Crafting the Perfect Thank You Note
There’s a piece of southern etiquette that never goes out of style: sending a handwritten note of thanks. Not only is it an act of gratitude, but it makes you stand out in today’s digital world. It seems that physical mailboxes are always filled with junk mail and bills. (The same thing is certainly true for email inboxes!) So imagine the excitement of sifting through that mail to uncover a handwritten note. It is nice to know someone appreciates you, your actions, or your events.
In this digital world, it is too easy and informal to open your email and type a quick thank you email. Pulling out your favorite notecards to write a quick note is a great way to distinguish yourself. It sends a message that you cared enough to invest a few minutes of your time.
WHEN TO SEND A THANK YOU NOTE
Notes are an opportunity to reach out, to connect and to show appreciation. The most common reasons for sending a note are thanks for favors, gifts and invitations to dinner, but a thank you for a business meeting or interview should always be on your list of priorities.
On a personal level, you should always send a note when you receive a gift or attend a party. But what if you host a party? Yes, the host of a party should send thank you notes to all the attendees. It completes the party experience. Take a few moments to thank your friends for attending your event. Use it as an opportunity to tell them how great it was to see them. And hopefully your note will cross their thank you card in the mail!
On a business front, you should always send a handwritten note for an interview or luncheon. This note should be put in the mail the next day and should include specific details (see below). Generic thank you cards that lack personalized details are not worth sending.
KEEP IT FUN
Notecards should reflect your personality. While there is nothing wrong with a formal white notecard and black ink, but a fun design like a flamingo notecard or a pineapple notecard is a way to distinguish yourself.
Don’t forget the stamps! Sure, you could use any old stamp but your postage can be a fun extension of your personality, your stationary, or your event. Are you a football fan? Use a football stamp. Are you writing on a magnolia notecard? Use a flower stamp. Did you throw a Fourth of July Party? Use a patriotic stamp.
TIPS FOR CRAFTING YOUR NOTE
Greeting: Always make it personal. This is a handwritten note, so there’s no need to be overly formal but if it is a business-related message than Mr./Mrs. Smith would be preferred as opposed to Joe/Sue.
Express Your Gratitude: There are several ways to say thank you like thanks so much, I’m so grateful, I really appreciate… The only important thing is to make sure you say it off the top.
Include Specific Details: If it was a business meeting, mention what you talked about, if was a gift, mention how you will use it or that you love it and if it was a dinner, mention your favorite food item. The inclusion of details demonstrates you were engaged and aren’t just going through the motions.
Look Ahead: Use this to mention the next time you might see them, invite them to dinner or look forward to hearing from them. All of this will let them know you are thinking of them and enjoy your friendship or business relationship.
Close with Another Round of Thanks: Go ahead and say thank you one more time. Not only does it provide a nice closed to your note, but it reinforces your appreciation for the recipient and their actions.
WHEN TO SEND YOUR NOTE
While it is NEVER too late to send a thank you card, the best time to mail a note of thanks is within a week of receiving a gift or attending an event. If more than a few weeks have passed, you should still send the note but simply acknowledge the time. Say something like, “I’m sorry it has taken me a little while to say thank you.” Everyone is busy so your recipient will understand and respect that you still took the time to write the note.
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