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  • THE ART OF THE THANK YOU

    THE ART OF THE THANK YOU

    Thank You Notes are personal things, and even more so in the age of technology: they convey nuances of character and personality in a way that email and text never will. The very act of writing a thoughtful note of gratitude is said to put a smile on both the giver and the recipient.

    Don’t underestimate the power of a proper hand-written thank you note. They are typically written in blue or black ink and never printed off your computer. When done correctly—with the right choice of phrase and the right card (not sheet—those are reserved for condolences and formal business correspondence)—they are bound to get a recipient's attention, and remain memorable long after the occasion.

    Thank you notes should take some time and thought, and they should be timely. Below is a brief guide to note-writing etiquette, for various occasions

    The STRUCTURE

    Follow this basic formate to get it right every time.

    I. The Salutation: Dear ...,

    “Dear...” is often considered formal. It’s a good idea to address him or her as as comfortably as you would in real life. So “Hey Bob!” or “Hiya Liz!” works just as well as “Hello Robert” or “Hi Elizabeth”, depending on how you feel about the person.

    II. Thank you for...

    Start by thanking them for the gift or occasion you are writing about, and any gift. Some examples:

    Thank you for coming to my graduation, and the wonderful gift.
    Thank you so much for the gorgeous flowers, they made my day!
    Thank you for taking care of my pup while I was away.

    III. Describe your appreciation by highlighting use.

    Some examples:

    I was completely surprised that you could make it, and it really meant a lot to me that you attended.
    The petals look wonderful against the light in the room, they color the space so beautifully.
    I could tell he had a wonderful time accompanying you on your long runs.

    IV. End by continuing into a future idea, plan or connection.

    Some examples:

    I hope to see you soon, maybe get some coffee, when I am up there next month?
    Let's get together for dinner soon, I'll give you a call this week to make plans.
    We should really get together for a pup playdate soon!

    V. Closing:

    What seems appropriate for the occasion. Here’s a short list of common closings:

    Best regards,
    Best,
    Sincerely,
    Live Long and Prosper,
    Fondly,
    With affection,
    Lots of love,
    Hugs!

    The OCCASION

    GENERALLY…

    When you receive a gift, from anyone.
    When somene shows up for an important event in your life.
    After you interview for a job, promptly send a Thank You note for the opportunity to meet.
    When someone goes out of their way to do something for you, it’s always a good idea to say “Thanks!”
    When you feel gratitude for someone just being in your life, show it by sending them a card!

    BUSINESS

    The opportunity to interview
    Attending your event
    An outstanding employee
    Doing business with you
    Meeting with you
    Buying your lunch
    A job well done
    A referral

    GRADUATION

    Anyone who sent you a card/gift.
    People who attended, and don’t forget your parents.
    Teachers, professors, mentor, custodians. Graduation is the perfect moment to acknowledge that they helped make a difference.

    WEDDING

    Attendees, including your parents.
    People who gave you an engagement, shower, or wedding gift should receive a thank you note.
    Hosts of a party or shower for you.
    “Helpers” along the way including friends, co-workers, vendors and family.
    Your Maid of Honor.

    BABY SHOWER & NEWBORN

    Gift-givers, regardless of whether they could attend.
    Attendees of your baby shower.
    Hostess, to whom a personal thank you note sent in a timely manner is an absolute must.
    Any person who helped, from neighbors and friends to almost-strangers who took the initiative to make your life a little easier.

    The DOs & DON'Ts

    Here are some common caveats when writing a card.

    DOs

    • DO send it promptly, while you’re still fresh in their mind.
    • DO be personal, show care in your choice of words.
    • DO pick th erightstationery for the occasion and recipient.
    • DO check and double-check for typos, preferably before you start writing on the card.
    • DO remember the element of surprise: people love receiving a note or card, it’s a memorable gesture.

     

    DON'Ts

    • DON’T assume a text is enough (or an in-person thanks)
    • DON’T veer off point, instead write to be clear and concise in your sentiments.
    • DON’T send a pre-typed-up, shmaltzy, generic message. A note is a sign of care, and your personal writing—however brief—will always carry more weight than pre-printed text.

     

    TO CONCLUDE...

    Every note I've received has been quick and to the point, and yet managed to convey something personal. Sometimes it's because it came from someone with a sense of poetry, and at other times it was from realizing that someone stopped what they were doing, selected stationery, wrote something in it and sent it to me personally and privately.

    Your Thank You Note need not be complicated or unfamiliar. The very act of doing it puts you in another category altogether and with this brief guide—and a little practice—you're on your way. 

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