If you want to show you really care, don’t just phone or dash off a hasty email, send a written thank you letter. This means you think the gift important enough to make an extra effort.
For business, charity or your personal life, a proper thank you can make all the difference to your future success. Follow these easy steps and your letter will be a joy, not a chore.
1. Be organized.
Keep careful record who needs to be thanked for what. After a shower, wedding or high-spirited birthday celebration, it is mighy embarrassing not to remember who gave you the expensive stainless steel juicer, the matched set of whoopee cushions or the envelope bulging with cash.
Especially when the giver is dying to hear just how thrilled you are with their own extra special contribution.
2. Be prompt.
Though it is better for your letter to arrive late than never, respond as soon as you can. Write within a day or two for dinner and within two or three days after receiving hospitality. You have about two weeks to thank for gifts unless they are wedding gifts. In that case, you send notes right after the honeymoon. To answer expressions of sympathy for loss or death, it is fine to reply within six weeks when you a feeling up to the task.
3. Choose the right style.
Match your degree of formality to the party your are addressing. A formal letter strictly observes the rules of letter writing which can be found in many excellent reference books. A few lines of thanks to a close friend can be dashed off by hand on a leaf of polka dot note paper. Always address your letter to a specific person, not a department or a title. When a gift comes from a number of different people, each one must receive a thank you note.
4. Be direct.
Unless you have reason to expand, keep to a single page. Take an easy, conversational tone, as though you are talking face to face. Let your words flow from the heart.
5. Begin with the reason you are expressing your appreciation.
“Thank you so much for the lovely lava lamp you gave me for my birthday.”
“I appreciate the time you took from your busy schedule to meet with me yesterday.”
“I don’t know what our charity would do without generous donors like you.”
6. Show how the gift affected you.
Expand your appreciation by explaining how what you are thanking for made you feel, affected you life or thoroughly delighted you. Recognize thoughtfulness and generosity.
“The lava lamp is a splendid match for my orange shag rug and fits right into our retro decor. Every time I turn it on, I will remember your thoughtfulness and be transported back to the that first college dorm we decorated together.”
“The advice and contacts you so kindly provided have already helped tremendously to develop our project. Ms. Molly Parks has agreed to analyze our marketing plan. You have greatly boosted our prospects of success.”
“Your donation provided a water pump for a well in Africa so rural children can finally have safe water.”
7: Wrap up with more thanks and sign with a flourish.
“Thanks again for giving me a gift that reminds me of so many happy times.”
“Once again, please know how deeply I appreciate your kindness in helping me with this crucial task.”
“On behalf of the children, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to help.”
Your prompt, warm, well-written thank you letter will succeed in its goal – to make the recipient feel truly special and appreciated.
Check out 1001 Ways to Say Thank You. www.hamilhouse.com