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