How To Write A Thank You Note

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How To Write A Thank You Note

Whether you're writing a thank you note for a gift, a favor done by a friend, or for someone's presence, we can all admit that thank you notes are the first thing to be read (and, sadly, thrown away).

I hate to say it, but a general thank you note is usually garbage material. That's why I often tell my close friends: "Save the thank you note. Your words are enough."

That probably sounds pretty awful, but not many people really write anything of meaning on thank you cards. It's usually just a simple, "Thanks for little Johnny's toy truck. He loves it!" or, "Thanks for coming to my wedding!" Neither of those examples are anything to hold onto in your nighttable dresser drawers.

Of course, you don't have to be like everyone else with their boring thank you note diatribes.

Here's how to write a thank you note that people can cherish.

RELATED: 170 Things To Write In Your Thank You Notes

These tips will help you write a great one that will at least stay on the kitchen fridge, avoiding that dreadful trash can.

1. Include everyone, or the right person, in the thank you note.

Address your thank you note to whoever may have been involved in bestowing you with something great worth expressing gratitude for.

Don't forget the spouse or partner who may have purchased that sweet birthday gift you got. Or, include little ones who may have chipped in to create a card for your son's birthday, for example.

Whatever you do, don't forget to include the right people on the note. And for goodness sake, spell their names right!

2. Be specific with your thanks.

Don't just write "thank you." In that case, it seems lazy and not very touching. Be specific with your gratitude. What exactly did this person do that moved you so much? How did this person's kindness brighten to your day?

For example:

  • "It really made my day to see you at my wedding."
  • "Little Mary has taken quite a liking to that doll you got her."
  • "Thanks to you, I wasn't so scared at my procedure. Thanks for being by my side that day!"

Use as much detail as possible to express your thanks; otherwise, your card will simply sound like everyone else's. 

RELATED: 7 Ways To Prove You Love Someone By Showing Them The Deepest Appreciation

3. Get creative when using the word 'thanks'.

By just using the word "thanks" in your note, you're devaluing the message, which is that you're truly greatful for their gift or time.

Instead, try to use words like:

Try other words that also mean, thank you, like:

  • Grazie
  • Merci
  • Gratitude
  • Grateful
  • Appreciation

Doing so won't make your note sound so superficial.

4. Share how you will use this person's generosity.

It doesn't matter if you're thanking someone for wedding money or for helping you move. What will this generosity do for you, moving forward?

For example:

  • "Thanks to your generous wedding gift, my partner and I can finally start to save towards a home. We've been living in a really small space and want to have a family. This will help us work towards our future."
  • "Because you helped me move, I felt less alone and overwhelmed. Thanks to you, I will rest easy tonight and not have such a huge mover's bill!"

5. Bring up future get-togethers.

When is the next time you're going to see this awesomely generous human? Rather than saying something like, "Let's hang out some time soon," like you would to people you haven't seen since high school, be more specific about your plans.

Share how excited you are to see this person again, or bring up a future get together. For example:

  • "I can't wait to see you at grandma's birthday bash."
  • "Let's get together for coffee next week."
  • "What are you doing on the weekend? We should grab dinner and drinks."

This makes the person feel important, and like you value his or her time and presence in your life.

6. Restate the 'thank you'.

Close off the card with that reminder of thanks. This lets the generous person know that you really appreciate what they did.

For example:

  • "Thanks again for everything."
  • 'Thanks a million! Where would I be without you?"

RELATED: To The Friend Who Made Me Feel Less Alone: Thank You

7. Wrap it up.

The closing regards matter a lot. And they also depend on the type of relationship you have. Are you close friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers, parents, or something else?

If your relationship is formal, try these closers:

  • Sincerely
  • Best
  • With regards
  • Many thanks
  • Yours truly

If your relationship with the person is informal and close, try:

  • Love
  • Warmly
  • All my love
  • All the best
  • Fondly
  • Yours

Now that you've got a killer thank you note, be sure to send it within a month of the event. If you send it later, offer your apologies on the card for sending your note so late.

RELATED: Saying These 2 Words Makes People Like You Much More, Says Science

Laura Lifshitz is a former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate currently writing about divorce, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, and marriage for The New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more.

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