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How to Write a Thank You Note: Wording and Examples

In this era of digital communication, it is clear email has replaced snail mail as the preferred method of communication. This is good news for our to-do lists, but bad news for keeping in touch in a meaningful way. Given this digital onslaught, the personal thank you note is more important than ever. A personal note holds far more clout than yet another quick email, and why would you want your friends and family to feel anything but special?

Who Should Receive Thank You Notes and Cards?

Anyone who gives a thoughtful gift, hosts a party or event, provides a service or kindness, or who generously offers their time should receive a thoughtful thank you for their effort. There's no particular gift or event that does not deserve a thank you note; if someone went out of their way, they always deserve to be acknowledged. That being said, if the gift or event in question occurs regularly, there's no need to send notes for each occurrence. There's no one too close for a specific thank you. Parents, siblings, spouses, significant others, and close friends are just as deserving as anyone else.

pink striped thank you note, blue striped thank you note and pink office supplies for desk

What Should a Thank You Note Include?

Stumped on what to include in you standard thank you? Follow our guidelines below for a fool-proof method! These wording examples are perfect for any occasion.

Salutation

'Dear,' usually works as a standard salutation. If that feels a little too cozy, simply begin with the recipient's name, i.e. "Mrs. Wright," or "Mom."

Expression of Gratitude

Thank you notes should always be short, so get right to the point. No need to complicate your gratitude either; a simple "thank you so much for your kind gift," "thanks very much for hosting the fun party last week" will suffice.

Mention Use or Experience

Great thank you notes should be personal, so make sure to include details about whatever's appropriate. What you love about their gift, what you'll use it for, how much fun you had with them at their gathering, or how much you appreciate their time should always be mentioned. Example: "I can't wait to use the gift card – I already have some things in mind!"

Reference Past or Future Contact

Just as you should mention what it was you liked or appreciated about their gift or service, be sure to include a mention of the recipient personally. Example: "I'm excited to see you this summer," "It was a pleasure speaking with you," or "I hope to see you again soon!"

Restate Thanks

Close by restating your reason for writing the note. This can be combined with your signature, particularly if you're writing to a close friend or family member. Example, "thanks again," "thank you again for the lovely gift," or "I so appreciate your time and effort." Include your name after a simple "thanks again," but be sure to finish more formal notes with a signoff like "Regards" "Sincerely" or "Take care."

Example:

Dear Aunt Rose,

Thank you so much for your generous birthday gift. I absolutely love shopping for accessories, and I'm sure I'll put the gift certificate to good use! It was lovely to see you at the party as well. Thanks again for coming, and for the sweet gift.

Love,
Michaela

Or

Dear Professor Moore,

Thank you very much for writing me such a kind and thoughtful recommendation. It's so reassuring to include it with all my applications. I really enjoyed your class this semester, and I can't wait to take your seminar next year.

Thanks again,
Thomas

Helpful Thank You Card Wording Templates

For a gift:

Dear Grandpa,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful Christmas gift. You're always so generous, and I really appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing you for dinner next week!

Love,
Theresa

For a service:

Molly,

Thank you again for hosting my family at your lovely home last weekend. We really had an amazing time, and I so appreciate your kindness. Let's get together again next year!

Thanks so much,
Becca

For someone's time:

Dear Dr. Martinson,

Thank you very much for your recent help on my final paper. It's so much stronger, and I couldn't have done it without you. Looking forward to seeing you at the event next week!

Thank you again,
Robert

gray folded merci thank you note with gold hearts

Thank You Card Do's and Don'ts

With so much to remember, we thought we'd include a few tried and true thank you note do's and don'ts. If you remember anything, make it these simple do's and don'ts and you'll be a masterful thank you writer in no time.

Do:

  • Write handwritten notes
  • Invest in personal stationary
  • Always send, even late
  • Keep it short

Don't:

  • Not send!
  • Express dissatisfaction with a gift
  • Be too impersonal
  • Make spelling or grammatical mistakes
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