The lost art of thank you notes: this is a reintroduction to the etiquette of the thank you. Explore four situations in which hand-written thank you notes are a must!
I grew up with a mother who should have taught at a finishing school. She was born and raised in the south and is the queen of southern hospitality and etiquette. She made it a point to pass her southern roots onto my sister and I; having proper manners was always strictly enforced. While it seemed superfluous at a young age, I am beyond grateful to have had an upbringing like that because proper etiquette seems to have been lost on our generation and the ones coming up behind us.
One skill my mom always instilled on us, was to always write thank you notes. As a paper obsessee, this is something I will always stand behind. Not only is it fun to shop for thank you cards with the millions of options out today, but it gives you a chance to connect with people on a more personal level.
Thank you notes in specific are completely lost on people. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten compliments on my thank you notes, and even received follow up emails from businesses after they have received a hand written thank you note from me. A little can go a long way. Here are examples of time in which I find hand-written thank you notes a must:
– A must: always send a card to the gift giver to thank them.
Interviews/New Business Contacts
– Send a written note to thank your interviewer(s) for their time, this should go to anyone you spoke with.
– Building a business? Make your name stand out after meet and greets by thanking new acquaintanced/contacts for their time.
Helpful Hand (i.e. a friend does you a favor or helps you with something big)
– Someone goes out of their way to help you with something, thank them with a note of gratitude – top with a bottle of their favorite wine doesn’t hurt either!
Business (sales, customer service, consulting,
– Did you sell something and are shipping it to the customer? Add a thank you note, it goes a long way – packaging is everything
– Do you have loyal followers? Take the time to appreciate the people who make your business strong and individually thank the customers who are loyal.
– Are you in consulting? Your clients are your customers, take the time to thank your clients for working with you.
(ex. For Editorials, I will collaborate with vendors: they send me their products for the shoot, then I send the items back safely. I try to add in a hand written thank you note with the returns, it’s not only how I would like myself represented, but a signature that I would like to have for my brand)
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I have been asked many times why I write “essays” in all of my greeting cards. I am not sure how to answer that one, it’s just what I do. It is important to me to take time to personalize my writing. If you are going to give someone a card for a special occasion, it should be personal. Whether it is a birthday or a bridal shower, this person is in your life, they mean something to you. So, why let Hallmark tell them how you feel about them? Hallmark does now know what the two of you have been through together. It will mean more for the person to hear your thoughts, so write it down. It can still be short and sweet, just add some personal love in there! My recommendation, buy blank cards and write your own message.
Here is an example of a note I would write for a gift:
Thank you so very much for the wonderful Christmas gifts. It means so much that even after 31 years you still think of me (and now Keith). It makes me feel little again! I love your Christmas PJ tradition and seriously look forward to it every year! I can’t wait to carry on your tradition with Kelly’s kids, you have always been such a role model to me and I hope I can live up to being half the Aunt you are! We hope you, XX, and the kids had a wonderful New Year! We look forward to coming down and seeing you all soon. Send some pics from Telluride in the meantime!
Love you all,