How to Write a Great Thank You Letter

Many people are confused about the unspoken rules of writing a great thank you letter. Generally, when you receive a gift of any kind (yes, even the ones you’re not particularly fond of) you should send back a thank you letter or note to express your appreciation. In this post, we will discuss the different rules of writing a great thank you letter and what should or should not be included.

Things you SHOULD include in your thank you letter:

• You should address the recipient of the letter the same way you would address them if you were having a conversation with them. For instance, if you call your boss Mr. Jones – address him as such in the letter. Since most of us call family and friends by their first names, it is fine to do so in your thank you letter.

• You should include the actual name of the gift you received. Rather than simply saying, “Thank you for the gift,” you would say, “Thank you for the beautiful gift basket you sent for Christmas.”

• Elaborate on the previous statement to explain briefly how the gift was used. For instance, you might say, “We loved and enjoyed all of the treats in the basket, but the hot cocoa was our favorite!” If money was sent, do not include everything you purchased with the money. Something simple will suffice, for example, “Thank you for your kindness. Your gift will help a lot as we collect the things we need for the new house.”

• Thank them again as you close the letter.

Things you SHOULD NOT include in your thank you letter:

• Rather than starting your letter with something like, “I am just writing to tell you…,” simply start by thanking the recipient of the note. They already know you are writing to tell them something!

• When writing a thank you letter, do not add other details. Avoid using the opportunity to update the recipient on details of your life, job, etc. A thank you letter is just that – a letter to say thank you. Save the details for an actual letter, e-mail or phone call.

• If the gift was cash, never include the amount or even the word ‘money.’ Simply tell the individual thank you for the generous gift and what you plan on using it for. Example: “Thank you so much for your generosity. We plan to use it toward our kitchen supplies for the new home.”

Other tips for your thank you letter –

• Keep your thank you letter short and sweet. A short letter that expresses your gratitude for the gift is perfect and will not bore the individual.

• Another thing you should remember is to get your letter out quickly. Two to three weeks is perfect and eight weeks is the absolute latest you should be sending out thank you letters.

• Avoid a generic ‘thank you’ card and opt for cute postcards or stationary instead. Even a blank card with a beautiful or striking image on the front is perfectly acceptable.

When you send thank you notes, it allows individuals who have sent gifts to know how much you appreciated them and how important their gift was. Use the tips above as well as the sample letter below to help you write a great thank you letter! If you’re still having trouble writing your thank you letter or something else – stop by Priceless Writers and my partners and I will give you a hand!

Sample Thank You Letter

Dear Aunt Christina,

Thank you so much for the beautiful train ornament you sent before Christmas. It looked very charming on our tree. Todd and I both loved it because it reminds us how much we love visiting you and hearing the distant whistles of the trains close by. We will cherish it for all of our Christmases to come! Thanks again.


Judy and Todd

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Posted by Samantha

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Post or Email? Letter Writing Etiquette for the Digital Age | Priceless Writers Blog on December 9, 2009
  2. Pingback: Letter Writing Etiquette for the Digital Age | Priceless Writers on December 9, 2009
  3. Pingback: How to Write an Informal Letter to a Friend | Priceless Writers Blog on August 12, 2011
  4. Pingback: The Art of Letter Writing: Informal Letters | Priceless Writers on September 21, 2011


  1. thank you letters, February 9, 2009:

    very good tips on writing thank you letter.


  2. Thank You Note Examples, March 20, 2009:

    Nicely written thank you letters. Let’s make sure the handwritten thank you letter does not die out!

  3. Laurel Rogers, October 13, 2010:

    Thank you notes have always been a critical part of my world. I’ve written them all my life and consider myself very good at this timeless art.
    Communication in these notes must be personal, not generic.
    ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is a truism that has merits…Further, often special stationary can enhance the message and should be utilized.
    Great post-Thank you.

  4. Tommy, February 21, 2011:

    WOW. Thank you to whoever made this website… The name priceless writers is so great!

  5. Letter Examples, June 9, 2011:

    Thank you so much for the tips Ms Samantha. I find the tips very useful.

  6. letter writing, November 8, 2011:

    Thank you for providing lovely and wonderful tips on writing. thanks for them who made this site.Its the thought that counts.

  7. Merci by Sofi, January 7, 2012:

    It’s amazing how many young people can’t address a letter, let alone develop good habits like writing a thank you card. I think that in this day and age with so much technology, we need to get young people to see the value into handwriting Thank You notes. If the world were a little more appreciative, it would definitely be a better world to live in.

  8. hauw abdulazeez, May 27, 2012:

    Found the tips so helpful in writing a thank you letter for my daughter for her school proprietor who gave them a gift box for children’s day celebration. Thank you Samantha

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