Business Etiquette

The Power of a Handwritten “Thank You” Note

November 22, 2011  |     |   0 Comment

Never underestimate the power of a handwritten “thank you” note.  Thank you notes are written to express gratitude for any gift you receive or appreciation for another person’s time, generosity, consideration or random act of kindness toward you. They let the giver feel appreciated and they’re likely to remember your gratitude in the future.


You should personally handwrite a thank you note. It is more polite to personalize your note with your own handwriting rather than having it printed. Your recipients will appreciate the time you took to write it out.  Emails lack a personal touch and pre-printed thank you cards give the recipient the impression that you don’t have time to personally thank them.


Ideally, it is best to send your thank you note within one week. However, “better late than never” always applies, so do not use the passage of time as an excuse to not send your thank you note. High quality stationary, a black pen, and a store of stamps are important to have on hand to ensure that you get your notes out in a timely and presentable manner.


Inside the card, address the person who gave you the gift. Next, express your gratitude by mentioning the gift specifically in your thank you note. For example, if you received a sweater, rather than just saying, “Thank you for the sweater,” you can say, “Thank you for the beautiful, blue, silk sweater. It fits perfectly.” If you received a monetary gift, do not mention the amount in your note. Rather, express how you plan to spend the money. You should also mention how you plan to use or when you will use the gift. If you received more than one gift from someone, you need to mention each gift. You should also mention your relationship with the person who gave the gift before expressing your gratitude again and closing your note. As a general rule, you should close your note with “sincerely” if your note is for a business colleague or someone you do not know very well. However, if it is a personal note to a good friend or family member, “love” is appropriate as a close to your note.


If writing thank you notes has not been part of your life’s practice, it is never too late to start. Not only will you leave a lasting and positive impression with the recipient by taking the time to acknowledge your gratitude toward them, but you will also make the recipient feel appreciated.


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