your appreciation will show through no matter which words you choose. So relax, and remember, too, that your note of thanks will start the year off right for both of you!

Finally, here are a few more idea starters that work well for many occasions:

  • Simply grateful for special people like you.
  • Your help was such a blessing.
  • Thankful, appreciative, grateful…that’s me because of you.
  • Thanks for all your special (caring) ways.
  • So lucky, so happy, so grateful for you.
  • Thank you for taking the time to be so thoughtful.
  • Could you have been any nicer? Don’t see how!
  • Thanks for thinking of me in such a special way.
  • Thanks…it was wonderful…just like you!
  • You’re a real sunshine-bringer!
  • You totally “out-niced” yourself!

 

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