The perfect thank you card consists of only 4 sentences. It may seem short and insignificant, but those few lines will have a big impact. Whether store bought or handmade, you simply taking the time to hand write a note and mail it will leave a lasting impression. Read on to find out why and how to write the perfect thank you card.
Handwriting Beats Typing
Recently on Instagram, I was having a conversation with friends about handwritten cards. “I love getting handwritten cards and letters. A true lost art,” Holly said. She’s right. It truly is a lost art. Writing by hand is more rare than ever with the advent of technology and the decrease in personal interactions.
There’s a hierarchy to how to make someone feel truly special and loved in modern times. Think in terms of birthdays. There’s a difference between a generic Facebook Happy Birthday post, a custom Facebook Happy Birthday gif or message, a personal text message, an actual phone call, and a physical card in the mail. Which one do you feel the most touched by?
The same is true for showing gratitude. You can leave a comment on Facebook or send a text, but how would it make the person feel to receive a card with an actual handwritten note? That you stamped. And put in a mailbox like it’s 1952. That’s impactful.
Elements of the Perfect Thank You
But, alas, you may have forgotten how to write it. I mean, yeah, you know how to write a note, but do you know what to say? And can you do it without emojis and acronyms?? Allow me to help. The perfect thank you note has 5 elements in it:
1) Express Gratitude
The very first sentence of your thank you note should very clearly state you are expressing gratitude. For example, start your note with one of these prompts:
- Thank you for…
- I really appreciate…
- I am so thankful that…
- I am grateful for…
- It really made my day when…
2) State the Gift
What are you thanking them for? A gift? Did they have you over for dinner? Help you with a project? Give you good advice? Finish the first sentence with why you are thanking them. For example:
- …the lovely sweater.
- …your help with the fundraiser.
- …I have friends like you to talk to.
- …the opportunity to meet you and your team.
- …you had me over to your house for dinner.
3) Explain the Immediate Impact
In the second sentence of your thank you card, sum up what impact their gift or action is having or had. How is their graciousness benefiting you or yours? Include a specific detail. For example:
- The sweater matches my skirt perfectly and makes me so happy.
- We raised $500 and I couldn’t have done it without your help.
- I felt so much better after we talked I actually slept peacefully.
- It was a great experience learning more about XXXX company.
- The XXXX you made was delicious.
4) Mention the Future
In the third sentence, mention the next time you will see the person. If you won’t see them again, try to mention how your future might be impacted by their act / gift. For example:
- I’m looking forward to our lunch date next week.
- I hope we get to work together again soon.
- I’d love to go see that movie we talked about. Let’s find a time that works!
- I look forward to hearing from you.
- Next month, let’s do dinner at my place.
5) Restate Your Gratitude
In your final sentence, say thank you again. Word it differently for variety. For example:
- Again, I can’t thank you enough.
- We really felt lucky to have you on the team.
- I am so blessed to have you as a friend.
- Thanks again for your consideration and time.
- Dinner really was fantastic. Thanks again.
Sign your card with a warm closing. Leave the person feeling nice after reading your note. Try something like: warmly, love, affectionately, all my best, yours truly, Etc…
Experts in manners and etiquette say a thank you should be sent as soon as possible and definitely within two weeks. Is it ever too late to say thank you, though? If it has taken you longer than you wanted to write the thank you note, simply state that at the beginning. “I’ve been meaning to write to you,” or, “Time has gotten away from me, but I still wanted to thank you for…” Most people will be touched to receive the note and not judge you for how long it took to arrive.
That’s it. The perfect thank you card consists of only 4 sentences, but has a really big impact. Whether store bought or handmade, you simply taking the time to hand write a note and mail it will leave a lasting impression.