5 Examples of When to Send Thank You Cards

when to send thank you cards

Rick Elmore  Athlete  Corporate Sales  Entrepreneur 

5 Examples of When to Send Thank You Cards

when to send thank you cards

Thank You Note Etiquette: When to Send?

Simply Noted makes it easy to send 100% real penwritten notes to scale. Just visit www.simplynoted.com to learn more. 

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. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with handwritten note etiquette. You could consult with the venerable Emily Post Institute or just read on.

Thank you cards are a wonderful way to let someone know that you appreciate them, particularly when you can't thank them in person. In the case of a gift, a thank you message personal note lets the sender know that you received it and gives you an opportunity to acknowledge the gesture. In other situations, they provide an opportunity to express gratitude in a tangible, personalized form. 

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. An example might be not saying thank you to a gift giver. Birthday gifts often require a thank 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. Knowing the proper etiquette is critical to your success.

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.


When to Send Wedding Thank You Cards?

For better or worse, wedding thank you cards have become a social requirement. Is it rude to not send thank you cards?

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.

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.

when to send thank you cards for wedding gifts

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.

Mailing Baby Shower Thank You Notes

when to send thank you cards after baby shower


When you send thank you letters or notes 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.

The social expectation on baby shower thank you cards aren’t quite as stringent as wedding cards, but it does exist. 

However, you don’t need to be quite as effusive when thanking baby shower attendees, so feel free to keep your message short and sweet.  

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. 

Sending Thanks After an Interview

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 job 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. However, cookies settings reject emails sometimes, so be sure to handwrite your thanks.

Thanking Someone For Writing a Letter of Recommendation

when to send thank you cards



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. If a business thank you gift seems appropriate, you can include one.

Thanks to Your Host After Being a Houseguest

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 and thank them for their hospitality.

Etiquette dictates that you write thank you notes for situations where your host was put out specifically on your behalf. If you attend a dinner party at someone's home with a number of other people a thank you note isn't expected because you aren't the sole beneficiary. However, if you stay with someone, even a close friend or trusted friend, you should always send a note. 

Likewise, if you attend a wedding party you don't expect to be thanked because many other people attended, too. But the party being honored by the party should give the personal touch of handwritten notes to each attendee. Gift givers are always interested in a thank you, and thank you note etiquette begs it. 

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.


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