How to Write a Thank You Note

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Two of the most powerful words in any language are the words “thank you.” They express gratitude for situations and things both tangible and intangible that we are thankful for. When spoken aloud they evoke feelings of warmth, positivity, and happiness. In written form the words thank you are equally powerful in inspiring feelings of appreciation as well as affirmation that a kind gesture was acknowledged and properly recognized. Saying thank you can open doors for new business relationships, reinforce existing friendships, and extend a window of opportunity for communication. Thank-you notes are important tools in expressing gratitude, harnessing goodwill and cultivating relationships. When is it appropriate to write a thank you note? Whenever someone has gone out of their way to assist you, or when you receive a gift or other kindness.

Oftentimes the hardest part of writing thank-you notes is just plain sitting down and getting started. You’re not alone if you’ve been procrastinating when it comes to writing out your thank-you notes. It might be just the thought of having to find something to write inside each individual thank-you card. This can fill you with a sense of anxiety or possibly even cause a bit of stress. You know that some how, some way you’re going to have to come up with a series of great thank-you note wording and phrases to make that pile of thank-you cards sitting on your desk come to life. But what do you say when writing a thank-you card? No one wants to their message to sound awkward, choppy or insincere. You’d like your words to flow easily and have a lovely, heartfelt feel. Well, you’ve come to just the right place for thank-you note inspiration and professionally-written thank-you-card wording examples. It’s time to complete the task at hand. So let’s get started!

Choose a Great Set of Thank-you Cards

In the stationery section of the store, select a set of thank-you cards that are small in size. Unless you really want to fill an entire page with words of thanks, it’s best to stay away from purchasing full-size stationery or your shorter message will be floating in a sea of open space. Look for thank-you cards that are blank inside but have a nice photograph or illustration on the front that best fits with the situation for which your thank-you cards will be addressing.

Start on the Keyboard

Before you ink wording inside a thank-you card, it’s always best to write out a rough draft on your computer. This will give you the opportunity to make changes and spell check your sentences. This will also allow you to get a spatial sense of how lengthy your entry is, and how your wording might best fit on your actual hard-stock thank-you card once you start writing inside of it.

Begin with a Greeting

We recommend starting with the word “Dear” followed by the recipient’s name. If you’re writing your thank you to a person that you’re on a first-name basis with, it would be a bit silly to address them as Mr. or Mrs. In this instance your greeting should contain their first name, not their last name. If you’re writing a thank-you card to a family group, then it’s appropriate to address them using their last name followed by the word “family.” An example of this is: Dear Johnson family. Above all, take the time to ensure you have spelled all names correctly.

Express Gratitude

Now here’s where a lot of writers often get stuck and have trouble figuring out what to say. But it becomes easier if you can imagine actually standing right in front of the person you are thanking. What would you say to them in person to express how generous and thoughtful they’ve been and how thankful you are for their kindness? If you’re still not sure of what to say there are plenty of really great thank-you note examples on this website. Use them as a springboard to your own creativity and imagination.

Add Specific Details

Personalize your thank you card by adding specific details. If you’re thankful for a gift, describe the item using an adjective or two. Example: “The beautiful teapot nicely compliments my kitchen.” Or if you are grateful for a particular situation, mention a few specific details about the event. Example: “Your Super Bowl party was so much fun! I had a great time watching the football game with you and your friends and enjoying some really delicious snacks.” When writing your thank you note keep in mind that it does not need to be lengthy. It should be short and sweet, but most importantly – sincere.

Look to the Future – Optional

You can add in a comment about looking forward to seeing them again at an upcoming point in time. Example: “Let’s get together next month for dinner and a movie.” However, many times thank you notes are to persons whom you are not in regular contact with, so do not allude to future meet-ups if this is not something that would be a natural course of events; doing so so may create a feeling of insincerity.

Restate Your Thanks

You can end your thank you letter by simply restating your thanks. Example: “Thanks again for everything.”

End Your Letter Properly

If your thank you card is to a close friend or family member, then you can end your letter with words such as:

  • Love always
  • Love and hugs
  • xoxo
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Many thanks
  • Very fondly

However, if your letter is to a business associate, employer, or deals with a professional situation, then it’s appropriate that the closing of your thank you letter show a sense of courteous distance. There are several closing words you can use, but here are the standard options:

  • Sincerely
  • Regards
  • Best regards
  • Respectfully
  • Best wishes
  • Warm wishes
  • With sincere thanks
  • With gratitude

Sign Your Thank You Card

Signing your thank you card is the last step before you’re ready to address the envelope. For close friends and relatives signing your thank you note with just your first name is quite appropriate. However, when the thank you is going to a business contact or someone you don’t know all that well, your signature should include both your first and last name.

Now that you know the basic components of writing a lovely thank you card, scroll through the various thank-you note categories and wording examples on this site for more writing inspiration. New thank you notes are added weekly, so bookmark this site!

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