Thank You Cards: The Five Elements

Posted by Judy on Aug 31st 2015

Only three or four sentences long, a thank you note is a golden opportunity to make the sort of personal connection that builds stronger professional relationships. Hand write a card whenever possible. The person receiving your note will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will not be grading your penmanship. A good thank you note that gets mailed is better than the perfect one that never gets written.

  1. Salutation: A surprising number of writers forget this, but people like to see their own names. If you are on a first-name basis, use it, otherwise use the more formal Mr. or Ms.
  2. Express your appreciation: Thank you is more formal; thanks is more casual.
  3. Describe the gift or experience: Mention how an object looks or how you will use it. Mention your enjoyment of an event. People want to know they made you happy. Even if there was a problem with the gift, keep negatives to yourself.
  4. Mention a connection: Discuss the past, allude to the future or mention something you have in common with the giver. If you can’t think of anything else express your desire to see or talk to the person soon.
  5. Close: An excellent close is Thanks again. It’s not overkill to repeat it.
Examples

Dear Jay,

Thanks so much for the tickets to Noises Off. Mike and I have always loved going to the theater, especially when it’s a comedy, and we laughed until our sides ached.

It was wonderful of you to think of us. We hope to see you the next time you’re in town.

Thanks again,

Charlotte

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for the beautiful housewarming gift. The basket of garden tools is perfect for my patio garden. It was so thoughtful of you to think of something that I will enjoy for many summers to come.

I look forward to having you visit so you can see how my garden is growing.

Thanks again for such a lovely and useful present,

Marian