Showing Your Appreciation: 10 Occasions to Write a Thank You Note

Category: Thank Yous

Occasions to write a thank you aren’t limited to your granny for the hand-crotcheted bedsocks at Christmas. Writing a simple thank-you note in a professional setting is highly recommended for expressing heartfelt appreciation.

72% of respondents in a recent Ask Your Target Market Survey thought that paper notes were more thoughtful than electronic ones. In a world drowning in instant messages and emails, a hand-written thank-you note catches and holds the attention of the receiver.

If you’re wondering when to say thank you, or how anyone is going to read your handwriting, we have some tips for you.

What to Say in a Thank You Note

An effective thank you letter is one written in the tone you naturally use with the person who’ll be receiving it. It sometimes helps to imagine that you are speaking to the person you’re writing to. A more professional relationship calls for a more formal tone, while a close friendship, perhaps in a wedding thank you note, can be casual and warm.

Regardless of who you’re writing to, there should always be five sections to your letter.

These five sections form a skeleton that you can build all your thank you notes on. It might seem like a cold formula, but once you’ve filled it with your personal thoughts, each thank you will be perfectly unique. With practice, it will become second nature.

1. Greeting Tips for Thank You Notes

Let your salutation be guided by your professional relationship. Usually, you’ll use a proper title, such as Mr., Ms., or Mrs., followed by their surname and a comma.

2. Express What You’re Thankful For

Follow the greeting with the one main reason you are writing to say thank you. Express your reason in a clear sentence with a single point. For example, “Thank you for assisting me with the project today” or “Thank you for your valuable input.”

3. Elaborate On Why You’re Thanking Them

Here is your opportunity to expand on how their gesture, gift, or help touched you. If they gave you a gift, let them know how you intend to use it.

“The course you sent me on has taught me many clever tricks to working with these spreadsheets. It is going to save me hours of work.”

“Sourcing the supplier for our current project was eluding me. You’ve helped so much by doing that legwork for me. Thank you!”

4. Connect and Look Ahead

This is where you put the focus on the recipient. Use your common ground to show interest in them. “I’m looking forward to working on the canyon project with you. Your years of experience are evident and I know I’m going to learn so much.”

5. Final Thank You and Closing

End off your note with one last thank you statement and a suitable closing. “Respectfully” or “Sincerely” are the standard options for a professional context. If you have a closer relationship with your colleague, opt for something warmer such as “Regards” or “Best Wishes.”

when to write a handwritten note

10 Occasions to Write a Thank You

There are many occasions when it’s appropriate to write a thank you letter even in a professional context. Writing a thank you note is simply taking the time to craft your thoughts and pen them. Being willing to make the effort says more about you than the words you’ve written. Hand-written thank-you notes give an extra touch of your personal interest.

If you’re not sure what to say in a thank you note, or when to write a thank you letter in a business context, here are ten occasions when a thank you letter would be appropriate and some thank you note ideas.

1. Following a Client’s Big Purchase

You made the sale and your client walked away with their goods, a happy camper. Does the sale end there? It can, but it doesn’t have to. Add another layer of client service, and win client loyalty, by sending a quick note to say ‘thank you for choosing us, I hope you enjoy your new car and it gives your many happy hours on the road.’

2. Client Recommendations

Your client recommended you and their friend came through. This is a great time to connect with your client to say thank you. Try something like this:

Hey Sam,

Just a quick note to say thank you for sending Gary over to the store for golfing kit on Saturday.

He left fully equipped for the golfing fundraiser next weekend and the biggest smile on his face. He was impressed with the amount of stock we carry and said he’d be back for more.

I hope the clubs you bought from us last year are helping you get those hole-in-ones.

Thanks again for spreading the word about our store.

With gratitude,


3. After Being Promoted

Being promoted is a sign that your boss has recognized your worth. That is worth saying thank you for! More than just your employer, your boss is a person too and will value being recognized for the good that he’s created in your life. “I appreciate being given this opportunity and look forward to working with your team.”

4. After Receiving a Business Donation

Most businesses will send an email to say thank you for a business donation. Why not add an extra personal touch and sent a handwritten note? Your wording doesn’t have to be elaborate:

Dear Shirley,

Thank you for the donation towards new ballet shoes for our ballet outreach students.

They were skipping with excitement in their pretty new pumps! They all felt like real ballerinas for the first time.

I hope you enjoyed the DVD of last year’s recital that I sent.

Best wishes,


5. To Acknowledge an Employees Efforts

Thank you note writing doesn’t have to be reserved for big achievements. Boost team morale by acknowledging the ‘invisible things’ that your staff do. Being aware of the many things that your staff do and acknowledging them will make your team feel valued and create a sense of camaraderie.

6. When a Colleague Freely Offers Help on a Project

When you’re facing an impossible deadline and your colleague jumps in to help, that is worth a thank you. Be as informal or as formal as what your relationship allows.

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for staying late on Saturday to help finish off the beadwork on Miss Carter’s wedding dress.

Getting her dress right has been quite a challenge, but with your help, we managed to finish off all the beading she asked for. She sent a photo of herself on her ‘big day’ and the dress looking exquisite!

I hope you’re enjoying your week off after the back-to-back weddings we’ve been sewing for. I look forward to having you back in the sewing room next week.

Thanks again, I couldn’t have done it without you.

With Gratitude,


7. For Receiving a Gift

Gift thank you’s are often just a text or a quick email. That type of thank you will do, but a handwritten card is so much better! Be sure to include a few details as to how you’ll use the gift or the difference it will make in your life.

8. To Show Appreciation for a Boss’s Kindness or Support

Life gets tough at times. When those moments hit and your boss is kind and supportive, that’s when to send a letter of thanks. This type of thank you fits the standard template perfectly.

Dear Mr. Cobble,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for allowing me to work flexible hours during my Mom’s illness.

It was a difficult time for all of us. Being able to take my lunch breaks later to fit in with hospital visiting hours helped so much. I’m happy to tell you that she is home and on her way to full recovery.

I was delighted to hear that you secured the Flamingo contract that we’d been working towards.



9. After a Salary Raise

A salary raise calls for a thank you. Particularly if it wasn’t an annual inflationary increase, but rather performance-based. The wording doesn’t need to be fancy. ‘Thank you for the recent salary raise. I’m grateful that my work over the past year has been appreciated. I’m looking forward to another successful year of working together.’

10. Just Because

The business world can be a fast-paced, hard place. While a personal thank you note may not seem to be important, it can make a big difference to the person on the receiving end. Look for moments that you can celebrate with a thank you card and grab the opportunity.

But What If: The Problem With Thank You’s

You can see the benefit of thank you notes but they just don’t seem practical. Maybe you know how to send a thank you note but your handwriting isn’t as neat or legible as you’d like it to be. Handwrytten has handwriting styles that you can choose from.

Do you find scrabbling around for notecards, envelopes, and postage too time-consuming? Upload your words and Handwrytten will type, print, and mail them out for you.

What if there are just too many thank you’s for you to write? No problem. Type out your personalized messages in a spreadsheet and upload them all. Handwrytten will take care of it all from there.

Find Occasions to Write a Thank You

Although manners have changed over the years, seizing the right moment to send a heartfelt thank you can have a lasting impression on the recipient. Professional thank you’s that are memorable and prompt, add to a healthy corporate culture.

If you’d like to start making waves in your business circles, let us help you rediscover the many benefits of personal thank yous. Contact us today to get started on your gratitude journey!

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