March 1st, 2015

7 Tips to Writing the Perfect Thank-You Note

by Jacqueline Whitmore

My personal thank-you note caddy.

My personal thank-you note caddy.

In the era of electronic connections, thank-you notes may strike some as relics. But I’m a big fan of writing notes.

When I was a little girl, my mother insisted that I sit down and write a note to my grandparents who always gave me $5.00 for my birthday. As I got older, I kept up the practice and now I try to write at least one or two thank-you notes a week.

A thank-you note can have a big impact because it’s more personal than an e-mail or text and it takes some effort on your part to write one.

Here are 7 tips to writing the perfect thank-you note.

Keep it simple. The note doesn’t have to be more than four or five sentences.

Be specific. In one short sentence, tell the giver how you plan to use the gift. For example, “The teapot will look beautiful in my new kitchen and will be used extensively this winter.”

Write by hand. What deters a lot of people from writing thank-you notes is their handwriting. If your handwriting is poor, print. I recommend practicing on a piece of paper before you write on the note.

Send it promptly. Try to send your note within 24-48 hours. Don’t let the passage of time keep you from sending a note at all. If you forget, send it anyway when you remember because it’s better late than never.

Make letter writing a fun exercise. It helps if you have personalized stationery. Invest in stationery with your own name on it. It’s much more fun to write a thank-you note if it reflects your taste and personality.

Buy nice stamps. The stamp helps customize the envelope, plus it makes it more attractive.

Finally, just do it. When you write a thank-you note, it shows that you care enough to express your gratitude and you create something that will last on paper and in a person’s memory.

These tips previously appeared in my interview with The Pueblo Chieftain, “Saying thank you in writing can have big impact.”

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