How to write a thank you letter that communicates appreciation
How to write a thank you letter that really makes a difference in another person's life - it's simple, easy and quick. And a great side effect: You get happier, too!
You can make a difference!
Writing a thank you letter for a gift or favor you have received, does this seem a little tedious to you or like an unwelcome chore? Like something you just want to get over and done with?
Consider this: It's actually a big chance!
Yes, it might sound a little corny but: Giving someone a sincere "thank you" can make a huge difference in this person's life – and in your own, too!
It's such a simple little gesture but one that has great potential. Receiving a heartfelt "thank you" can make your recipient very happy: Everyone loves appreciation, it is a gift that lasts forever, never grows stale, can't be bought with money or in stores. It's truly valuable.
Appreciation and gratitude can transform difficult relationships – and make good ones even better!
Here's how to do it – in 7 simple and quick steps:
The good news: Writing a thank you letter that communicates appreciation is not that difficult either!
It's actually quite simple - just follow this 7-step formula ...
Use a classic greeting like "Dear Jenni …" or "Dear Mr Collins …" or a more colloquial, informal greeting when writing to someone you know very well: "Mom, you're the best!" or "Nancy, can you imagine how delighted I was when I received your parcel last week?!" or "Wow, Paul, what a fantastic surprise!"
2) Be specific
Be specific when you mention the gift (or favor): Don't just write "(thank you for) the pullover" but "(thank you for) the pink shawl collar pullover you knit for me".
3) Why ...?
Why did you like the gift? - For example: "I love that pullover, it keeps me so warm and it looks just great with my favorite trousers."
(Didn't really like the gift at all? - Please see below!)
4) Appreciate the giver
Let the giver know how much you appreciate him or her by giving a sincere compliment: "You really know me well. And you have such a great taste in fashion!"
5) Optional: Show some love
It's not necessary to include this but maybe you feel like it – let the giver know why you are glad to have him or her in your life: "I'm proud to have such a cool grandma!" or "I feel truly blessed to have a friend like you."
6) Important: The gift in use
Let the giver know how, when or where you will use the gift – and in what way it will be a benefit to you: "I will be so happy to have your pullover keeping me warm and cozy while cycling to work."
Easy … repeat your thank you before you end your letter: "Thank you again, dear Grandma!"
Points to remember
- Always be sincere and write from your heart. Don't use pretense or exaggeration – and if you don't know the other person very well don't use humor either. It can easily be misunderstood, especially in written communication.
- Does every occasion call for a (written) thank you note? - If in doubt: Just do it! Kathy from thank-you-note-samples.com puts it so well: "When have you ever wished someone hadn't thanked you?"
- What time frame is allowed or appropriate when it comes to sending a thank you letter? - Try to do it within 2 weeks after receiving the gift, 3 weeks at the latest.
- Don't make your thank you letter shorter than 3 lines.
- If possible, send a hand-written note – especially when writing to someone you know well.
- If you send a thank you letter for money gifts don't name the specific amount, better use expressions like: "the generous gift you gave me".
Help! - What to do if you didn't really like the gift?
- Don't pretend enthusiasm. Go for more "neutral" words like "unique", "special", "creative" or "imaginative". For example: "Wow, Sidney, those bright pink plateau pumps are truly unique – you always come up with such creative ideas!"
- If you can't appreciate the gift itself, appreciate the giver's time or effort: "Thank you so much for the green legwarmers, Aunt Edith. You must have spent a lot of time making them for me!"
1) If possible enclose a photo showing you with your gift – or even better: Enclose a photo of how you put the gift in use.
2) Writer's block? - Start your letter with an appropriate quote and add your own words.
I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.
How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
I feel a very unusual sensation - if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.
Did you know? - Expressing gratitude makes you happier, too!
Writing a thank you note – or gratitude letter – benefits not only the recipient but you, too! It can actually make you feel a lot happier.
Recent findings of Positive psychology confirm: Gratitude is a very beneficial emotion. It can not only make you happier but also make you feel more relaxed, more self-confident and it can even improve your health!
Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, includes the practice of writing a gratitude letter as one of the happiness strategies in her book "The How of Happiness".
It's very simple: You express your gratitude to a person who has helped you in some way and whom you have never properly thanked. You don't even have to send the letter, just expressing your gratitude is enough:
"Indeed, in a recent study from my laboratory, we found that simply writing a gratitude letter and not sending or otherwise delivering it was enough to produce substantial boosts in happiness."
Read more about this fascinating study here.