“Thank you.” You probably use those two little words every day, but are you harnessing their full potential? Consciously and actively expressing gratitude can be a big step towards improving both personal and business relationships.
Research shows that expressing appreciation in tangible ways, like writing personalized thank-you notes, has an impact. In one study, individuals were asked to write a letter of gratitude to a person close to them. The people who were tasked with writing the thank-you letter felt weird about it. They assumed the note would be received with awkwardness or be seen as odd. However, the people who received those words of gratitude were pleasantly surprised!
The conclusion? Expressing gratitude in meaningful ways beyond a casual “thanks” is something we should all do more often.
However, when you are juggling work, school, family, friends, and other obligations, you might find it tough to find time to do this. Technology can help. There are many innovations available to help you automate your gratitude and say “thank you” in ways that truly resonate.
This guide covers some of the most valuable tools and provides ideas for showing your appreciation in unique ways.
If it were easier and more efficient to express your appreciation for another person’s actions, words, or general presence, would you do it more often? Probably. This list of tech-driven tools will make it faster to say thanks. Find out how to show gratitude below.
GIFs are a fun and innovative way to say thank you. You can find ready-made animations and video clips online and add your personalized message to make it meaningful. Use platforms like giphy and ezgif to create your own.
Note that GIFs are a pretty casual form of communication. You thus probably want to save this means of saying thanks for more casual acquaintances. A GIF can be sent to a close friend or family member, for example—not a professional contact!
Another option is to record a video expressing your thanks “face-to-face”—digitally, at least. This visual approach can help drive your message home. Seeing your happy and smiling face will clarify how much the other person’s actions meant to you.
There are a few ways you can share a video display of gratitude. You can take a quick clip on your phone and share it directly with the individual via text or email. Alternatively, if you want to say thanks for a more significant and more public reason, you might consider recording a YouTube video.
If video isn’t your thing, say thanks with a custom photo collage instead. You could use this type of modern thank-you if someone helped you with a project, for example. You might create a custom collage of the finished outcome.
There are many tools available online to make custom collages, including FotoJet, Fotor, and PicCollage. Some platforms also give you the option to print out your collage in a tangible format, like a photobook, and have it sent directly to the intended recipient.
Gifts have long been used as a means of saying thank you. It’s a simple act of reciprocity. The other person did something for you, and now you want to do something for them. That said, going to the trouble of buying, wrapping, and sending a present is a lot.
Luckily, modern technology makes it easy to automate your gratitude online. You can send gift cards, certificates, or tickets easily via e-commerce retailers. Tailor the gift to the person. For example, if you know that the recipient loves a particular restaurant, why not send them a gift card to that eatery?
Ecards are a fun and innovative way to say thanks that don’t require much time or energy. There are many websites where you can access ecards for free, including Smilebox, Just Wink, and Some Ecards. Many of the digital greeting cards have fun songs or animations.
When sending a digital greeting card, make sure to take the time to personalize it. In most cases, there will be a text box where you can add a message. This will then appear on the card, ensuring the recipient knows just what it’s for.
Sometimes, a person goes so above and beyond to help you out that you have to shout your appreciation from the mountaintops. In this case, consider posting a thank you on social media. Various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, are available.
Again, you want to tailor your medium to the message. If you are saying thank you for professional reasons, a formal post via LinkedIn can be best, for example. Don’t forget to @ the person so that they see the message. This is also a great way to provide a casual reference testifying to the professional’s services or goods in the business world.
You’re probably thinking, “handwritten notes?! I thought this list was supposed to be tech-savvy!” Bear with us. Handwritten notes are a personal way to say thanks, but writing them, getting postage, and sending them is undoubtedly a hassle.
Then Handwrytten came along. Handwrytten takes care of the writing, postage, and sending. All you do is type your message and choose the style of real handwriting you want. Handwrytten’s robots write the letter on real stationery and their team ensures it gets to the recipient.
Back in the day, a fruit basket was considered a lovely way to say thanks. These days, modern technology allows for more innovative gift baskets. Platforms like Happy Box let you create curated boxes of treats to show your appreciation.
You can select from ready-made boxes that are already prepared or build your own. The online tech makes it fast and easy to automate your gratitude. You pick a box design, choose the presents you want to include, and pick a card. They’ll even handwrite a note for you. They then ship the box to the recipient.
If the person you’re thanking has a sweet tooth, they will undoubtedly appreciate a sugary treat. There are also gift-box-style companies explicitly devoted to sweets. Sugarwish is one great example that shows how technology can simplify your thank-you process.
You “send a sugarwish” to the person of your choosing via the Sugarwish website. They get an email or text message alerting them to their gift. And—here’s the best part—they can then actually choose which sweets go into their treat box! This ensures that they get something they love.
Saying thank you is an act of reciprocity. This is even more true if you automate your gratitude with a gift. However, what can you do if the person you want to thank already has it all? You can show your appreciation by paying it forward.
Give to a charitable cause in the other’s name. Ideally, give to a cause you know they are passionate about. Online tools and payment platforms make it easy to donate to many charitable causes online.
The media you use to show your appreciation these days may be very different from what it was in the past. The days of DIY handwritten letters are long gone. However, some simple rules of thumb apply when automate your gratitude, whatever medium you opt for.
When sending a thank-you to someone, whether it’s a professional or personal contact, abide by these guidelines:
These three rules are simple, straightforward, and easy enough to implement—especially with the technological innovations described above. With this arsenal of ways to show appreciation, you have no excuses not to say “thank you” more often!
The above guide provides a diversity of ideas and suggestions on how to automate your gratitude in 2021. Keep in mind that some media will be better suited to specific occasions than others. For example, a GIF is great for a friend, but not for a boss.
That said, ultimately, there is no “wrong” or “right” way to say thank you. Don’t stress yourself too much about the details. Instead, explore your options above and find various ways to show more gratitude in your life. The people around you are sure to appreciate it!
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