It’s important to send a written thank you note card for gifts received, such as a birthday gift, graduation gift, housewarming gift, from a bridal shower or a wedding. But it’s also really nice to send a thank you note when someone does something very helpful for you, such as driving you to the airport or helping you by doing a carpool route for you. Also, sending a thank you note for business related situations is important too, such as after a job interview or after receiving a pay raise or when you receive a reference letter.
It’s always a good idea to have a box of thank you cards handy at home for such notes. When you are sending a number of thank you notes at the same time, such as after a wedding or bridal shower, it’s also very important to make it an organized effort. You will want to have a list of the gift-givers names and complete addresses and a list of the presents you received to make your note writing easier.
Have a supply of personalized thank you note cards that reflect your personality and are appropriate for the occasion. You might need business stationery or fun personal stationery or more elegant wedding stationery, depending on the occasion.
To write a proper thank you note, here are some ideas to assist you:
1. Hand write the note as it’s much more personal, even if you don’t have the most beautiful handwriting. Never type or print the notes.
2. Stick with a formal greeting if you are not on a first name basis, such as “Dear Mr. Davidson”. But if you are a personal friend or on a first name basis, you should start the message with the first name, such as “Dear Jamie”.
3. Make the message personal. In other words, try not to simply say “thank you for the gift”. Mention something about the present that you liked and acknowledge that the gift is appreciated.
4. When writing the note, use language that is heartfelt such as thoughtful, lovely, appreciated, cherished, adored, meaningful, enjoyed, considerate, grateful and valued.
5. Be very careful of your spelling and grammar when you write the note. Look up spelling if you are unsure.
6. Personal notes should end with a less formal closing such as “Love,” “With love,” or “Best wishes” and a business thank you should have a closing less personal such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards”.
7. Carefully address the envelope in easy-to-read handwriting. Be sure to have a complete address including city, state and zip code. Do not use a computerized sticker on the envelope.
8. Be sure to use the proper amount of postage. Square envelopes require additional postage. Bring one note in the envelope to the post office if you want to be sure you are properly posting the envelopes.
9. Purchase a stamp that will match the occasion. If your thank you notes are for wedding gifts, buy a stamp with a heart or the word love. Check with the USPS for available options. If you are sending thank you notes from holiday gifts, look for a holiday stamp for example.
10. It’s best to send a thank you note as soon as possible. Business thank you notes should be sent within 1-2 days when possible. For social gifts, the time frame is much more lenient, however, try to send those notes out within 1-2 weeks, or on the outside, try to send personal thank you notes no later than 4 weeks. Remember, it’s never too late to send a note after that time but acknowledge that you are belated in your thanks.
Happy thank you note writing!