Thank you notes and cards are becoming a forgotten art in today’s digital world. However, they are still the ideal and appropriate way to express gratitude to loved ones, friends or colleagues for any gift, service, or act of kindness they have provided to you.
If you have ever wondered whether you should send a card or note as thanks to someone, the answer is probably yes. Even when you are unsure if the occasion calls for a thank you to be sent, it is often better to write one that may not be necessary than to not write one and realise later you should have sent one.
Regardless of whether you need to send one, the recipient will appreciate your gratitude. After all, as we said above, the purpose of a thank you card is to show your appreciation for something that someone has provided.
If a person in your life has done you a favour, whether a colleague, friend or family member, it is polite to acknowledge this with a heartfelt thank you.
When someone goes above and beyond the call of duty for you or at work, sending a thank you card is the least you can do as those people often go unnoticed in busy environments, and they’ll be pleasantly surprised to receive an acknowledgement.
An email will typically suffice in these situations; however, a handwritten note or card detailing why you are grateful can make a person’s day.
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When To Send A Thank You Card
You will never be wrong when sending a thank you card, and people will always appreciate receiving a thank you for their efforts. Some people expect thank you cards, so it is best to send one just in case you’re ever unsure.
Thank you cards are expected when anyone gives you a gift; this can be for a range of events such as birthdays, wedding gifts, baby showers, dinner parties, housewarming or any other situation where you are given a gift.
However, thank you notes are not limited to gift-givers, as many people will expect you to send your thanks to hosts of parties you’ve attended or the management team at your workplace for arranging a company outing.
It is also polite to send a handwritten thank you card to anyone who has sent you a congratulations or sympathy card.
If you have already thanked some in person for their gifts, sympathies or congratulations, then sending a thank you card becomes optional and something nice to do as an extra step but is not essential.
Choosing A Style For Your Cards
Choosing a style and design for your thank you card is vital for sending the right message. Ensure the card is blank, or mostly blank, inside so that you can handwrite your own heartfelt message without running out of room.
Then you need to choose an appropriate design, and your relationship with the person you are sending your thanks to will dictate how formal or informal the card can be.
A classic design for thank you cards is the all-white card with a simple but to the point ‘thank you’ printed on the front. This type of card can be used for any occasion but can come across as highly formal to those you have a more laid back relationship with.
Many people pick themes of a shared interest with the receiver and personalise their cards with images such as cats, birds, or flowers in the receiver’s favourite colours.
A new, more popular trend for thank you cards that can be used for any occasion is to create photo cards using images of the gift, the recipient using it, or if the thank you card is being sent by more than one person, a group photo.
These personalised cards from companies like Photobox are a fantastic way to show your gratitude in style.
Why You Should Handwrite Them
Handwritten notes are more personal than a typed card, text, email, or phone call. It depends on the context of the situation for when you need to send a handwritten thank you card; for example, thanking someone by text after meeting for a casual coffee lunch date between friends is fine, especially if the invitation to meet was sent via text in the first place.
Choosing a casual and less personal way to thank someone is perfectly acceptable for small favours or informal outings. Still, for big favours or gifts, a handwritten note will be a better-received way to express your warm and genuine thanks.
Pulling out a pen to write a card in today’s digital world is a fantastic way to distinguish yourself, and sending a handwritten thank you card speaks volumes to the recipient that you care enough to put in the effort.
Handwritten cards have an impact on the recipient that a phone or computer screen does not, as they add warmth and personality to your message.
Many people love receiving thank you cards; in the pile of junk mail from the local shops and businesses, a personalised handwritten thank you card can bring someone a little unexpected joy. Often when someone receives a handwritten thank you card, they keep it for years as a happy reminder.
How To Compose A Thank You Note
One of the main reasons why thank you cards are becoming a forgotten art is because people don’t know what to write, especially if they have a large stack to send after a big event such as a wedding.
Writing a thank you card shouldn’t be scary, no matter how big the list of people you need to thank is; remember that a thank you card is purely about expressing gratitude.
Get creative and try to enjoy yourself as you write out your thank you cards because showing gratitude for a gift, favour or service shouldn’t be a chore. Thank you cards don’t need to be long; around four sentences should be enough to express how you are grateful.
Be direct with what you write to make it clear to the recipient why you are thanking them.
- Opening greeting: Begin with the correct opening to set the tone for your thank you card
- Dear: This can be used for formal or professional salutations. Think about whether you need to use their title and last name or the first and last name with this greeting. If you have a friendly relationship, the first and last name should be acceptable, but if you’re unsure, be more formal with the use of the title and last name only.
- First name: You can use the first name for those you are closest to, and you can even use nicknames for a more informal thank you card.
- First sentence: This is where you thank the recipient for the specific gift, favour or service.
- Second sentence: Here, you should personalise the message with your thoughts about why you are thanking them; this could be an acknowledgement of the effort or thought behind the gift or favour and what it meant to you.
- Third sentence: This sentence is optional and not always necessary. Here you can focus on the future and what actions or events can transpire as a direct result of the gift, favour or service you received.
- Fourth sentence: You can offer a concluding thought or repeat your gratitude once more in this last sentence.
- Closing: Sign off your thank you card appropriately by remaining formal or casual, depending on how you open your message.
- Sincerely: This can be used for formal or professional thank you cards
- Best regards, all the best and regards: These three can be used for professional or social messages.
- With love, warmly, or yours truly: The three closing messages here are for social or personal thank you cards.
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