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Make it clear that you’re writing with that person in mind, and your thank you notes will be elevated from social obligation to the warm expression of thanksgiving they should be
In many situations, social norms have formed around thank you messages. They’re an expected part of a transaction, and a failure to send one can reflect badly on you. In other cases, there isn’t an expectation, and sending a message is entirely voluntary. Particularly in these cases, where a thank you note isn’t expected, sending one regardless can be an extremely kind action.
But how do you know when to send thank you cards? Read on. Some of the items on this list will likely be familiar, while some may not. But all are situations where sending a thank you card is the right thing to do.
For better or worse, wedding thank you cards have become a social requirement. It’s considered fairly rude to accept a wedding gift without sending out a formal, written thank you message.
We say “for better or worse” not because we think wedding thank you cards are a bad idea. They can be a beautiful expression of gratitude at a joyous time in your life. But because they’ve become a social expectation, they’re now an obligation instead of a pure expression of thanks. In our view, this robs them of a bit of their emotional impact.
But this simply means that you need to be more intentional in expressing your true feelings of gratitude when writing your message. You can overwhelm the feeling of obligation by making sure that every message you send is personalized to the recipient, beyond simply mentioning the gift they sent. Make it clear that you’re writing with that person in mind, and your wedding thank you notes will be elevated from social obligation to the warm expression of thanksgiving they should be.
When you send a thank you note for baby shower gifts, you’re simultaneously thanking your guest for the gift as well as their presence at the shower. This dual purpose can make your thank you cards particularly meaningful.
It’s also worth noting that not only should you send thank you cards to everyone that gave you a shower gift, but you should also mail a more involved, more heartfelt message to the hardworking friends that organized and hosted your shower. It’s likely that they spent a considerable amount of time, energy, and money putting the shower together. This deserves an appropriately enthusiastic thank you.
These are not a social obligation, but they are a very good idea. Sending a warm, confident card to say, “thank you for your time” is a great way to heighten your interviewer’s perception of you. The gesture demonstrates that you’re a thoughtful person, someone that puts the emotional needs of other people above your own.
Thank you notes also bring you back to mind days after your interview. This can be enormously helpful in getting a callback or even a job offer. You don’t want to be the candidate that was interviewed early on and then forgotten in the flurry of candidate interviews that came after. A thank you note is an unassuming way to remind your interviewer about your candidacy.
Checking in after the fact is important, too, but this can be seen as pushy. However, if the interviewer already has a positive view of you, due to your thank you card, the aggressive overtones of a check-in email can be removed.
Writing a letter of recommendation is a big favor. It takes quite a bit of time and thought to craft an effective recommendation letter. If the person is a friend, you know they’re investing the time because they want the best for you.
But if the person is just a coworker or business contact, they’re probably writing the letter out of the goodness of their heart, simply because you asked them to. A gesture of that size demands an appropriate thank you.
How much time did they spend writing the letter? What kind of emotional investment did they make? Isn’t it reasonable to spend a comparable amount of time expressing your gratitude in a thank you card? The gesture will demonstrate that you recognize the sacrifice they made and let them know that it was worth it.
A person’s home is their personal space. Inviting someone to stay for any period of time is a significant interruption to their normal routine. That’s not to say that they consider it an inconvenience. It’s almost certain that if they offered their home to you, they wanted to involve you in their lives. However, it’s important to recognize the deep, personal nature of the favor they provided.
Sending a thank you card recognizes the sacrifice your host made on your behalf. It demonstrates that you understand what you must mean to them to allow you into their home for an extended stay. In the process, a thank you message can help cement the bonds of friendship that triggered their offer in the first place.
If the person is a real friend will they be offended if you don’t send a thank you card? More than likely not. They would likely never put that expectation on you. However, a warm thank you card will brighten their day and cause them to think back fondly on your visit, and that’s worth a postage stamp.
In all of the situations above, an email isn’t enough. Nor is a store-bought card that you just sign and mail off. In order to be effective, a thank you card needs to include a thoughtful, personal, hand-written message.
But you may not have time for that. It’s understandable. Life can be busy. That’s where Simply Noted comes in. Our automated handwriting machines use real ballpoint pens to craft handwritten messages that look like the real thing. You send us your message and we’ll take care of the rest. Your recipient will get a thoughtful, handwritten card with all of the emotional impact you intend.
Never forget sending a Birthday card again with Simply Noteds Birthday Automation tool. Set it and forget it and wait for your friends, family and colleagues to thank you!