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The Art of the Handwritten Thank You Note

Thank You Photo

I was going to call this post “The Art of the Thank You Note”, but then decided that I had to include the word “Handwritten”. Why is that still necessary when we have emails, or better yet, texts?!? Who needs to take the time to go through all the machinations involved in actually putting an envelope in the mail?

Well, there are many reasons, and they all depend on various factors. But the most important of the factors is how “thanked” do you want someone to feel? First of all, in a digital age, receiving a real handwritten note in the real mail is a novelty. It shows attention to detail, consideration, and the expression of sincere gratitude. I am not suggesting that you cannot accomplish that in a nice email, which out of expediency may be the preferred method based on the occasion. That very email, however, could get lost, misplaced, or worse yet, relegated to the no man’s land of spam or a junk file. Your handwritten note on the other hand will be saved as a treasured possession and will keep you at a certain level of estimation in the eye of the recipient. It attains the level of an autograph, prized for similar reasons.

You will need some supplies to make this process easy and convenient. Keep a nice selection of thank you cards handy. I prefer totally blank cards inside so that I can write what I feel(this is a matter of preference). Then make sure you have stamps in the correct postage denomination for the destination. Have the recipients’ mailing address ready and assemble everything you need to write your note.

The care paid to the selection of the paper, the type of pen, even the style of the stamp, and last but most definitely not least, the words, are indicative of your gratitude. Oh the words! What to say? Start with “thank you”.

Thank you notes are best kept short and sweet, again it depends on the occasion and what is required. But on average, the shorter the better, this allows you to get right to the point. First start by thanking the person or expressing your appreciation for whatever it is. Then highlight something that was impactful during the event. Express the desire to repeat it if appropriate. Then express closing salutations and sign your name. Place it in the stamped addressed envelope and seal with a glue stick under the flap. Then off it goes.

Upon receipt, the addressee will smile, be glad he’s not receiving another bill, and will appreciate the effort you made on his behalf.

A little extra gratitude can go a long way. It clearly displays that you have manners and shows that you were brought up well. This extra step can make all the difference, not to mention make someone’s day!

If you would like to read more on this topic I would recommend Margaret Shepherd’s The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication – the name says it all!

Finally, if you would like cool thank you gifts to go with your note, click here to see our Casauri range of perfect thank you gifts!

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About Emily McHugh:

Emily is the Founder and Creative Director of Casauri. She is a dynamic entrepreneur, teacher, and public speaker. Emily also consults with small and large businesses on international trade, global market expansion, and applied design thinking. In her "spare" time, she is a violinist and fiddler.

Handwritten note

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