You can effortlessly say ‘thank you’. But it can be quite hard to frame a ‘thank you’ note. Most of you might be aware of the ways to do it and it sounds easy. Still, it frustrates you when only the salutation ends up hogging half of your time. The problem is that the right words always seem to evade us in the time of need; all words seem insincere, insufficient and inept. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite easy to write a thank you note; all you have to do is follow some simple rules. As in the case of all other writing, think of your audience while saying thank you and get into the shoes of the person whom you want to thank. Do not get intimidated by the choice of words as thanking people in less-than perfect words is any day much better than not thanking at all. Thank you notes come in both personal and professional contexts. In personal context, they are written on receiving a gift or help from a friend or even for attending an event. In professional context, a thank you note can be written to an organisation for rendering their services. A simple thank you note shows your gratitude and improves or reinforces your image as a humble and thoughtful person.
Thank You Note Etiquette
Writing A Thank You Note
- Start the conversation with ‘dear’ followed by the name of the person. If ‘dear’ sounds too formal and you are quite familiar with the person, then you can write just ‘hi’ or ‘hi’ followed by the recipient’s name.
- Express your gratitude for the gift as in the lines ‘Thank you for the fuzzy blue scarf’. If the gift is money, make use of euphemism such as, ‘thank you for the kindnesses’ or ‘thank you for the generosity’.
- Write at least three sentences about the gift including something you did with it, the reason why you liked it and the day when you plan to use it. Split the sentences into two parts; this will make the note sound more sincere. For example, ‘It matches many of my clothes and I know I’ll use it on my trip to Iceland’.
- If you are thanking someone for holding an event like a party or a dinner, be specific about what you enjoyed about it.
- For some recipients, mention some news about your life. Though this is not always appropriate, you can include this when writing to those whom you meet occasionally and those who are curious about your life.
- Convey the message that you are pleased about the thought, time and effort they put into it and the event for which the gift was given. Saying things such as, ‘It was so thoughtful of you to think of me on my birthday’, is considered mature and thoughtful.
- Close the note by referencing the past and alluding to the future. If a person gave you gifts at a recent event, write that you were so happy to see him during the event. Then, say ‘I hope we all can get together again next year’ and if it is a person whom you see on an infrequent basis, then just write, ‘I hope to see you soon’.
- Repeat your thanks in the last line which makes the note perfect.
- You can now sign off the note. If you are writing to close friends and family members then “Love”, followed by your name, is fine though it can be too syrupy while sincerely can be too formal. If the relationship falls between these two, there are neutral valedictions which can be fit into a variety of occasions. For example Yours Truly, Truly Yours, Kindest Regards, Warmest Regards, Best Regards, Respectfully, etc.
- You can then sign your name. Ensure that you do it in a modest manner so that the recipient easily identifies you.
- In case your thank you note is a reply for a condolence on occasions such as deaths, accidents or other unfortunate situations then send across a note saying ‘thank you’ accompanied with a rose.
A Few Useful Tips
- Do not wait for a year to send a thank you note; it must be send as soon as possible so that the significance of both the gift and the gratitude doesn’t fade. Standard etiquette says those gifts which were received at the wedding shower or before the wedding day should be recognized within two weeks. Gifts received on your wedding day should be acknowledged within two months or six weeks.
- Thank you notes must be addressed to the person who signed your gift card. If the card was signed by Mr. X, write to him or her specifically. However, do mention the rest of the family if you know them.
- It is better to avoid printed or fill in the blanks thank you cards.
- While writing a farewell ‘thank you’ note to the organisation in which you worked, never write anything negative about the firm, not even as a joke.
- Never print the ‘thank you note’ on your computer. It is always advisable to write handwritten notes. In case the ‘thank you’ notes have been delayed, it is good etiquette to apologize for the delay.
- Avoid mentioning about the cost or fiscal value of gifts.
- Never be general with your job interview ‘thank you’ notes. Take this as a chance to express your personality too.
Sending a ‘thank you’ note is always a nice gesture. However, most of the people struggle to pen exactly what they mean. This is where following the above mentioned rules comes to your help. Writing a ‘thank you’ note is not as exhausting as you think. Once you are clear about what to express and how, drafting one would be a cakewalk for you.