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How to write a thank you note

April 16, 2013 That's Helpful


Did you know April is National Letter Writing Month? I’ll be doing a short series on Tuesdays for the rest of the month on how to write a few of the notes we’re most unsure how to write.

How to write a thank you note
What to write in a sympathy card
How to write a love note

How to write a thank you note

So let’s start with how to write a thank you note for a gift or something nice someone did for you.

1. Choose the right piece of stationery.
Do you like flowers? Do you like clean and simple? Guys, maybe something more masculine? Use a card that’s appropriate for you, the recipient, and the occasion. Something formal is out of place if you’re thanking a friend for watching your dog this weekend.

2. Address it to them.
Use their name inside your note. That way they know this was specially crafted for them.

3. Say thanks. (Duh.)
Thanks so much for your generous birthday gift! Thank you for dog-sitting Fido this weekend.
(Expert tip: If you’re writing a thank-you note for a monetary gift or a gift card, don’t say “thanks for the money.” Say “thanks for your generous gift.” You can clarify in the next part.)

You're sweet thank you card

4. Tell ‘em why you love it.
What are you going to do with the gift? Will it look great in the kitchen? Will you use it to decorate the kitchen? What are/were you able to accomplish because of their generosity? “These new sneakers actually MAKE me want to run in the mornings!” “We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation knowing Fido was in good hands.”

4. Look forward to time together.
Acknowledge that they are a part of your life. Say “let’s have dinner soon,” or “can’t wait to see you at grandma’s birthday party.” If it’s not likely you’ll see them anytime soon, maybe you can refer to the occasion of the gift. “I had a great birthday and even though we’re far apart, you were part of it!”

5. Thanks x2.
Say thanks again. (Literally, “Thanks again for your gift.”) It won’t hurt.

6. Sign it.
Love, all the best, always, whatever works best for you. And your name, of course.

Thank you card

7. The biggest, most important thing about writing a thank you note is …


People love receiving them. It doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean sonnet or the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written. Just a few lines to say thanks, that you thought enough of their generosity to take a few minutes of your day to write a handwritten note. Just do it.

Don’t forget to check back next week for how to write a sympathy card.

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