An Ultimate Win-Win: Thank You Notes Make You and Others Feel Good

What two words in business are said more often than “Thank you”? It’s something people either see or hear after every transaction and often many times in between. Even outside of business, the two words are said reflexively all the time. However, this overuse can reduce their strength and make the phrase start to feel obligatory and unimportant.

The good news is that authentic expressions of gratitude never lose their positive impact, and one of the most authentic ways of saying thank you is with a handwritten note. Take a look at the surprising facts about thank-you notes, and how writing them is enormously beneficial for both the recipient and the sender.

Good Will and Reciprocity

The natural first goal in writing a thank-you note should be to make someone feel good. It’s fun to know your considerate decision made someone’s day, and chances are they’ll tell you so directly. Going beyond even that, though, writing thank-you notes and letters can also make you a wealthier, more connected person. When someone important helps you in some way and you thank them, they’ll feel more inclined to help you again.

You can apply these ideas to customers. Sending a random thank you to a customer, not prompted by a sale, can elevate your business in that customer’s mind, increasing customer retention. Besides, few things are as fun for a business as keeping up with its most loyal customers. Use thank-you notes to stay present in people’s minds and strengthen relationships.

For the Big and Small Things

Despite how frequently we say thank you to each other, many assume saying it randomly with a thank-you note would be too formal. This isn’t the case. Sure, many people send handwritten notes, letters, and cards during the holidays, on the recipient’s birthday, or other special times, and those are excellent opportunities to reach out. However, you aren’t forced to wait for a special occasion to say thanks to a friend, customer, or anyone else.

Often, it’s the random, unprovoked expressions of appreciation that stand out most. If someone gets a bunch of basic cards with short notes from different social contacts over the holidays, it’s easy to forget about some of them or to not respond. Send a letter outside of those times, however, and you’ll stand out all the more.

Gratitude Makes Everybody Happier

For the past few years, there have been many conversations and studies on the concept of mindfulness, the state of being aware of present feelings to stay happier. One of the most important concepts related to mindfulness is gratitude. Anyone can get caught thinking about annoyances or problems in life and forget about the things they’re happy to have. Gratitude sets negative thinking back to zero and encourages a healthy, positive outlook.

This is why sending thank-you notes and letters can have such a positive effect on you as well as the recipient. Instead of casually saying thanks in other ways, taking the time to express your gratitude on paper, by hand, helps clarify and increase those positive feelings. You may find even the simple act of writing a thank-you note to someone helps remind you of what you like about them, strengthening the relationship on your side as well as theirs.

It’s Easier Than You Think

You might be thinking as many people do, that thank-you notes are difficult to write, but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, with handwritten correspondence, it’s often best not to overthink what to say. A simple reminder of what the person did, thanking them, and then wishing them well will go a long way. Businesses could take the same route, perhaps adding a small gift as well.

Another common roadblock that stops people from sending thank-you notes is the fear of it being awkward or poorly received, but that is unfounded as well. There is an authenticity and care put into letters that cuts through the cynicism and negativity people often encounter through other communication methods, such as social media.

It’s often said you get what you give, and giving your time and energy to write something heartfelt will often get you back the same treatment. Instead of pointlessly worrying about it not happening, be excited for when it does. We guarantee it’ll happen sooner than you think.

How to Write a Winning Thank-You Note

There are five main components to writing a good thank-you letter:

  • Salutation: Always use the recipient’s name, if possible, to make the note more personal. Example: “Dear Miranda.”
  • Saying Thank You: No need to stall or pad out your message. Immediately thank the person for whatever they did, whether it’s ordering from your business, coming to an event you held, etc.
  • Explain Why: Without a good explanation of why the recipient deserves thanks, they may suspect ulterior motives. Make it clear why — to you, specifically — what they did was important and deserves thanks. For example, don’t thank a customer just for ordering a product. Instead, you could thank them for being part of a special group that gets the importance of what you’re selling. Show how the customer personally affected you.
  • Personal Touch: This last moment is a chance to inspire further contact. For example, you could wish someone well in the coming holidays, ask them a question, or even share a secret or confession they may want to know more about.
  • Closing: Add a simple concluding line other than the standard “Sincerely.”  For example, an ending such as, “Warm regards,” is more personal. Then, sign the bottom of the letter.

Hopefully, we’ve shown you the amazing benefits of composing a sincere letter of thanks to friends, customers, and anyone else who matters to you. What’s more, it doesn’t take nearly as much effort or pose as much risk as you might think, so don’t let those thoughts hold you back. If you’d like to expand the reach of your letters and deliver authentic, handwritten thank-you notes to a larger group of people than you can write on your own, check out the Handwrytten service.