All You Need to Know About a Thank You Note Etiquette


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Gift givers don’t expect a thank you note, but sending it would be a graceful move. It shows that you have received and appreciated their gift. A personalized thank you note makes the gift giver feel nice, while it portrays your beautiful personality. A thank you note should also be sent when you have received a favor from someone. While an email thank you can as well do the job, a pen-and-paper note makes it even special. Be it a birthday, baby shower, or a wedding thank you message, you should be aware of the general guidelines when writing one. When you know the protocols, your message makes an impression to remember. You are on the right page if you want to know about a thank you note etiquette.

Each thank you note you send should be unique and meaningful to the receiver. If you are well organized and make it a point to show your gratitude for every gift you receive, ensure to keep a handful of cards in your cupboard. Thank you notes are also considered as a timeless and significant aspect of social etiquette. In addition, they are a gesture of your respect and gratitude.

Make the right note

If you send thank-you notes to multiple people who attended your event, take help from a couple of close friends and make a list of the gifts received. Check each gift, note down the first and last name of the gift giver, and write a detailed description of why you liked his/her gift. This would make your note extraordinary. Be sincere and original.

Be specific

Do not generalize your note. Be specific and explain how you are looking forward to using the gift. Say ‘Thank you for your generous gift’ if you receive gift in the form of cash. On the other hand, say for instance, you received a piece of jewelry, say ‘Thank you for the lovely gift. This is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Highly appreciate your taste! I really am waiting to wear it and host another party’. When you rightly learn the thank you note etiquette, your message truly stands out. Make sure to keep your message short and to the point, though.

Personalize your note

When you need to write thank you notes to tons of people, well, we know it would be difficult. It would be wise to use templates under such circumstances. However, please understand that nobody would be interested to go through a generalized note. Add a personalized touch if you truly want to thank your gift givers from the bottom of your heart.

Begin your thank you message with a greeting. Suppose you want to thank someone for their wedding gift, say ‘Dear Uncle Benn, loved the silver bracelet. It is fantastic. Thanks for traveling all the way from Las Vegas. You made my day on my big day!!’ If they sent a gift but could not attend your wedding for some reason, let them know how much you missed them. A personalized comment can go a long way in maintaining relationships. It would be nice to send a thank you note even if you do not like the gift.

Send your note as soon as possible

Do not delay sending thank you note. Try to be as quick as possible. While you can immediately text a thank you message for a standalone gift, you can take 6-8 weeks to send out personalized thank you cards. A handwritten note can be more touching and make an impact that lasts. You would be appreciated if you send a thank you note within 24 hours. A swift thanks from your end can greatly impress the gift giver. The more you delay, the less appreciative you will look.

Email note

Nothing can replace a handwritten thank you note. However, if you are close to the gift giver and pretty sure that he/she is okay with an email note, you can go ahead. If you have sufficient time, then please write a thank you note and send it across. This is most appropriate according to the thank you note etiquette rules.

Do not thank someone for thanking you

This is a mistake people often commit. If someone sends you a flower gift basket for the favor received from you, there’s no need to send them a thank you card. An email or a simple text admiring the flowers is more than sufficient. Otherwise, you will get caught in a thank-you loop.

Sync the tone

The tone of your thank you note should sync with the relationship you share with the gift giver. For instance, a note to your long-time friend should be more personal and intimate while you need to keep it formal if you are addressing a prospective employer. On the other hand, thank you notes to your cousins and friends after a baby shower event can be humorous, light, and fun. If you are thanking a business partner or client, try to align the message tone with their personality.

If you doubt how your note will be perceived, hold on. Read it aloud for a couple of times and send it only once you are confident.

Flawless message

When you are writing a thank you note, make sure to check the message for possible spelling and grammar mistakes. Write a draft, proofread it and then copy it on to the card you will send. A neatly written, error-free message stands high on clarity.

Short and sweet message

Remember, it is a thank you note and not a letter. Keep it short and try to express your admiration in 4-6 lines. For example, ‘We loved the framed picture of us standing in front of the White House. It reminds us of our wonderful trip to Washington. We have no words to express the quality of your hospitality when we visited you. You made us feel special and warm, at home. We especially enjoyed playing board games in the garden with your children.’ Wind up your message with a warm closing. Thank you note etiquette rules require you to use words such as Lovingly, Sincerely, Warmly etc., depending upon the relationship you share with the person.

A verbal thank you will also do if you share an intimate relationship with the recipient however please understand that a pen-and-paper note carries an invaluable touch and expression.

Carefully choose a postage stamp

You can make the thank you message more personal by choosing a stamp that aligns with the season of the year, or perhaps your interest. Furthermore, ensure to use your best penmanship to address the envelope. Avoid using a postage meter.

Will a thank you note make a difference?

Yes, of course! If you send a thank you message, your gesture will be appreciated. You will be remembered for all the good reasons. However, if you do not send a note, you will still be remembered, but for not being generous or thankful. To conclude, your thank you note should be emotional and connect with the sentiments of the recipient. Just be authentic and to yourself. A thank you message, additionally, puts you in positive spirits while offering happiness to the giver.

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