How To Write a Great Thank You Note
A lot of people have trouble writing thank you notes.
This is a real shame, because there is nothing more important in life than showing your appreciation for a good deed, a good gift, or a job well done.
Let's go over the basics of writing a thank you note. And below, you can check out some popular thank you note examples.
What You’ll Need
First things first. Let’s make sure we’ve got everything we need to write a proper thank you note.
That’s right folks. Not a pencil, but a pen. Thank Yous are forever! Black or blue is the most common because you can actually read the ink. Don't make things difficult on your color-blind Aunt Linda.
A Card or Stationary
If you’re in a pinch, you can get away with writing a note on whatever is available. But since you're taking the time to read this, you probably have enough time to procure a nice card or thank you stationery.
For more professional thank you letters, you can use your company's letterhead, or (shudder) e-mail.
Know What You’re Thanking Someone For
Chances are, you know why you’re thanking someone. However, there are certain times, like after a wedding or a large birthday party, when you may not remember who gave you what.
You’ll want to use some sort of system if you need to write thank you notes for multiple recipients at once. Check out our tutorial on writing wedding thank you notes for help on organizing and executing a large number of thank you cards.
A Thank You Quote (Optional)
A good thank you note will show that you put in some effort. So, consider seeking out an appropriate quote to help sum up your feelings of gratitude. If you pick the right quote, it’ll make your card look legit.
Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work for you. Check out our large collection of thank you quotes.
After you find a good one, come on back here. I’ll wait for you...
The Structure of a Good Thank You Note
All thank you notes follow a similar structure. If you follow this structure, you shouldn’t have too many issues.
1. The Greeting
- Dear Lucy,
- To My Favorite Uncle,
- Dearest Julia,
- To My Best Friend Laura,
- Dear Sam and Rosa Bloomberg,
- To The Lowery Family,
I know you weren’t going to forget the greeting... But, in the texting and e-mail centric world that we live in, you can never be too careful.
If you received a gift from a couple, or a family, it's correct to address the group as a whole. Don't forget anyone!
2. The Initial Thank You
Don't waste any time. Let the recipient know what's going on right from the start. There are a few things you'll need to keep in mind here, as this is the heart of the thank you note.
1. Donation - "Thank you so much for your generous donation in this year's fundraising drive."
2. Tutoring - “I Can't thank you enough for helping me study for the SAT these last few months."
3. Graduation - "I am so grateful that you were able to attend my graduation ceremony."
Read More: 40 Popular Thank You Phrases
First, avoid saying anything like, "I did not expect such a nice gift." This comes off as though you weren't expecting this person to actually be generous. If someone did give you a gift that exceeded your expectations, consider using something along these lines:
"I am so thankful for your incredible generosity."
Second, when you mention the deed or gift for which you're thankful, try to make it seem as elegant as possible. So, ��Thanks for helping me cram for the SAT�� becomes, "I Can't thank you enough for helping me study for the SAT".
One of the biggest faux pas when saying thank you is making the good deed seem less than spectacularly generous. When putting a thank you on paper, the risk goes up that much more.
3. Elaborate - Why Are You So Grateful?
After your initial declaration of thanks, you’ll want to add a sentence or two elaborating why exactly you’re so grateful.
If you are thanking someone for a gift this is a good time to describe why this particular gift is so special to you.
1. Donation - "It is because of caring Donors such as yourself that we are able to carry out our mission."
2. Tutoring - "I just got my results back today and my math score was better by 200 points!"
3. Graduation - "You have no idea how much it meant to me when I looked up and saw you in the audience."
4. Make it Personal
Now that you’ve established why you’re so thankful, add something personal so that the recipient knows you’ve been thinking about them. Also, by adding a personal touch, you'll prove that you didn’t outsource your thank you notes to India.
1. Donation - "I was so happy to see you at the membership gala last fall. Please tell your wife Cindy how much I envied her beautiful dress."
2. Tutoring - "I learned a lot during all those study sessions at the library, but, you know, we had so many laughs it usually didn’t even feel like we were studying."
3. Graduation - "You have been such a huge role model for me growing up, I’ll never forget our fishing trips together on the Outer Banks. Even if we never did catch many fish..."
5. Reiterate Your Gratitude, and Look To The Future
Alright, we’re almost done. At the end of your note you should reiterate how grateful you are.
Also, consider mentioning something about the future. If you can reciprocate something of value to the recipient, now is the time to do so.
1. Donation - "Again, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you at the next MOS event."
2. Tutoring - "I truly am so grateful. If you ever need a reference for another student, I would be honored. Just give me a ring."
3. Graduation - "So, thanks Grandpa. I can’t wait to see you at the family reunion this fall. If you’re around Boston at all before then, let me know! I’ll fix dinner for you."
6. Sign Off
Again, this isn’t a text message. In order to complete your thank you note, you’ll need a good valediction. Here are a few examples:
- Sincerely, Mark Roth,
- Lovingly, Your Granddaughter,
- Warmly, Diana M.
- Many Thanks, Samantha
Read More: The Best Letter Closings
The Examples in Their Entirety
Here are the examples from above in their whole form.
To Mr. Sam Levine and Family,
Thank you so much for your generous donation in this year's fundraising drive. It is because of caring Donors such as yourself that we are able to carry out our mission.
I was so happy to see you at the membership gala last fall. Please tell your wife Cindy how much I envied her beautiful dress.
Again, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you at the next MOS event.
Warmly, Maria Townsend
Dear John M.,
I Can't thank you enough for helping me study for the SAT these past few months. I just got my results back today and my math score was better by 200 points!
I learned a lot during all those study sessions at the library, but, you know, we had so many laughs it usually didn’t even feel like studying.
I truly am so grateful. If you ever need a reference for another student, I would be honored. Just give me a ring.
Sincerely, Randy S.
I am so grateful that you were able to attend my graduation ceremony. You have no idea how much it meant to me when I looked up and saw you in the audience.
You have been such a huge role model for me growing up, I’ll never forget our fishing trips together on the Outer Banks. Even if we never did catch many fish...
Thanks for all you've done, and continue to do for me. I can’t wait to see you at the family reunion this fall. If you’re around Boston at all before then, let me know! I’ll fix dinner for you.
More Thank You Note Examples
We’ve got more examples of thank you notes than you could shake a stick at. Here are a few of the most popular occasions.
Don’t see an example for your situation, and still feel like you need help? Tell us your story and we’ll write you a thank you note example for your special case.
Thank You Note Examples For...After a Job Interview
After a Wedding
After a Bridal Shower
After a Baby Shower
After a Baptism
After a Dinner Party
For a Donation
For a Scholarship
For an Award