Thank You Notes: Are They Required or Passé?

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Top 5 Etiquette Tips for Thank You Notes

Bottom line; do not underestimate the power of a “thank you”note. It is never wrong to send a written thank you and people always appreciate getting “thanks” in writing. To the recipient, a handwritten note is so much more meaningful than an email, a tweet or a message on a Facebook wall. Have you ever seen someone print out emails and place them on their desk for all to see?

Is there a greater return on your investment than what a card, stamp, and a few minutes of your time cost? Because thank you note sending has dwindled over the last decade, executives say when they do receive one, it really stands out! Rest assured, your friends and family will feel the say way.

Follow these 5 Top Etiquette tips and you will create greater impact with your “thank you” notes.

  • DO Select Your Note Cards Carefully – Select a card style and quality that will say a lot about you and your Personal Brand. Some people may prefer a simple style on heavy card stock, while others may prefer a card with a picture of something appropriate.
  • DO Send To – Customers, co-workers, colleagues, speakers, and the list goes on. A note will benefit most any business situation. After a job interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer for her/his time and attention to your application. After a successful business function you’ve organized – send a thank you note to the keynote speaker and any other speakers, the next day.
  • DON’T Wait Too Long – Timeliness is important when sending thank you notes. The sooner you say “thank you”, the more impact it will have. Generally a two-week timeframe is ideal. But do not let being late keep you from writing the thank you note. If you are late with the note, acknowledge this with a brief comment and then move on to expressing your appreciation for the gift.
  • DON’T Be Generic – Each note should mention the gift, service or gesture (“thanking for the job interview”) specifically. Then acknowledge the effort and energy the giver put into providing the gift, service or gesture (this sentence will usually start with “you or your” – Your extra effort in coordinating the meeting was…). Finally, acknowledge how their gift, participation or service resulted in a positive effect or how the gift is being used.
  • DO Be Brief and To the Point – Your thank you note should be neither too short nor too long. Two to three sentences is appropriate. As noted above, be specific. A novel is not necessary. Be sure to include the date in the right hand corner of the note card.

A time saving tip is to always carry a couple of blank note cards and stamps with you – whether in your brief case, computer bag, handbag or iPad case. Then, when you are waiting for a meeting or are in a waiting room waiting for an appointment, you can write the card in minutes and drop it in the mail box on your way out. They are another powerful business tool that can enhance your personal reputation and give your company a positive image.

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