There's rarely a bad time to say "Thank You." In fact, we probably don't say it often enough.
With the popularity of emails, text messages, tweets and social media posts communication is becoming more streamlined and less personal. However, gratitude never goes out of style. Handwritten thank-you notes remain appropriate and expected in many situations.
Well-written thank-you notes don’t need to be lengthy or time-consuming. They just need to be sincere and heartfelt. Use these easy tips for crafting meaningful thank-you notes that will impress even the most stringent sticklers for tradition. To help to get your creative juices flowing, keep reading our 40 message starter ideas.
Thank You Messaging Guide
1. Prepare to write
The process of writing a thoughtful note of thanks begins well before the pen touches the paper. Begin by keeping a detailed list of notes that need to be written. In the hectic days leading up to a wedding or new baby, it can be difficult to remember all of the gifts received.
Creating a detailed list, including the name of the giver, item given and date received, may help streamline the process and ensure that no one gets left out. You may wish to create a spreadsheet for this purpose.
The stationary you choose will create a powerful first impression. Small note cards are the traditional choice and are always appropriate. However, this is a good opportunity to create extra impact by using some creativity.
For wedding gifts, try writing your note on a postcard from your honeymoon location. The back of a photograph of happy newlyweds, a new baby or recent graduate is also a perfect medium for your note. Opting for something other than the tried and true note card will create a lasting impression and make your note stand out.
Once you have your list and have selected your stationary you are ready to compose your thank you note. It’s essential to think through what you would like to say before you start writing. Because thank-you notes should be handwritten, rather than typed or emailed, you will not have the advantage of spellcheck or autocorrect. Putting thought into what you would like to say will help prevent errors and the need to rewrite.
2. Address your audience
Every note should begin with the recipient’s name. Simply launching into the body of your note will feel generic. Mentioning the recipient specifically helps to make them feel special. This is also a good opportunity to reinforce special relationships. For example, you may want to address your note to “Aunt Sally” rather than just “Sally.” It’s also okay to inject a bit of personality by saying something like “To my wonderful Maid Of Honor, Amy”. The key here is to make your recipient feel recognized.
3. Mention the specific gift
The goal of any well-written thank-you note is to show that the gift was appreciated. This can easily be accomplished by naming the item received, as specifically as possible, within the first sentence of the note. General phrases such as “Thank you for the gift” could apply to anything and make it feel as if your notes were written in bulk. Instead, try phrases such as “Thank you for the set of towels” or “Thank you for the package of diapers and pink dress.” For gifts of money, denominations should never be mentioned, and it is acceptable to use a slightly more generic phrase such as “Thank you for the card and generous gift.” If a gift card was received, mention the store it was from.
The year is full of reasons to be grateful — big and small — and not having the "right things" to say or write shouldn't be the reason you choose not to express yourself.
4. Mention how the gift will be used
Beyond just naming the item received, it is a good idea to state how you will use it or how it fits into your life. This lets the reader know that the gift they selected was a good fit for you. For example, if you received a set of pots of pans you might say, “I look forward to cooking many dinners with them” or “They will be perfect for making my favorite chicken soup!”
If stating how a gift will be used seems awkward, you can opt to state why you like the gift with a statement such as “The new towels are so soft and match our bathroom perfectly.” For monetary gifts, mention how the money will be spent with a sentence such as “We will be buying new lamps for our home.” However, if you plan to use the money for day-to-day expenses such as paying bills or buying groceries you may use a general statement such as “Your gift will be very helpful as we start our new life together.”
5. Focus on relationships
A sincere thank-you note will emphasize that while the gift received is appreciated, it is the person who gave it that is most important. Bringing the focus back to the relationship is a good way to end your message. Make your reader feel special by saying something like “Coworkers like you make my job a joy” or “I’m so blessed to have a friend like you.”
Since many gifts are received during times of life changes such as weddings, new babies or graduation, you many also wish to refer to the future and your continuing relationship. Try a sentence such as “I can’t wait to see you at the family reunion this summer”. This lets the reader know that they continue to be important to you and will not be forgotten in your new pursuits.
6. Sign off
Always close the note with your signature. While the reader will likely already know whom the message is from, it is a detail that will show your sincerity.
7. Put it all together
Now that you have the basic components for a well-written thank-you note, it’s time to put it all together. Use these samples as a guide for writing your own message:
What to Write in a Thank You Card: 40 Message Starters to Say Thank You
To your family:
- How lucky I am to have family like you, thank you.
- For all that you do, please know I am thankful.
- I'm touched beyond words for your kindness and generosity, thank you.
- For your love, support, and helping hand, thank you.
- For your shining light during a dark day, thank you.
- The greatest gift of all is having you as part of my family, thank you.
- I may not have all the things I want, but I'm thankful to have the family that I need.
- Thank you for the comfort and understanding you've brought into my life.
- I was touched beyond words at your thoughtful gift, thank you.
- Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate you and what you bring into my life.
- You make friends worth having, thank you.
- I'm thankful to have a friend like you to lean on, thank you!
- I don't know what I'd do without you in my life, thank you.
- Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself. Your friendship means the world to me.
- Thanks for putting up with me, even when you shouldn't! You're the best!
- Thank you for sticking by my side, through thick and thin.
- You deserve a bigger thank you than this, so here you go: THANK YOU!
- Life is better with a friend; thank you for all that you bring it me.
- To my cheerleader and my friend, thank you for your support.
- It's a joy to share moments together with you, thank you for everything.
- Thanks for making the watercooler the best place to be!
- Thanks for making work more than work, I'm lucky to have you around.
- Thanks for making my Monday through Friday feel like a Saturday and Sunday.
- Working with you doesn't feel like work at all, thanks for all you do.
- Thanks for everything, now get back to work.
- Thanks for being the name I smile at in my inbox.
- I'm thankful to call you a coworker and a friend, thanks for being around.
- Thanks for walking passed my desk 30 times a day. I wouldn't be so behind without you! (Just kidding!)
- Thanks for always returning my stapler... I'll give yours back soon!
- To my lunch partner and office friend, thanks for being in my life.
To your partner:
- Thank you for being the other half of my life, I feel whole when I'm with you.
- Thank you for being by my side no matter the occasion.
- To my best friend, my partner in crime, and the love of my life, thank you.
- I'm lucky to share these moments with you, forever and always. Thank you.
- Your impact on my life is a beautiful reminder of all that you do. Thank you.
- No card can ever say thank you for all that you do, but here goes nothing.
- Thank you for your kindness, love, and the smile you put on my face.
- I love sharing memories with you and can't wait to create many more. Thank you.
- Thank you for loving me endlessly without conditions.
- Happiness is having a _____ like you. Thank you.