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I’ve had two requests recently on how to write a thank-you note. Mind you, these requests are from professional adults!how to write a thank you note

So, it seems this is a great time to review some quick tips on how to write the perfect little thank-you note.

The holidays have come and gone. And likely you received a few gifts or a party invitation or two or were a houseguest at your Aunt Sally’s. These are all examples in which a thank-you note lets the other person know much you appreciated their gift, hospitality and thoughtfulness.

Also, January is National Thank You Month!

So, here are a few etiquette tips on how to write a perfect thank-you note and when to send it.

First, consider your stationery supplies.

A packaged set of thank-you note cards works well. Or pick up individual thank-you cards at the drugstore.

Next, always start the note with a greeting 

Such as Dear Aunt Sally or Hello Bill. Using a greeting is more personal than just jumping right into the body of the note.

Thank you notes are short notes. So, express your appreciation in 4-5 lines.

  • First, mention the specific event or item and how you plan to use it. For example: “Bill and I love the framed picture you took of us on the beach in Cozumel. It brings back such fond memories of our Mexico trip with you.”
  • Or “You made our holidays so special by inviting us to be with your family this year. You made us feel so welcome and at home. We especially enjoyed playing board games in front of the fireplace.”
  • Or “Thank you for your generous gift of money. We plan to use it for our new sofa and can’t wait for you to visit and see it!”

Next, have a final short separate paragraph before the closing. 

For example, “Again, we appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.”

For the sign off or closing, use what fits your relationship with the recipient. 

Examples: Love, Warmly, Sincerely, Appreciatively. For the business thank-you note, use Sincerely, Warm regards, Kind regards, etc.

Use a real stamp, not a postage meter. 

A thank-you note is personal, so keep it personal by choosing postage stamps that reflect your interests or season of the year. And address the envelope by hand in your best penmanship.

Swift thanks is sweet thanks. 

Send the note within 24 hours if possible, or no later than 2-3 days after the event or receipt of the gift. Even if the note arrives several weeks late, late is better than no note at all.

Teach children the art of the thank-you note. 

Even pre-schoolers can send thank-you notes with the help of an adult. Purchase fill-in-the-blank thank-you notes which make the task easy and fun. As a child grows older, he or she can dictate to the parent what to write, and eventually write their own note.

Yes, you can send your thanks via email, or perhaps you thanked the giver in person, but there’s nothing that makes you stand out more…and makes the recipient remember you well…than a handwritten thank-you note.

In today’s fast-paced, microwave world, a hand-written thank-you note is part of good social etiquette. And it will always put a smile on someone’s face.

You may also like to read “How to Show Appreciation at Work.”

Image sources: Rachel Wagner

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer, and speaker. She is the owner of the Oklahoma-based business etiquette firm Rachel Wagner Etiquette and Protocol. www.EtiquetteTrainer.com. Rachel provides onsite and LIVE virtual training presentations on a variety of business and dining etiquette topics for corporate clients around the country. As an etiquette expert, she is interviewed and quoted in a variety of local and national media outlets. These include The Washington Post, MONEY, Forbes, and many more. She is also newly credentialed as a VEP, a Virtual Event Professional, and Zoom Producer.