Get your favorite pen and paper ready! It’s the season of giving, gratitude, and thoughtfulness. You are here because you want to know how to serve up a gracious note of gratitude each and every time.

But what goes into a great thank you note?

Someone has done something for you and you know a heartfelt thank you is in order. You’ve got your card; you are ready to write. Thank you…you pause…ummmmmm…that about covers it. That’s what I wanted to say.

Can you relate?

If you struggle with what to write, if you find yourself stuck not knowing what to say beyond thank you, you are in the right place! Keep reading and we’ll walk through the recipe for successful note writing. The ingredients you need for a great thank you each and every time you need to dish one out.

You’ll feel more confident in your ability to write out and acknowledge your gratitude. And you’ll have the recipe for consistency, something to fall back on when you are feeling stuck.

STEP1: Much like any recipe, you need to assess the time. We tend to shy away from elaborate recipes on a Tuesday night saving them for the weekend. In this case, you are assessing your timing. Whenever possible send a handwritten thank you as soon as possible. Your goal should be within 24 hours…a week at the latest. Now, I get it, LIFE HAPPENS and can get in the way. So I want you to know that late is still better than never. But as a professional practice, try to improve your response time to sooner rather than later. Deal?

Think about it. When would you like to be thanked?

STEP 2: Choose Your Format. Will you make a phone call? Send an email? Or hand write a note? In a recipe, it’s a lot like trying to figure out which pan you’ll use, loaf or bundt? If you can’t decide on with which format is most appropriate to send, choose and not or. That’s right, double the gratitude. Make that phone call or send an email almost immediately saying thank you for an invite, their time or a kind gesture. And then follow up with your handwritten, short, and focused note in a day or 2.

Still struggling with the most memorable approach? Ask yourself:

How you want to be remembered?

What will set your message apart?

Once a phone call happens, it’s over and email often deleted. But handwritten notes are a bit of an experience. Something to have and to hold.

Step 3: Keep it Short & Sweet! We’re talking 3-5 sentences. It’s plenty. Use this easy 5 step formula.

  • Greetings/Salutation
  • I wanted to thank you right away for…
  • Say why it was special to you.
  • Thank them Again
  • Close & Sign

If you need a format of exactly what to write, click here for our A-List Writing Worksheet. It is so easy you can use it with your kids.

STEP 4: Don’t Do To Much! What does that even mean, Michelle? It means, share your appreciation but don’t go on and on. Be gracious with a focus, in other words, stick to the point. This isn’t the time for selling yourself, your business or scheduling future plans & appointments.

No matter how you slice and service it, thoughtfulness and gratitude are great, everyday, ways to practice parts of your etiquette training. So go on, grab a pack of cards from Dollar Tree, Target, or personalize stationery all your own HERE.

For more personal/professional growth, inspiration, and training, Join The A-List. Plus, there is a surprise resource waiting in your Welcome Email when you do. Trust me, its a bundle of tips and exercises in an area every professional tends to struggle. But not you…not anymore! You’re Welcome.

Join The Conversation