How to Write a Business Thank You Note
In the business world, meeting the demands of the "bottom line" does not always mean sacrificing common courtesy or kindness. In fact, more often than not, good manners coincide with wise business practices. The classic thank-you note is a perfect example of such an instance, where a nice gesture doubles as a great way to strengthen relations, stand out, and be remembered in a competitive business context. But striking the right balance between amiable courtesy and professionalism is not always easy. The steps below offer a simplified approach to this sometimes daunting (but usually rewarding) task.
Sample Thank You Notes
Writing Your Own Thank You Note
Don't delay!In almost all business-related contexts, the foremost advantage of sending a thank-you note is that it leaves a positive and lasting impression with the business partner, potential employer, client, or donor. The more time that elapses between the interview, deal, or services rendered and the receipt of a thank-you, the less effective this reinforcement will be.
Choose an appropriate format.In most instances, it's preferable to opt for real paper, as opposed to an email. If you are representing a company, typing the note on company letterhead is the most professional choice. However, a handwritten card adds a more personalized touch, and may be more appropriate for some circumstances-- for instance, if you are a small business owner, or when expressing gratitude for substantial donations. Hand-written notes are also a good choice for thanking a prospective employer after you've been interviewed for a position. If you choose to hand-write your thank you note:
- Choose a card that is simple and sophisticated. A cream or white-colored card with an embossed "Thank You" on the front is generally a fail-safe bet. Avoid cards with messages printed on the interior, and designs that are overly ornate, "cutesy," or cluttered.
- Consider your handwriting abilities. If you are unsure of the quality or clarity of your handwriting, show a sample to a trustworthy friend or coworker. If you aren't quite a master of legible and neat cursive writing, be sure and try a few practice runs before writing on the card you intend to send. In a pinch, you can employ someone else to transcribe your note (just be sure to sign it yourself).
- If for whatever reason the recipient's mailing address is not available, email may be your only option. It is also sometimes a more appropriate format-- for instance, when email has been the primary mode of correspondence between you and the person(s) you wish to thank. The main disadvantage associated with emailed thank-you notes is that they are more liable to be lost or ignored, and less likely to stand out. Remember that some people (and especially business executives) may receive hundreds of emails a day. With these cautions in mind, it may be tempting to compensate by making your email more flashy, or sending an E-card through a third-party site. In short, don't-- this will more likely make your email appear as an advertisement, and hence increase the odds that it will be ignored or trashed. Instead, keep it short, simple, sophisticated, and again, timely. You may wish to tailor the subject line to include information specific to your business relationship or what the thanks is for-- e.g., "Thank you for your consideration of my application."
Choose an appropriate greeting.If there is one person in particular to whom thanks is due, address him or her by title and last name-- e.g., "Dear Mr. Kinkaid." When addressing more than one person, include them all by name and title in the greeting line. Avoid impersonal greetings like "To Whom It May Concern." Otherwise, the formality of your tone should depend on your level of familiarity and the nature of the business conducted with the recipient(s).
In the opening sentence, express your gratitude and clearly identify what you are thanking the recipient for.There is no need to qualify your introduction-- avoid openers like "I'm just writing to say thanks for…" or "I would like to express my gratitude…," and opt instead for the simple and direct present-perfect tense: e.g., "Thank you for supporting our corporate community service project."
- While it is important to state what you are thankful for, avoid the direct mention of money if it is for a donation. Replace specific cash denominations with euphemisms like "your generosity," "your kindness," or "your generous donation."
Discuss the direct impact or significance of what you are thankful for.
- When addressing a donor, specify what the donation will enable your company to achieve.
- When addressing a potential employer after an interview, you may wish to take this opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position you're applying for. Do not, however, use the thank-you note as an excuse to emphasize why you think you'd be "perfect for the job." Instead, choose a tactful approach like "I appreciated meeting you, and am very excited about the position."
- When addressing a business partner or advisor, saying something like "It was a pleasure to work with you," or "your advice proved invaluable in pursuing my department's annual goals," helps to strengthen a positive relationship and implies an interest in continuing that relationship.
Compliment the addressee, but without flattery.This can be the most difficult part of a thank-you note, and is not always warranted or necessary. Consider a general statement of praise regarding the recipient or the company he or she represents-- e.g., "Your work is beautiful," or "your expertise in account management is unparalleled."
Allude to the future.Here, you may wish to explicitly state your desire to continue business or establish a longstanding relationship with the recipient. When addressing a potential employer, this is a good opportunity to express confidence in your anticipation of his or her decision. This can be achieved by simply saying "I look forward to hearing from you."
Reiterate your thanks.This needn't require more than a simple sentence, restating your opening thanks (but in different words). "Thanks again for…" should do it.
Wrap it up with a regards, and sign your name.In most instances, it will be most appropriate to close your note with some variation of "Best regards," "Yours truly," or "Sincerely." Even if your letter is typed, always sign your name in pen. When appropriate, include your title or position and the company you represent beneath your name.
Proofread and review your note.Depending on circumstances, the finished product should be short and relatively simple (about half of a type-written page at most). If it seems lengthy, check for any unnecessary redundancies-- with the exception of the thank-you itself, each point should only be stated once. Check also that your tone remains consistent throughout. It may be a good idea to enlist one or two other people to proofread for spelling or grammatical errors, as even minor errors can send a negative impression to the addressee.
When you're confident with your note, send it immediately.Again, time is of the essence-- the more prompt you are, the more memorable your overall impression will be.
QuestionHow do I write a thank you note for a donation?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThank them for their aid and maybe inform them what you did with the donation; people can get a lot of satisfaction from knowing what exactly their donation was able to do for someone. Lastly, remind them how important their donation is to your business and how deeply you appreciate it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I say in a thank you card for people booking our cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains?wikiHow ContributorCommunity Answer"Thanks for joining us at the Great Smoky Mountains! We hope you have a great stay!"Thanks!
QuestionIs it proper to include a business card in a business thank you note?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's up to you. If the person already knows you pretty well, that it is not necessary. If not, then maybe. It all depends on your comfort zone and how close you are to the person.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I write a thank you note to a business that is closing its doors?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThank them for the help that they have provided in your life, for being a green business, a kind business model, or for treating the employees well. Thank the business as a whole, pointing out special qualities like low prices, staff courtesy, etc.Thanks!
QuestionHow should I write a thank you to stay on an employer's mind when interviewing for a job?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWrite a brief note thanking them for the opportunity to interview. You can also politely request any feedback on your interview and tell them how much you're looking forward to their response. Include your contact info for any questions or concerns they may have.Thanks!
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- Do not include: personal information, or news about your business life. Remember, the purpose of a thank-you note is to express appreciation and gratitude to the recipient, not to laud your personal accomplishments. Also, avoid using the thank-you note as an opportunity to advertise yourself or your company beyond what is directly relevant to the purpose of your message. If you say something like, "If you liked our X, you might also be interested in our Ys and Zs (which are on sale now!)," this will likely undermine the sincerity of your thanks.
- You may wish to include a business card with your note, but don't bother if you already know the recipient well or have given him or her your card in the past. It may sometimes be appropriate when writing to a potential employer, but may also run the risk of appearing somewhat pretentious. If you're unsure, skip it-- your name, position and contact information should already be readily available. If your note is typed, you can also include this information as a header to the letter, positioned at the top left-hand side of the page, followed by the recipient's name and address two spaces below.
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