NDSU Extension - Sargent County


| Share

Thank You


Thank You 5.13.16


What do graduates, newly married couples, new parents, bereaved persons, and satisfied customers have in common?  Oftentimes, it is that they are the recipients of something.  In some cases, it may be a gift they received from a guest whom they had invited to a life event or reception.  In other cases, they may have received customer service that was really impressive.  In any case, to appreciate and acknowledge what was received is the thing to do. 

I recently received a thank you note from a young woman and her husband who had married several months ago.  It knocked my socks off!  It scored a WOW with me!  The note extremely thoughtful, gracious, and well-written.  Writing such a note is a talent that many people they feel they don’t possess.  However, it is a talent that can be cultivated and improved upon with practice. 

Michigan State University prepared a document that offers several pointers and examples.  It is available online at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/236/66837/CYI048ThankYouNoteHandout.pdf.

Thank you notes can be written for many reasons:

           - to show appreciation for someone’s support of you
           - to acknowledge a gift, donation, or service you received
- to express appreciation or provide recognition for someone who has done a good deed

Writing thank you notes can also be therapeutic, such as after a loved one dies.  When my son passed away from cancer several years ago, writing handwritten thank you notes to the hundreds of people who had expressed love, care, and concern for me and my family helped me work through the grief of losing my son.

People who make or purchase a gift, or provide a service, invest their time, money and effort to do so.  As a recipient, we need to spend some of our time, effort, and perhaps money, to express sincere gratitude.  Although it is probably desirable to be prompt with thanks (the definition of “prompt” is subject to interpretation, however), the idea “better late than never” probably comes in handy here, too.  For example, when I was writing thank you notes after my son’s death, I believed the thoughtfulness and sincerity of my message was more important to them than whether they received the note within a few days days of his funeral. 

Here is a checklist of seven simple steps to a well-written thank you note to help you get started:

          -  Greet the recipient by name (“Dear …”)
          -  State the specific reason why you are thanking them
          -  Give one or more reasons why you appreciate them and/or their gift
          -  Tell how you plan to use the gift, or why their excellent service matters to you
          -  Share a positive tidbit about yourself
          -  Repeat your appreciation and gratitude
          -  Give a closing (“With thanks,” or “Sincerely,”) and your signature

Remember, practice makes perfect!

Reference:  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/236/66837/CYI048ThankYouNoteHandout.pdf

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/en/hand-leave-pen-paper-thank-you-226358/  (downloaded 5/17/16)


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.