Thank you cards are one of the last threads of decency holding society together. Too much? You’re probably right. But, we do strongly believe in the art of the thank you card. And no, it doesn’t have to be hard.
We’ve put together a few simple formulas for how to write a thank you card that will leave the receiver touched and appreciated every single time.
Don’t get stuck at the greeting
Letter writing is supposed to be fun—not stuffy! Say goodbye to “To My Dearest Alice” and welcome a fun and punchy greeting that’s actually genuine and how we’d talk in real life. This card complements—or in some cases replaces— a verbal thank you, so it should seem like it. Use their nickname. If you tend to greet friends with “Howdy,” go for it. Make your writing sound like you. When in doubt, go with their name and a simple dash after it.
Start with the thank you... duh
Cut to the chase and start out your note with exactly what it is you’re thankful for. If it’s a gift, be specific so the receiver knows your note is personal. For example, if they gifted you a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, start out by saying “Thank you so much for my beautiful red stand mixer!” Adding the color and an adjective shows your appreciation and attention to detail. Basically, you want to remind them that their gift wasn’t just another in your recent haul of amazing stuff. No "thank you for the parcel" here.
Talk about using the gift
After your initial thank you, write a sentence or two about how you plan to use the item. In keeping with our example, consider something like: “I can’t wait to bake lots of chocolate chip cookies for our next party using it!” The gift giver will love to hear how you’re putting the gift into action and how it’s benefiting your life (and possibly theirs—hello freshly baked cookies!)
Mention the gift giver
If you received this gift on an occasion in which you saw the person, now’s the time to mention how nice it was to see them or also thank them for coming to whatever event it was. If you haven’t seen them and don’t plan to soon, just mention that you’d hope to see them soon.
What if the gift was money?
Sure, money can be an awkward subject, especially when you want to offer a sincere thank you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Focus your message on the wonderful things this financial gift will allow you to do. For example, “We’re planning to use your generous gift toward a pasta making class we’ll be taking in Italy.” or "I can't wait to purchase a KitchenAid, so I can bake you tons of cookies!"
Sign off with love.
When in doubt, sign your note with "Love." If that seems a bit too close for comfort, go for “Many thanks” or “Yours truly.” Sincerely is fine too, but only use it if you feel totally wrong using all the other options, like in a formal professional setting.
The most important thing to remember is to send the card as soon as you can. Otherwise you’ll probably feel the need to also include a line about how late the card is, and that’s just distracting.
Now, pour yourself a glass of wine and get writing.
Need card ideas? Head over to our full thank you card section.