Compared to most other types of thank you letters, a professional Even for brief thank-you notes, the type and quality of paper can say a lot by itself. .. You could write a "thanks for visiting" sign on your homepage, but even that is not.
I write a lot of thank you notes. I thank donors of organizations that I support, gift givers after the holidays and birthdays, friends who have invited me over for dinner, guest speakers who come to my classes, community partners who work with my students, colleagues who help me solve problems, and editors and publishers (you know who you are). You probably write a fair number of thank you letters too (or should), for graduation and wedding gifts, scholarships and fellowships, interviews and recommendations, moving help, and just plain good advice.
Thank you notes are part of my daily writing practice and something I like to do when I’m still well-caffeinated and relatively creative. Writing thank you notes involves the same elements of craft as any writing: a clear point, conciseness, and enough detail show that you have put some thought into the exposition. Email or paper? Often an email is fine for a thank you, but for many things, I still like the ritual of cards, envelopes, and stamps.
Many of us struggle with thank you notes. We live in such an age of irony and casual communication—the tweet, the post, and the selfie—that it can feel awkward to express sincere gratitude gracefully. When we fumble our thank yous, we may fall back on cute expressivity like Thank you sooo much!!!! (where the oooo’s and !!!!’s are trying do all the work) or archaic gravity like Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for your kind help.
What can you say in a thank-you note besides thank you? Be specific about why you are grateful. Be authentic. And let your note fit the action you are thanking someone for and the relationship you have with that person. Here are some ideas and examples (with details changed) that can help you build specificity, authenticity, and good fit into your thank you notes.
Say why a gift or act is meaningful, useful or helpful. When someone gives a presentation, you might thank them by writing something like this:
I appreciate your coming to my class to speak about editing—and from their feedback, the students appreciated your visit as well. Having someone who works in the publishing business provide first-hand insights allows us to have discussions that go beyond the textbooks and journal articles we read. Thank you.
Or when you return a borrowed item, you can express your appreciation and explain how the loan affected you:
Thanks for encouraging me to read Go Set a Watchman and for lending me your copy. I was undecided about reading it, but when I did I came away with a new regard for Harper Lee. Now I’m inspired to reread To Kill a Mockingbird.
Another approach to specificity is to tell how a gift was used. For some birthday cash from a relative, you can explain what you bought:
Thanks for the generous gift card, which I used to buy a new jacket—with professorial elbow patches even. I’m planning to wear it to an upcoming conference. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and value your friendship, which I’ll think about whenever I wear the jacket.
Or in the case of a donation to a non-profit, you might explain what that donation does for the organization’s clients:
Thank you so much for your generous donation to the Community Fund. Your gift will help to provide scholarships for youth and seniors, and will bring them together in meaningful arts activities. With support like yours, we able to build inter-generational programming and a stronger community for all of us.
And if you receive a scholarship yourself or for a family member, you can describe its impact:
I am writing to thank you for the scholarship support for my daughter’s the summer arts program. We have had a hard time the past few years and have had to move around a lot. She has always enjoyed the arts and the summer arts program, which we could not afford otherwise, is something she has always hoped to take part in. Working with artists and making new friends will be a life-changing experience for her. Thank you all so much.
We also thank people for favors, acknowledging their efforts on our behalf. A thank-you note is appropriate even when the actions are part of someone’s regular job, but especially if they make an extra effort or if their work has had a significant impact. If a staff member lends her expertise to solving a problem, you might send a note or email like this:
Thanks for your help last week working through all of the policy issues with our unruly group. All of us appreciate your thoughtful preparation and the clarity you brought to the effort. Because of your help, we’ve now got a revised document that the Executive Committee has reviewed and approved.
And if someone gives you some resume coaching, you can let them know the result:
I wanted to let you know that I got the editorial internship that I applied for and thank you again for looking over my resume and cover letter. Your advice enabled me to make a more effective and successful presentation.
Thank yous are about relationships and gratitude, not give-and-take, but sometimes it’s okay to offer to return a favor.
Thanks again for the ride to the airport. It’s great to have a friend who will wake up at the crack of dawn to help me make my flight. I hope I can return the favor sometime.
Finally, give your note a check for “cheesiness,” which is variously defined as “vulgar sentimentality” or “blatant inauthenticity” (and check out the Oxford English Dictionary for some interesting etymological tidbits on that word. Cheesiness, will lead you to cheesy and cheese, and a possible connection in some of its meanings to the Persian word chīz, meaning “thing”. Who knew?).
Cheesiness is a relative notion, of course, and what sounds inauthentic coming from me might sound perfectly authentic coming from you, so it’s a matter of being true to your own voice and temperament, as well as the situation. But generally speaking, stay away from adverbs and exclamations and from flowery, stilted language.
And thank you for reading this. I appreciate the monthly opportunity to think, reflect, and share in my blog column.
Featured image credit: “Thank You” by Free for Commercial Use. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.
An example of a general thank you letter to send to those who have say in your letter, and also whether to send your note as an email, letter.
Going through losing someone can be a difficult thing to do alone. Thanking a friend or relative that was there to help you is a great way to show the gratitude you feel for being there for you. Here is a look at some great thank you notes for sympathy messages that were shared with you during this difficult time.
“It has always been a privilege to have you for a friend. I don’t know how we would have coped with the loss of our wonderful son if we hadn’t had your huge support. Thanks never seems enough at times like this.”
“It was so thoughtful of you to think of me during my time of sadness. Your sympathy card and kind words of condolence are of great comfort to me as I grieve my Father’s death.”
“Just a quick note to show our appreciation for the beautiful flowers you’ve sent. We are grateful for your thoughtfulness while we are going through this difficult time.”
“Sorry it’s taken me a while to put pen to paper to thank you for the moving gift you sent me when little [name] was taken from us. It’s been so hard, and I’m only just beginning to come out of the shock I think. Your gift will help to remind me of the happy times, although short, that we spent with our son. I’m getting stronger each day, so don’t be a stranger, I’d love to get together for a cuppa soon.”
“Thank you for praying for us and for him/her. We appreciate your support and good feelings.”
“Thank you for remembering the good things you have learned from our dearest deceased and for sharing them with us.”
“Thank you for showing us that we are not alone in our grief.”
“Thank you for the lovely card. I really appreciate your kind thoughts. [name] always said you were the best work colleague anyone could have had. You helped her to cope during the early part of her illness and she really appreciated your visits to the home and hospital.”
“Thank you for the lovely flowers you sent us. They were really beautiful. It has been such a comfort to know that you were thinking of us while we were saying goodbye to our wonderful Mum. It’s been a really tough few weeks, but with the support of friends like yourselves we are getting through it. I hope that we will be able to catch up soon.”
“Thank you for your kind letter of condolence and for sharing in your memories of mum. Mum lived a long, happy life and I shall miss her dearly; your wonderful memories of her and kind words helped lift my spirits.”
“Thank you for your sympathy card and flowers. We are deeply touched by your words of condolence and are thankful that you are there for us at this difficult time.”
“Thank you for your sympathy during our time of loss. Your kind words are of great comfort to us as we try to come to terms with our daughter’s death.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness in helping me with the food and guests at the services. I am so grateful for your helping hand in my time of need. Thanks again.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support during this difficult time is greatly appreciated.”
“Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers you sent. They touched me deeply, as did your words of sympathy. I am so grateful to have you and your family close by as I grieve [name] untimely death.”
“Thank you so much for understanding the way we felt at the moment and for telling us the right words of condolences.”
“The family would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for the thoughtfulness presented to us and love we have been given during our time of bereavement.”
“The kind, generosity of good friends like you has been a great help to us during this very difficult time. Thank you so very much for your loving support.”
“There are simply no words to express my heartfelt thanks for the sympathy you have extended toward our family during this time of loss. We are deeply grateful to you.”
“We would like to give our thanks for the beautiful photos and flowers. We greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and generosity in this difficult time.”
Sometimes there is nothing better than a lighthearted reminder from kids on how to say thank you for the generous things that are offered to use from others.
Thank you letters are a great way to express your appreciation for people’s help. However, they can also help you in a number of ways. A thank you letter can help you maintain contact with someone in your network. It can help you remind a hiring manager why you are a good fit for a position. It can also show your supervisor that you are professional and polite.
Make sure you know both what to say in your letter, and also whether to send your note as an email, letter, or card. Saying the right thing using the right format will impress your recipient, and make him or her feel appreciated.
How you send your thank you letter depends on many factors. Email is pretty much the standard for business communication these days. If a prompt follow-up is essential – for example, if you want to express gratitude for the opportunity of a job interview before the hiring committee makes its decision – email is the way to go.
Print thank you letters can take the form of an informal, handwritten note or a formal, typed letter. How you write the letter should show your understanding of the company and person you are thanking. If you know you have time to relay your thanks by mail, a written thank you shows that you've taken an extra step to show your appreciation.
More traditional companies often prefer either a typed letter or a handwritten note. However, if you want to really personalize your message of thanks (for example, if you are thanking a coworker whom you’ve worked with for years), consider a handwritten card.
No matter what form you use to send your thank you note, there are certain components you should always include.
Address the person appropriately. At the start of the letter, address the person with a proper salutation, such as “Dear Mr. Lastname.” or “Dear Firstname.” If you know the person well, use the person’s first name. Otherwise, address him or her as Mr., Ms., or another appropriate title.
Say thank you. Get to the point of your note quickly. Say the words “thank you” in the first sentence or two, so the person knows why you are writing. If you are sending an email, include the phrase “Thank You” in the subject line as well.
Give (some) specifics. Make sure you specify what you are saying thank you for. Go into a bit of detail, so the person understands exactly what you appreciate. For example, if you are saying thank you to someone who gave you job advice, explain exactly what you found to be most helpful. If you are saying thank you after a job interview, remind the person of a particular moment from the interview (or remind him or her why you are a good fit for the job). A bit of detail shows the person what you really appreciate, and why.
Say thank you again. Before signing off, reiterate your appreciation.
Sign off. Use an appropriate closing, such as “Best,” or “Sincerely.” Then end with your signature (handwritten and typed if it is a letter, handwritten if it is a card, and typed if it is an email).
Send it as soon as possible. Write and send your note as soon as possible. Don’t delay in sending your thanks, especially after a job interview. Not sending a thank you letter after an interview can hurt your chances of getting hired.
Be positive but sincere. Express your gratitude, but don’t go overboard. People can tell when a thank you note is insincere. For example, if you are thanking an employer after resigning from a job, you should express your thanks, and focus on what you liked about working there. However, don’t lie and say you loved everything if you didn’t really. Focus on the positives, but don’t lie.
Personalize each letter. Personalize each thank you letter you send. For example, if you send thank you notes to everyone you interviewed with for a job, add something to each note about your specific conversation with each person. Don’t simply copy and paste the same message for each person – this will come across as insincere.
Keep it brief. Thank you notes should be short. Keep your note no longer than a couple of concise paragraphs.
Edit, edit, edit. A thank you note in the workplace must be professional. This means it should be well written and error free. Proofread your letter carefully before sending it.
Download the Word Template
A printed letter, sent by mail, will have your contact information as well as that of your recipient at the top of the page:
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee:
I hope you are well. I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing me a letter of reference for the job at Acme Retail.
I really appreciate you taking the time to write the letter. I am happy to announce that I have a second interview with the company next week! I will let you know how it goes.
Again, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate your assistance with my job search.
Jason Jones [handwritten signature]
When sending an email letter, as opposed to a traditional mailed one, there is no need to include your return address or your address at the beginning of the message. Simply list your contact information in your signature.
Subject: Thank you!
Dear Ms. Lee,
I would like to thank you for the invaluable support you provided to me during my recent career search.
When I began this search, I had very little idea how to go about it – or especially, how to network to discover new job opportunities. The information and advice you gave (and, in particular, the list of contacts you shared with me) made all the difference in helping me to focus my job search.
I’m happy to report that I have just accepted a new position with ACME Auto! Again, thank you so very much. I greatly appreciate your generosity.
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
The helped person usually says, with feeling, “Thank you. I don't say it And don' t forget to send a thank-you note to Grandma. She worked.
A helping hand from a business partner.
A complaint from your customer.
An invitation to a global conference.
What do these have in common?
They’re all situations that could use a note of thanks.
According to Chron, when you send a thank-you note to someone, it shows that you value your business relationship with them.
Do you agree? I sure do!
So, can you think of anyone in your business orbit you need to thank right now?
Wait—before you sit down at your computer to begin writing an email, I have a list of 20 business English “thank you” phrases that’ll be useful to you.
We’ll first look at some steps for structuring your thank-you message. The process is very simple and you can be sure that your recipient will appreciate it!
These days, thank-you notes are often sent in the form of an email. In fact, the business management expert at Ask a Manager advises sending email thank-you notes instead of handwritten ones after job interviews and other business-related correspondences.
Some things to keep in mind about thank-you messages: they don’t have to be long and complicated. Keep them short but spend some time creating a message that sounds genuine and sincere. Plan to send your thank-you email within 24 to 48 hours of a meeting or event.
We’ll give you all the vocabulary you need to say “thank you” in different situations later in this post. But first, it’s important to understand the structure and tone of a business english thank-you email.
You can write it in four simple steps:
Whatever it is, keep it short and clear and express your appreciation.
Using the steps above, here’s an example of a thank-you email to a business associate for their guidance in planning an advertising campaign:
Thank you for meeting with us yesterday. We greatly appreciate the time you took to share your experience and insights into how we should plan our upcoming advertising campaign.
Your presentation was both informative and practical, and has inspired our team to come up with some exciting ideas for the campaign ahead of our team meeting next week.
Once again, a big thank you from all of us and we look forward to having you back to review our draft.
For more real-life examples of business English phrases in use, check out FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like business dialogues, inspiring speeches, news and more—and turns them into personalized English lessons.
It has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try it out on your computer, iOS or Android device!
We frequently rely on our business associates to help and support us in various business activities.
You could begin with a phrase like this to briefly include your reason for thanking them:
Thank you for your help in [business activity].
For example: Thank you for your help in securing an alternative supplier when our shipping consignment was delayed recently.
Here’s another good phrase you could use to include some details:
We’re grateful for your support in [business activity].
For example: We’re grateful for your support in planning the grand opening of our Manhattan store last week.
After meeting with potential business associates to discuss business collaborations or partnerships, it’s good practice to send them a thank-you note afterwards. You’ll show that you appreciate their time and effort, and leave a positive impression that’ll strengthen your relationship.
You could start with a phrase like:
Thank you for meeting with us to discuss our business collaboration.
You could end by saying:
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Here, “thank you in advance” is used to thank the person ahead of time when it’s clear that you’ll be dealing with them in the near future. Otherwise, you can simply leave out the words “in advance.”
In business, we often depend heavily on our vendors and suppliers for timely shipments, deliveries and service. A vendor that delivers good service deserves praise and acknowledgement. So don’t forget to send them a note of thanks now and then.
You could begin with simple phrases like:
Thank you for your great service over the years.
Thank you for your prompt response to our [needs/request].
In business, we often work closely with others in our department and teams to achieve certain goals. Complimenting someone for going the extra mile (an expression that means putting in exceptional time and effort) towards the success of the team can greatly boost their morale.
You could use simple phrases like:
Thank you for a job well done.
Thank you for being an invaluable part of our team.
When a business associate accepts your invitation to meet, then it’s only courteous to thank them for making the time.
Simple phrases you could use include:
Thank you for the opportunity to meet up.
Thank you for making time to see me.
Sending a thank-you email to someone you’ve recently met at a business networking event such as a seminar, trade show or business dinner is a great way to build a strong business relationship.
You could start by saying:
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.
Thank you for your offer to connect me with your business contacts.
We all know that our customers and clients are the most important people to our business. So make it a practice to send your customers and clients an occasional thank-you note to show that you appreciate them.
You could start with this phrase to include the name of your company.
Thank you for choosing [your company name].
This phrase may be used at the beginning or end of your email:
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.
It’s always a wonderful thing to receive positive feedback from a customer or client! Be sure to write back and thank them graciously to maintain a strong relationship.
You could start by saying:
Thank you for your positive feedback.
You could use this phrase either at the beginning or end of your email:
We greatly appreciate your kind words.
While everyone hopes for positive feedback, we should also value negative feedback as a way of addressing customers’ concerns and improving our business in the long run. So be sure to accept negative feedback graciously and follow up with a note of thanks.
You could start with this phrase followed by a brief explanation of how you plan to address the issue that’s been highlighted:
Thank you for raising your concerns with us.
This phrase is a great one for ending your message:
Thank you for your understanding.
If you wish to stand out and leave a good impression with your prospective employer, be sure to send your interviewer a thank-you email shortly afterwards.
If you were interviewed by a group, the International Hellenic University suggests you consider sending a group thank-you note.
You could start with this phrase:
Thank you for meeting with me today.
You could also use this phrase at either the beginning or end of your message:
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you today.
So there you have it—a list of professional phrases for expressing your gratitude to someone in business. You can’t go wrong with these phrases. Remember, a little courtesy goes a long way in business. So be generous with your thanks and good luck with your business English learning!
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The helped person usually says, with feeling, “Thank you. I don't say it And don' t forget to send a thank-you note to Grandma. She worked.