Nothing Beats a Thank You Note

‘Tis the season when we focus on gratitude. And nothing says “I totally appreciated that” like sending a handwritten note.

Okay – maybe diamonds or a big wad of cash would be more impressive. But when it comes to heartfelt and sincere, a simple thank you note takes the cake. It’s classy. It sends a powerful message about what you value {kindness, generosity, manners.} And it makes the recipient feel special. Really special.

So why don’t we actually do it?

Stumbling blocks typically involve things like “I don’t have decent stationery. Or stamps.” “My handwriting sucks.” Or the tried-and-true, “Who’s got time?” All valid reasons, my friends. But if you don’t mind my sayin’ – they’re just excuses.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, why not up your gratitude game?

It’s easy to make the leap from thinking about expressing your thanks to showing your appreciation in a way that will have a big {and lasting} impact.

Here’s how:

  • Keep a stationery stash. I’m a total card nerd, so there’s always a stack in my desk drawer. If you’re not, keep a box of simple thank you notes handy or hop online and order some quality notecards printed with your name and{for business thank-you’s} company logo. You won’t regret the investment.
  • Buy a book of stamps. Skip the postage meter – there are plenty of decorative stamps you can choose from to add personality or panache to your note. Ditto for computer generated labels – no matter how bad your penmanship is, always hand-address the envelope.
  • Start with a simple “Thank You.” There’s no need to complicate things by being fancy or clever. If you have a way with words, feel free to jazz up your opening. Otherwise, it’s okay to just say thanks.
  • Be specific. Add a few details about what you’re grateful for. If it’s a gift, describe how you might use it. If it’s a referral, talk about how you plan to follow up.
  • Sign off with style. Express your thanks again or mention that you look forward to seeing the person in the future. End with “Sincerely” {unless it’s a close relationship} and your name. When sending thank you notes to people you don’t know well or to business associates, sign your full name to be on the safe side.

The more notes you send, the more reasons you’ll find to say thanks.

From making a good first impression to deepening an existing relationship, there are countless occasions that call for putting pen to paper. Acknowledging a gift or favor is obvious. But sometimes the most meaningful “thank you” is for something the recipient may not realize is important to you. Send a note to express gratitude for a friend’s advice or mentor’s support, a free lunch, a new business lead or company endorsement, or something as simple as the gift of time.

When someone receives a personal note from you, they will know you took time out of your crazy-busy life to let them know they matter. And knowing you made that person’s day a bit brighter is what the spirit of giving is all about.