Nothing beats receiving a handwritten thank you card after you’ve done something for a friend or loved one. The quality stationery and thought-through message are thanks that make no task too much. The trouble is that the art of thank you notes is dying. Now, we’re more likely to send a quick and thoughtless text than we are to take our time selecting beautiful note cards to show appreciation.
Even if you do embark on the joy of thank you cards, our disconnection from the process may well leave you at a total loss as to what to say. The simple ‘thank you’ that you might send in a text message certainly won’t suffice. In fact, there’s a pretty high chance that your chosen card already states this fact for you in some form.
Instead, genuinely capturing gratitude is about knowing what to write. Of course, your note cards themselves also matter, but we all know that the message inside is the main priority. To make sure you can perfect your thanks in the future, consider the following ways to get that message just right.
Remember to say thank you
This may seem like a simple point, but it’s vital to remember that you’re writing this card to say thank you. While these two words alone might not be enough to complete your message, they certainly need to feature. This is the case even if the card itself does say thank you. Otherwise, your recipient may miss the point of your card entirely.
It doesn’t even matter how you include this sentiment. You could go with a casual ‘Thank you for…’ or a slight variation like ‘I am so grateful for…’ Whatever you do, though, make sure your recipient can sense your thanks! Fail to achieve that goal, and you might as well save yourself the time of writing a card in the first place. Worse, you’re at risk of coming across as ungrateful.
Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ isn’t enough to complete your card. To take gratitude even further, you should also personalise your message. You can do this in two keys ways, each of which is incredibly effective for showing appreciation and also ensuring that your recipient values the effort.
Firstly, you’ll want to personalise your note cards by naming the gift or favour that you’re showing thanks for. This is especially vital in the case of birthdays and other instances where you’ve received multiple gifts. Failure to mention anything specific will make it seem like you’ve just sent blanket note cards to everyone. That’s no way to show your appreciation. Instead, always make a personal note of why you’re thankful to this specific person. That way, they’ll never feel like one in a crowd.
Secondly, you should take this personalisation even further by showing what that gift or favour did for you. You needn’t go into details here, but a few sentences about how you’ve been using whatever the person gave you is vital. This way, they’ll be able to see that their thoughtful effort has found a real use in your life. What could be better than that for showing genuine thanks?
If the person has done a favour for you, you could take this even further by including a few sentences outlining what their help has meant. This way, you can guarantee that they keep hold of that card for a long time to come.
End with an opening
As with any well-written note, a thank you effort should end with a few closing lines. When showing your gratitude, it’s always worth using these as an opening to take your friendship one step further. You certainly don’t want to ruin all your personalisation with a simplistic ‘see you soon.’
Instead, consider an ending that can keep this communication open and meaningful. Some fantastic examples of this would be –
I’d love to meet up soon
I look forward to hearing from you
I’m here if you ever need someone to talk to
This adds a real depth of sincerity to your efforts and shows this person that you aren’t just going through the motions. As well as furthering your message of gratitude, that can extend your friendship, and even lead to meetings. By comparison, a basic thank you with a flippant ending could leave you failing to get together for months.
Think about how you sign off
Even once you’ve perfected your closing statement, you’ll want to consider how you sign this card. As anyone with a love for letter writing will know, your choice of closure can make a vast difference to the overall tone of your message. Even if you perfect all these other pointers, then, a rushed sign off could leave your recipient in the lurch. Don’t let it happen by thinking long and hard about a way to sign off that really captures the tone conveyed throughout your message.
As a general rule, personalised signatures can emphasise your relationship and your gratitude as a result. Opting for in-jokes or phrases relevant to your friendship is always the best option here as that again adds to the personal vibe that you’ve been aiming towards throughout.
If nothing relevant comes to mind, you can still retain meaning with the right generalised sign-offs, including –
And, of course, you’ll want to sign the perfect signature so that your friend can cherish your thank you note and your relationship for many years to come.
A final word
Writing a thank you card might seem like an entirely new art, but it’s surprisingly simple to get this right. In fact, the majority of your success here depends on how much you’re able to convey from the heart. Heart is often what’s missing from computer-based thanks, after all, and it’s easy to overcome when you incorporate stationary instead. Just take some time to think about what a gift and its giver mean to you, then write whatever comes to mind.