Thank You Note Dos and Don'ts



In a day and age when it's more common to send emails and texts, some of the standard "rules" that normally apply to thank you notes sent on nice stationery may have been forgotten. And, yes, it is possible to send someone a "thank you" electronically, but there's something extra special about sending a heartfelt note expressing the same sentiments. Before you put pen to paper, however, let's go over some thank you note dos and don'ts you'll want to keep in mind.


Do Use Personalized Notes Appropriate for the Occasion

Stationery isn't just fancy paper. Take some time to pick thank you note paper that reflects your personality. Also, keep the occasion in mind. If you are thanking family members or friends for birthday or Christmas gifts, for instance, informal stationery is fine. With business-related expressions of gratitude, go with something more formal.

Don't Get Off Topic

A thank you note should have a specific, single purpose -- to thank the recipient for something they did or a gift they sent. Avoid the temptation to stray off topic and include other family news or a reference to an upcoming business meeting.

Do Reference Why You Are Thanking Someone

Use a few sentences to explain what the "thank you" is for. Even if your recipient knows why you are sending the note, you'll make more of an impression if you let someone know how you love using your new salad spinner or how much you appreciated all the help setting up things for your parents' surprise anniversary party.


Don't Get Carried Away with Your 'Thank You'

Telling someone that their gift is "the most wonderful thing I've ever received in my entire life" will likely come across as insincere, or it might be mistaken for sarcasm. Instead, honestly show appreciation. An added touch like, "These Italian spices remind me of the wonderful aromas I remember from my mom's kitchen" is just fine, as long as you mean it.


Do Proofread Your Note

When you're all done, read back what you wrote to see how your message comes across. Then check it again for spelling and grammar errors. It may be frustrating if you end up having to do a rewrite, but your recipient will appreciate a flawless note with a clear, meaningful message.

If it has been a while since you've written thank you notes, do a practice run with a sheet of plain paper. While the preferred writing style with notes is cursive handwriting, make sure it's legible enough for your recipient to decipher. Remember, there's no backspace on stationery either, so take your time as you write your notes. For a complementary touch, you can also hand write the envelope information.

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