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How to Write a Thank You Note - Best Tips and Examples

How to Write a Thank You Note - Best Tips and Examples

Thank You Note Examples - Best Tips and Tricks


Writing thank you notes is something we’ve all done, and likely from a young age. Many of us can remember our parents insisting we send thank you notes to our relatives. While it was challenging to write a thank you note then, particularly because of how hard it was to generate enthusiasm over yet another sweater, one might imagine it gets easier as adults.  

 And yet, many people still aren’t entirely comfortable with the form and have difficulty coming up with ways to thank someone. This article will break down a thank you note into its constituent parts and then provide some concrete examples that you can use as starting points for your thank you cards. Let’s get started!

Remember that gratitude is an emotion best expressed with an open heart. So, while you want to make sure your note is well-written, don’t get too caught up in making it perfect. The most important thing is that you express your thanks and let the recipient know how much their kindness meant to you. Let’s get started!

SEE ALSO: How 365 Thank You Cards Will Change Your Life (and Your Business)

THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF A THANK YOU NOTE

Thank you notes don’t need to be lengthy. You aren’t writing a letter. The point is to express your heartfelt gratitude in a bite-sized communication that your recipient can quickly appreciate and digest. As such, these notes all follow a basic structure that you can use to create your own. Having a structure makes it easier to organize your thoughts because you're composing a "fill in the blank" as opposed to staring at a completely blank piece of paper.

 Of course, you’re free to play with the form as you wish, but you might consider following these guidelines to start until you’re comfortable with writing a basic thank you note.

Begin With a Standard Greeting

Nothing groundbreaking here. Thank you cards start the way most other written communications do, with an opening salutation of the “Dear So and So” variety. 

 Pay attention to your level of formality. In most cases, it’s fine to address your recipient by their first name, particularly if you know them well. However, if you’re sending a thank you note in a business context or for some other formal purpose, stick with an honorific and your recipient’s last name, like “Mrs. Johnson” or “Mr. and Mrs. Davis.” 

 How you preface their name is up to you. “Dear Leslie” is a perennial favorite, but you could also try “Greetings, Mr. Smith”, “Hi, Larry”, or “Hello Ms. Roberts.”

SEE ALSO: 5 Incredible Thank You Messages for Loan Officers

Begin With a Standard Greeting

Move Directly Into “Thank You”

We weren’t kidding when we said that thank you notes should be short and sweet. Once you’ve gotten your salutation out of the way, go right into your thanks. Writing this way lets your reader know the purpose of your card immediately. 

 Be specific about what you’re thanking them for. More than likely they already know, but it’s nice to remind them. It’s better to say “thanks for the beautiful blouse” rather than “thanks for the present.” It shows that you were paying attention and provides a bridge into the next section of the card, as you’ll see. If you do open with "thank you for the gift" make sure to list what the gift was in the next section.

 Here are a few examples.

  • “Thanks so much for the coffee maker!”
  • “How did you know I wanted colored pencils? I was so delighted when they arrived!”
  • “I really appreciated the chance to meet with you about your business opportunity.”
  • “Thank you for your generous contribution to my fundraiser!” 

Expand on the Reasons for Your Thanks

After thanking your recipient, add a line or two about why you appreciate them. This helps personalize the card and lets the reader know what you loved about their gesture. This kind of personalization helps you avoid the trap of generic thank-yous. Think of it this way; if your thank you message could apply to anyone, it won't be impactful for anyone. Personalization is the key. You might say something like:

  • “I can’t function without my coffee, and since our old pot broke, I’ve been struggling to get out the door. You’ve made my morning’s great again!” 
  • “I’m so excited to start drawing with the kids. I can’t wait to show you what they’re capable of!”
  • “I’ve been hoping for something to help me break free of the nine to five grind, and your opportunity seems to be exactly what I’m looking for.”
  • “Helping feed hungry children has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and your donation will help bring our organization closer to its goals.”
Expand on the Reasons for Your Thanks

Show That You Appreciate the Giver as Well

It’s not enough to thank your loved one for their gift. You also want to include a personal thought that extends your thanks to the contributions they make to your life. This often involves making plans to meet sometime in the future, but other sentiments are fine, too. You might say:

  • “If you’re ever down our way, I’d love to catch up.”
  • “We’ll be in your area visiting family this March. We’d love to have dinner with you one night before we leave.”
  • “You seem like a savvy business person, so I hope to get the chance to pick your brain again in the future.”
  • “It’s generous people like you that keep our vision alive. We couldn’t do it without you.” 

Reprise Your Thanks

Your thank you note should begin and end the same way — with a heartfelt statement of thanks. Closing with a thank you leaves your reader feeling appreciated, which is why you’re writing in the first place. Appropriate closing thanks include:

  • “Thank you again for the wonderful gift.”
  • “The family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
  • “I appreciate your willingness to meet with me.”
  • “Everyone here is grateful for your unmatched generosity.”

Now all that’s left to do now is sign off. Be sure that your thank you letter closing matches the appropriate level of formality. “Sincerely”, “Yours truly”, “Your friend”, and “With all our love” are all good choices, depending on the context.

Reprise Your Thanks


REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES

Now let’s put it all together. Here are a few thank you message examples that demonstrate the structure above. Read them to get a sense of how all five sections flow into each other. You can use these card templates as a jumping-off point when you write thank you cards of your own. Just be sure to put a personal touch on whatever you create.

SEE ALSO: 5 Sample Thank You Cards for Business

Birthday Gift Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Janice, 

Thank you so much for your lovely and unexpected birthday gift. The writing journal you chose fits my needs perfectly. I’ve been working on making writing a daily habit, and your present will help me keep my commitment. I can’t wait to get started! Maybe I'll start with an entry about where I'm spending my birthday money. 

 You’ve always been very special to me, and your gift reminds me of why I like you so much. It was great seeing you at the birthday party. Maybe we could get together for a beer sometime soon? I’d love that. Thanks again for knowing me so well and providing such a perfect present. 

 All my love, 

 Stacy

Job Interview Thank You Card - Formal

Dear Hiring Manager,  

 I appreciated the chance to interview for your open editor position yesterday. Throughout my job search, I’ve been following your organization with great interest, and I’m excited by the chance to make a contribution to your company. I think your leadership style would be a good fit for my skill set. I’d love the opportunity to meet again if you feel I’m worthy. Thanks again for meeting with me! 

 Sincerely, 

 Jonathan Briggs

Close up on a baby shower table.

Baby Shower Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Patrice,  

 Thanks so much for attending my baby shower and bringing such a generous gift! I think the new baby is going to go through clothes like wildfire, so the more the merrier. And they're all so cute! Great choices. You were telling me that you and Tony were thinking about trying for your own little one. Hopefully, I'll get to attend a baby shower for you coming up soon! Thanks again and take care!  

With love,   

Linda

New Business Thank You Card - Formal

Dear Mr. McDonald,  

 Thank you so much for choosing our company for your service needs. It was a real pleasure working with you last Friday. I've been working in project management for many years now, and I've never worked with a more collaborative client before. Your participation is just what the project needed. I know your organization has had some tough times recently, and I think this new partnership is exactly what your brand needs. Thanks again for putting your trust in us. 

 With deep respect,  

 Marcus Miller

A couple getting married.

Wedding Gift Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Tim and Leslie,  

 Thank you so much for the generous wedding gift! We can't wait to see our new china gleaming in the kitchen. It feels like our new life together is really getting started. It was wonderful to see you on our wedding day at both the ceremony and reception. It was a wonderful wedding, thank you. And we're so happy you paid attention to the wedding invitations and brought a water gun. It was an epic water battle to be remembered! Thanks again!  

Your friends,  

 Bill and Brenda

Dinner Party Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Mitchell,  

 We're forever grateful for the invitation to your recent dinner party. It was a wonderful time with wonderful people and such a delicious meal! It was such a generous gift to spend the evening with your friends. Everyone made us feel appreciated and welcome so much so that no one felt like strangers.  

Please know that Sally will be baking you a sweet treat to say thank you. It's one thoughtful gift for another. The wine glasses you gave out were quite lovely! Thanks for being such a warm host. 

 With gratitude,  

 Stan and Sally

An employee working in a kitchen.

Employee Thank You Note - Formal

Dear Steven,  

 Thank you so much for all of your hard work over the last year. It was a challenging time, but you stepped up and help lead our company to a better future. There's so much to appreciate about you. You get all of your work done in a timely manner, even when it's difficult and time-consuming. You're interested in spending time improving your performance, and you always have the right words in client meetings. Please accept this generous gift card with our appreciation. 

 With immense gratitude,  

 Brett

Getting Settled Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Giselle,  

 Thank you so much for your help last weekend moving me into my dorm room. It was hard enough to leave my family and friends behind. You helped make things much easier on the other end. Now I have a comfy bed to lay down my head at the end of a long school day.  

Please accept this thank you card full of warm wishes as a proxy for the giant hug I'd give you if you were here in person again. Once I finish getting settled in, let's do lunch! I look forward to hearing from you and hanging out whenever we can. Thanks for being you! 

 Your pal,  

 Hugo

Hospitality Thank You Note - Casual

Dear Peggy,  

 Thanks for offering your place to us while our home was under renovation. It would have been perfectly fine to stay in a hotel, but your offer was so lovely. We had a wonderful time staying with your family and we never once felt unwelcome or out of place. It really made waiting for our next adventure to start a much more enjoyable experience. If you're ever in our area and need a place to crash, please don't hesitate to ask. Our house is your house. Thanks again and cheers! 

In your debt,  

 Victor and Michelle

Close up of a heart on a thank you note envelope.

Tips for Making Your Thank You Note Even Better

Whether you're thanking one person or sending gratitude for a group gift, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your thoughtful message even more impactful. Remember that your handwritten thank you note wording is critical to truly capture the depth of your gratitude. Along with the wording examples covered above, try these potential improvements.

Check your spelling and grammar

Don't ruin your thank yous with silly mistakes. Typos and small grammatical errors can easily be fixed by reading your note out loud before sending it off. If you're unsure about something, ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you.

Use specific language

When you're writing a thank you note, it's important to use specific language. This means using terms like "thank you" or "I'm grateful for" rather than general phrases like "thanks so much" or "great job." This will help your reader understand that you're truly thankful and sincere and personal.

Be sincere

Your thank you note should be sincere, meaning it should come from the heart. This means that you shouldn't try to force it or sound like someone you're not. Express your gratitude in a way that is authentic to you. Be genuine, and your recipient will appreciate it.

Use positive language

Be sure to use positive language in your thank you note. This means using phrases like "I'm so grateful for" or "thank you so much." Avoid negative words and phrases, such as "I'm sorry for" or "I wish I had." These can make your reader feel uncomfortable and may not reflect your true feelings of gratitude.

A guy checking his watch.

Be prompt

One of the best ways to show your appreciation is to send your thank you note as soon as possible. The sooner you can get it in the mail, the better. This way, your recipient will know that you're truly grateful and that their thoughtful gesture meant a lot to you.

Make it personal

Use moments from your experience to make your thank you note more personal. This could be a specific memory of something they did or said that made an impact on you, or simply mentioning how their kindness made you feel. Whatever it is, be sure to include it in your note to make it more meaningful.

Use proper etiquette

When you're sending a thank you note, it's important to use proper etiquette. This means using the correct salutation (e.g., "Dear Mr. Smith"), addressing the envelope correctly, and signing your name at the end. By following these simple rules, you'll show that you're a thoughtful person. 

 Thanking someone doesn't have to be hard. Just follow these tips and you'll be sure to write a great thank you note that will make the recipient feel appreciated.

LET SIMPLY NOTED SEND YOUR THANK YOU NOTES FOR YOU

A handwritten thank you note is the best way to express gratitude. But if you send a lot of them throughout the year, you may not have the time to pen them all by hand. Simply Noted can help. 

 Our fleet of handwriting machines use real ballpoint pens to craft wonderfully personal thank you notes that look and feel like the real thing. All you need to do is upload your messages and recipients, and we’ll take care of the rest! Give the gift of gratitude to all the special people in your life.

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