The art of saying thank you in a memorable way

thank you letter

Handwritten thank you cards may seem like a relic from your grandmother’s era but they are still alive and well today and if used effectively, can even be a great boost to your business.

If you have never considered sending anyone a thank you card, it is worth thinking about what a great marketing tool a simple handwritten card can be. We are constantly surrounded by mass produced content, from the junk mail that we find in our letter boxes to computer generated e-newsletters. Do you want to stand out from the crowd and make a positive impression on a prospective client or business associate? A thank you card might just be the answer.

Are you faced with writer’s block and flashbacks to post Christmas piles of thank you cards every time you stare at a blank page? Writing thank you card content is a bit of an art form but once you have learned the basic formula they are really very easy. Here’s how.

Find the right card

The first step in sending a thank you card is finding the right card. Think about the impression you want to give the person you are sending the thank you too, and choose a card which reinforces that message.

For instance, if you run a financial services business, you may want a fairly low-key image, to give the impression of stability and reliability. An Ad agency might want to go for something more striking and eye catching.

Another option is to produce your own corporate branded thank you cards which fit in with the rest of your branded marketing materials. These can have the benefit of being instantly recognisable and may serve as a prominent reminder of your business to the recipient. It is also more convenient to have a pile of them in a desk drawer ready for use and can make the whole process quick and easy.

Write your message

An effectively written thank you card usually has a number of key elements:

  • The greeting – “dear” is usually best if you are writing to someone in a professional field.
  • The thank you – it is generally considered best to get straight to the point ‘thank you for…’ then add whatever it was they did for you, whether it was an introduction, taking the time to speak to you or another favour.
  • Explain how you benefited from the favour. Did the advice help you plan your next sales strategy or the recommendation lead you to a fantastic new supplier?
  • Finish by stating your desire to keep in touch – don’t be pushy, it’s not a sales pitch.

Hand delivering a thank you card or attaching it to a gift can make an extra impact when someone has really gone out of their way to help. Once you get in practice with thank you cards you will probably find you are churning them out and hopefully spreading a bit of positive energy around your business associates!

  • Great article,,,,Thank You!

    You are so right. The Thank You note is not a sales pitch and should never include anything other than the gratitude.

    Now that we have access to our online greeting card system it is so much more efficient and cost effective to send the personal Thank You notes out daily. We always use our own handwriting font and personal signature too.

    Adding a small gift is also a good idea and we do this occasionally via the same system. It’s always received with delight and referrals start flowing in too.

  • I do exactly this for each first receipt of payment I send to clients – a handwritten card with a colour combination that fits with my brand, with an iTunes voucher also in my corporate colour. It certainly gets a positive response and I enjoy sending them out.

  • Excellent article Jo, thank you 🙂 I have done this in my business previously with great results and you reminded me to get back into this form of appreciation marketing.

  • Fabulous article! There’s nothing like an ‘old-fashioned’ card arriving in the mail. So much more meaningful than an email or standard letter. I am constantly sending out cards and the results are 100% positive.