How to Write Personal Thank You Letters
Writing a personal thank you letter or note is a gesture that is too often overlooked today. This means that those people who do take the time to send such letters will see their sentiments stand out in the mind and heart of the recipient. There is really no substitute for a sincere thank-you letter.
Nowadays, even the strictest advisers of etiquette concede that it is often perfectly acceptable, depending on the circumstances, to send thank you letters and notes by email. However, using modern technology does not absolve the sender of the need to honor traditional manners and form.
Do consider using your own handwriting to send personal thank you notes in many cases, such as in the case of a card to a friend or a note on informal stationery. Be advised that some etiquette experts are sticklers on the type of stationery used (classic) and the color of pen employed (blue or perhaps black).
Write from the heart, but do take the care to make sure your words flow. Take the time to proofread your thank you letter for errors of spelling and grammar.
The format for thank you notes sent to a close friend, family member or even some professionals in a casual setting, is to omit the return address and the recipient's address from the letter. In this significant way, personal thank you notes differ in form from business thank you letters, which are typically typed in block format just as any other business letter. In personal thank you letters, each paragraph is indented and there are no paragraphs between them. However, you would include a line for the date on even the most informal thank you letter. Another distinction is that business letters have a colon after the recipient's name, while personal thank you letters have a comma.
Always greet the recipient by name. If it's a close friend, family member or casual acquaintance, use their first name. A good rule of thumb is to address the person as you would in conversation. Exceptions would be casual thank you notes to teachers, health care professionals and certain other recipients who would generally be addressed as Mr., Mrs., Dr. and so on.
Be sure to include a "close," and make sure it is a reflection of your connection with the recipient. For example, you would not sign a letter to a business association with "Love," nor would sign a letter to a close friend, "Regards."
Index of Thank You Letter Examples