7 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Thank You Card

Category: Thank Yous

Letter writing as a whole is often viewed as a lost art in many people’s minds. While it was once very common to write to loved ones for various occasions, it simply doesn’t happen much anymore. The same goes for thank you cards.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Thank You Card

You can write a thank you card for a wide range of reasons: for a gift, in response to a customer, or following a wedding. Handwritten cards are highly personal and show people that you truly care.

However, there are some common mistakes that many individuals fall victim to when writing these letters. If you’re wondering how to write a thank you card, check out these 7 mistakes to avoid in the process.

1.  Being Too Generic

We get it – in this day and age, time-consuming activities like handwriting notes seem tedious and unnecessary. But part of the charm and class of a thank you card is how personal the effort is. Anyone can shoot a quick text, but a card is much more special.

We also understand that writing a quick, generic thank you card seems like the easiest option when you have a long list of people to thank.

If you really want to maintain proper etiquette and show your loved one’s respect, it’s best to take your time with each card and cite their generosity with specific details. You should certainly avoid using bland and monotonous phrases such as, “thanks so much for the generous gift” or “thank you for coming.”

Instead, be sure to mention the specific gift that person got you or tell them why their presence at your event was so special to you. If you can remember a specific moment you shared at the event, that’s another great detail to include.

2.  Getting the Names Wrong

There’s nothing worse than messing up someone’s name on a thank you card. When a name is wrong, spelled incorrectly, or simply left out, it makes the recipient feel insignificant. When you prepare to write your thank you notes, it’s a good idea to have a list of your guests or gifts handy nearby. You can organize it with all the names of one party together, including plus ones and children.

Part of getting the names right is spelling, of course, but it’s also essential to make sure you don’t leave anyone in the family out. If your guest brought a date, be sure to include their name, too. If they had their children with them, list their names on the card.

When someone sends you a gift, you should address the thank you card to whomever’s name was included on the card or signature. In some cases, this can mean writing the last name, such as “The Smith Family”.

Finally, make sure you pair the right people together. It’s embarrassing and insulting to send a card to your Uncle Joe and his new wife if you get his wife’s name wrong. Always double-check your information before finalizing the letter.

sample thank you letter from small business

3.  Detailing Incorrect Information

There are lots of things that can go wrong when you start getting into the nitty-gritty of each individual guest, gift, favor, and more. Regardless of whether you’re sending thank you cards for a birthday or a wedding, getting the details right is essential.

When it comes to gifts, you always want to make sure you match the right gift to the correct gift giver. Thanking someone for a crockpot when they got you wine glasses is a major faux pas. One thing that’s helpful here is to keep a detailed list of your gifts as you open them. Even if a gift comes with a card, the two can easily get separated.

Monetary gifts are undoubtedly nice, and it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate these too. However, the focus here shouldn’t be on the value. Instead, aim to focus more on the people and your gratitude instead of the number.

A great trick for writing a thank you card for cash is to let your loved one know how you intend to use it. You might put it towards a trip or into a special savings account. People love to hear that their money is being put to good use.

Correct information extends to the person here as well. It’s ideal to keep the thank you card personal and recall a memory or mention something specific to the individual, but don’t try to fake it if you’re unsure of details.

There may be instances where you do actually need to keep things a bit generic, such as with distant relatives or friends of your parents who you don’t know too well. Generic doesn’t have to mean fake, though, so you can keep your note brief but sincere.

4.  Sending Cards Too Late

When it comes to thank you cards, in most cases, it’s best to try to send them out no later than two weeks after receiving a gift or hosting minor events. For significant events, such as a wedding, it’s okay to extend that period to up to two months.

These guidelines might seem a little unreasonable to you, especially if you’ve just gotten married. After all, you have the honeymoon to attend, and then you may be working on moving to a new home or busy adapting to your new routine.

However, it’s critical to remember that your guests were a major part of your celebration. And in other events, people offered their time, money, and good intentions to you. The least you can do is thank them promptly.

To make things easier, be sure to have a set of thank you cards and envelopes ready, along with a list of names and gifts organized. Set aside some time to get the process started. If you’re truly in a time crunch, try writing them in batches and aim to get them all written over the course of a week or two.

5.  Typing Cards On the Computer

There’s a bit of a debate going on between electronic invites, thank-yous, letters, and traditional snail mail. While some find these online notes easy and convenient, others see them as classless and tacky.

We tend to lean towards the latter opinion. Something about an email thank you card just doesn’t feel right. It’s not very personal, and we all know it’s something we can accomplish in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, handwritten cards demonstrate the time and effort that went into them. They are much more personal and give the individual the fun experience of receiving the card in the mail and opening it.

Even if you print cards online, be sure to leave a space for a handwritten message. A printed card will look nice and can save you some money, but the handwritten note is irreplaceable. As long as you have room for your own message, you can use any kind of card.

A printed card will look nice and can save you some money, but the handwritten note is irreplaceable.

6.  Writing Sloppily

We understand that not everyone has perfect handwriting, but writing neatly is still of the utmost importance. You may naturally have crooked, uneven handwriting, but you should always try your best to keep it as neat as possible.

For starters, sloppy handwriting is just hard to read. There’s no point in handwriting all of your thank you cards if the recipient can’t even make out what it says.

Likewise, sloppy writing is often the result of being in a rush. When you rush through your notes, the writing turns out terribly. If you can tell it’s been rushed, the reader will likely be able to tell as well, and they may feel that you don’t care. For writing a wedding thank you card, for example, you don’t want to make people feel unappreciated.

Be sure to take your time when writing your notes. If you know you have poor handwriting, this may mean setting aside extra time and really focusing on slowing things down. It can feel like a tedious process, but it’s truly worth the time and effort to get a nice-looking result.

7.  Choosing Low-Quality Cards

These days, the options are practically endless for buying and ordering thank you cards – or any kind of card, for that matter. Some online stores have customizable designs, while other physical locations offer generic options.

Choosing a plain card with thin paper is not the best way to go when you’re trying to show someone your gratitude. A flimsy card can easily get bent and crushed in the mail, and the lack of design just doesn’t scream “thank you.”

We’re not saying you have to spend a ton of money on your thank you cards, but try to get something that looks and feels nice. There are lots of budget options to choose from, whether you prefer to shop in person or order online.

Find a balance between your budget and the card’s quality. Pick something that will put a smile on people’s faces. These are people who gave time and money to you, so you can spend a little money to reciprocate.

Final Thoughts

Writing a thank you card doesn’t have to be difficult! A simple, yet thoughtful handwritten card is sure to make a lasting impression, especially with a proper closing.

If you’re finding these mistakes difficult to avoid or are simply too busy to handwrite your thank you cards, consider using Handwrytten! We provide a wide variety of services to suit a plethora of audiences. Check us out today!

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

Check Out Our Cards!

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