A Thank you letter or letter of thanks is a letter that is used when one party wishes to express appreciation to another party.
Thank you letters are among the most important letters we will ever write. Whether business or personal, an effective thank you letter needs to be written with sincerity, tact and sensitivity. Thank you letter is self-explanatory and it is written when you want to formally thank a person, company or institution for something they have done for you or your organization, which you consider to be out of the ordinary.
Situations of Business Thank You Letters
There are many situations in business that can warrant a thank you letter. Here are a few examples of thank you letter situations for businesses and institutions:
- Closed the Deal
- Commendations to volunteer service workers for their personal contributions.
- Customer appreciation letters thanking them for their patronage.
- Appreciation for any type of special consideration extended by another organization.
- When You Get a Thank You Note
- Thanking a speaker for a presentation at an annual board meeting.
- Thanks to an individual or organization for a customer referral.
- When You Get a Referral
- Thank you letters to employees for exceptional service or performance.
- When You Didn’t Get the Sale: It is disappointing not to get the business especially after you put in the time and effort but it’s a sign of professionalism when you thank the prospect for taking their time.
Situations of Personal Thank You Letters
There are many instances in day-to-day life that can warrant a formal thank you letter. some are as follows
- To friends and/or neighbors for their exceptional support during a difficult period.
- As a follow-up after a job interview and/or job offer.
- To a company or institution in appreciation for exceptional customer service.
- Letter of appreciation to a teacher for a positive influence on your child.
- Thanks to a service club or agency for their support to your family.
- Social occasion thankyou’s.
Following are a few tips that will help you whenever you encounter thank you letter situations in your business or personal life.
1. Make Sure It’s Appropriate
One of the main issues with respect to thank you letters is to know when to send one. As a general rule, I would say “better to be safe than sorry”. However, make sure there is something noteworthy about the situation. A thank you letter for a routine situation doesn’t make sense and dilutes their meaning.
2. Write It Promptly
It is always best to send a thank you letter as soon as possible after the event for which you are doing the thanking. It will help with the level of sincerity in your letter if the event is still fresh in your mind. In any case, a delayed thank you letter will seem like an obligatory afterthought to the recipient.
3. Remind the Recipient
In your introductory sentence, make it very clear that it is indeed a thank you letter and that it pertains to a specific event, situation and/or person. This will eliminate any confusion on the part of the recipient as to the purpose of the letter.
4. Make It Short and Direct
Get straight to the point and never exceed one page. Thank you letters should be short, direct, sincere, and to the point. In business situations they will always type-written but personal thank you letters can be hand-written or typed, as appropriate to the situation.
5. Make It Personal
By definition, a thank you letter is a sincere personal gesture from one individual to another. It should be expressed as a heartfelt personal sentiment, even when written in a business situation. At the same time, strive to be balanced in approach and don’t be overly effusive.
6. Always write it To One Person
Always write your thank you letter to an individual, not an organization or group. Even if it’s a situation where a group is involved, write your letter to the senior person in the group and/or the group spokesperson. Ask that person to please pass on your sincere appreciation to the other people in the group, and name them in your letter if possible.
7. Check Spelling and Grammar
As when writing all letters make sure you carefully check your spelling and grammar. This is even more important for thank you letters, since they are almost always a sincere statement of appreciation from one person to another. Be sure to double check the spelling of all names used in the letter. There’s no quicker way to blow your credibility and sincerity than to misspell someone’s name.