A hand written thank you note is one of the most powerful tools (and most under utilized tools) we all have access too. Not only does gratitude make us feel great, thank you notes serve to reinforce relational bonds and make you a person people want to help! Thank you notes should be a pretty simple process, but sometimes we over complicated things. Here are five of my biggest tips for writing the perfect thank you note.
1. Stationery Selection
One of the biggest mistakes I consistently make when writing thank you notes is selecting the wrong piece of stationery. The best thank-you notes are short and sweet, so make sure to select stationery that makes sense for just a couple of sentences. If you pick up a huge card, your note will either look super short and skimpy or you’ll have to write in giant kindergarten-style letters.
2. Get Specific
This is a pretty common piece of advice, but it’s so important. Make sure to get really clear about what you are thanking the person for giving you. If it’s a gift, then get specific about how you’ll use it in your life. If it’s something they did for you, talk make sure to include a sentence or two about you're grateful for the thing they did.
3. Give a Compliment
In addition to getting specific, it is hugely impactful to give a compliment in a broader context. Some of the most impactful thank you notes I have received, not only thanked me for the specific gift I gave them, but also for our relationship in the longer term.
4. The Sign-off
While you can keep things classic with a “Thanks again!” typically a more personal closing is better. I like to sign-off with “Best wishes” if I’m trying to keep things more formal or “Love” if it’s a note for family or friends. This may seem like a trite thing to worry about, but it truly is the bow on top of your note.
5. To Mail or Not to Mail
Mailing is the clear choice when you are sending something long distance. While you could certainly hand deliver a thank you note, if you see the person regularly, I think mailing it is generally the best choice. Who doesn’t love some nice mail! Unless it is massively time sensitive, I say mail it.
*Also I strongly believe your thank you notes should be handwritten unless you have a really good excuse, like both your arms are broken. Emails, DM, and even phone calls, just don’t have the same impact.