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The Almost Definitive Guide to Writing the Perfect Thank You Card or Note

Updated on August 23, 2014

There is a right (write?) way of saying thanks

When someone does something for you, it is best to show your appreciation. This does not mean you have to go to any extreme lengths in order to show the other person that you appreciate what they have done. Rather, simply sending a thank you card would be more than enough to get your message across.

Little things like this do make tremendously huge impressions. While you should not compare your actions to another person's, the truth is, very few people take the time out to send a thank you card. Your little gesture definitely helps you stand out and does speak volumes about your class and consideration of others.

Composing the Right Card in Style and Theme

Of course, you do want to be sure your message is properly received. Sending a thank you card without care and attention to the right decorum could lead to the message being taken the wrong way. That would not exactly be the desired effect you want to get from sending a thank you card.

So, you should follow a few simple steps for making sure your thank you card has the intended effect. You do not have to worry about any of these steps being complicated. There are all rather simple, straight forward and easy to put into use.

Quality Stationary

First, you definitely want to have the right stationary is you are sending a note as opposed to an actual card. Writing a thank you note on a blank piece of paper is not going to have the same effect as sending the note on well crafted and designed paper. Colorful paper is a nice touch as would be paper with visually appealing illustrations.

If you opt to send an actual thank you card, all the design and aesthetic components will be taken care of by the designer of the card. You might even be taken aback by the huge selection of cards available to you. However, the card itself will not reflect the words and expressions that would uniquely be your own. That is fine. The ability to effectively express yourself in a thank you card is not very complicated and the card will certainly give you enough space to actually do so.

Start Out the Right Way

So, how do you give thanks?

At the very beginning of the thank you note, you want to greet the person you are giving thanks. That means the note should begin with " Dear Terry," or the more intimate "My Dearest Terry,". Beware of using really curt intros such as " Terry," because beginning a thank you card like that seems like you just want to get it over with. That will not actually endear you to anyone.

These might seem like a very academic points but it is surprising how many people will make the unfortunate error or omitting a good introductory salutation. That is not a minor error! It is a major one because you are not directing your thanks to anyone in particular when there is no greeting. Such a note would come off as generic and impersonal which is definitely not the emotional content you want to put forth in your thank you letter.

Be Sure to.....Give Thanks

After you greet the person, you must immediately express your thanks within the context of noting what you wish to give thanks for. "Thank you very much for the birthday gift" or "Thank you very much for awarding me an interview for the open job opportunity" would be common examples. You do not have to be too verbose. You just have to be honest and sincere in your sentiments. What you never want to do is begin the thank you anywhere other than the beginning. Why so? Basically, if you do not thank the person clearly and distinctly at the beginning, your actual thanks can get lost in the content of what might appear to be an unfocused letter. So, always offer your thanks right at the beginning or else the card could loses some of its meaning.

The Heart of the Note, the Body

You now move into the body of the thank you note. This is where you add a few more details to the note. This does not mean you start to write a long and drawn out note that will be weighed down with a ton of details. Rather, you want to cover a few basic points about why you are so thankful about.

An example of this would be mentioning the use of any gift or item you are thankful for. Saying something to the effect of "The cost will come in handy when the cold whether arrives" or "I am very appreciative of the time you awarded me for the job interview" all get across very basic and necessary points. In a sense, you are being very specific with this component of the thank you letter. Again, you always want to be clear as to what you are being thankful of or else the note could be too vague or, worse, rambling.

Towards the Future

A mention of the future might be a nice touch in certain circumstances. This leaves the thank you a bit open-ended. Mentioning you hope to see the person at the next birthday party or that you look forward to working with the person would be examples of alluding to the future.

Emotional Content

A bit of emotion never hurts when you are writing the body of your thank you note. Now, this does not mean you go overboard and write too flowery of a body. That can make your thank you sentiment come off as both insincere and even silly. That said, the right emotional wording can help the body deliver the right impact with the person reading it.

A Good Conclusion

Your thank you card should have a conclusion as well. You do not want the body of the note to just be the end of the letter. A very short conclusion offering best wishes would be a fine way to sign off. Mainly, you want to reiterate your thanks ("Once again, thank you for the birthday gift.") and then give your regards ("Love, Terry") and your thank you card or letter is done.

Putting It All Together

The right way to craft a thank you card is not all that difficult, but there might be a few aspects to it you may not have initially thought of. Or perhaps, you may have had the wrong inkling of how to word it. Once the very simple aspects to a well written thank you card are pointed, you realize how easy it is to write a great one that is sincere and from the heart.


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