Thank You Letters

Examples.net is your premier source for information regarding how to construct appropriate letters. Below, the experts at Examples.net have outlined how to write a thoughtful thank you letter.

IF YOU’RE UNSURE, WRITE ONE ANYWAY. There is hardly a time when thank you letters are inappropriate, so if you think you may be in a situation where one is called for but you are not sure, write one anyway. Thank you letters, contrary to popular belief, are not just for gifts. Other times when they are completely applicable are if someone has helped you (say, helped you to move or watched your children one evening), hosted you in their home, or helped you ascend at their (or your) place of business. Thank you letters are a nice gesture and many people enjoy writing (and receiving) them just to thank someone for something simple and everyday, like being a good friend.

MAKE US OF PROPER ETIQUETTE. Thank you letters date back from Victorian-style manners and with such come a strict structure of etiquette rules. For one, make sure that your thank you letter is free of all grammatical and punctuational errors. If you are not a good writer by nature, have someone proofread it when you have finished. Double check everything, as there is nothing more embarrassing than a letter that is accidentally addressed to the wrong person or references the wrong gift. On cards, letters begin either on the right side of a card folded down the middle or the bottom of a card folded down the top, and any excess writing should overflow to either the left side or the top, then finally, if you still have more, the back of the card. Remember that stationary makes a statement. Writing a letter, even an informal one, on a piece of notebook paper is just tacky. Finally, thank you letters should be mailed within three days of receiving the gift or gesture; they should never be hand delivered, even if you see the recipient of the card on a regular basis.

BE SPECIFIC. Tell the recipient of the letter how you used the gift they gave you or specifically why you appreciated their gesture. Be plentiful in your words of praise and precise in your vocabulary.

EMPLOY A BROAD CONTEXT. No thank you letter should be restricted to the context of the gift or gesture you have received. If, for example, you are writing to a long distance relative, (briefly) inform them of the happenings in your life. Use this as an opportunity to catch up and open contact. If, say, you are writing to a close friend or neighbor, thank them for their devotion to you in addition to the gift specifically. This shows that you not only appreciate the gift itself, but also the meaning behind it and the person from which it came.