Writing letters has been a form of communication that has been used way back thousands of years ago. Even with the emergence of technological advancements, the Internet and social media, we still use letters to communicate with other people. We write letters for a variety of reasons. We write letters for business, for applying for graduate school, for recommending something or when appealing to someone, or simply to relay our appreciation.w
Not all people are confident with friendly confrontations or small talks, and others would prefer saying how they feel in words, just like when saying thank you. People often write thank-you letters to convey their thanks to another. A thank-you letter is seen as a thoughtful way for a person to show their gratitude or thanks for something.
In this article we will be exploring the many wonderful things that are about thank-you letters. We will teach you how to write a thank-you letter, give you tips on how to make them effective, why they are important, when do you need to write one, and what you must include in a thank-you letter. We will also be providing 35+ free sample thank-you letters that you can download and use as your reference.
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Importance of a Thank-You Letter
Even with the availability of the Internet and text messaging, together with the creation of social networking sites, writing thank-you letters are still preferred by many people. Why is it so important that it has to be written in a letter and sent to the person it is intended for? Below is a list of the importance of a thank-you letter.
- Saying thank you is the right thing to do. The practice of saying thank you is taught and explained to every schoolchildren because it is polite and it is the right thing to do. The act of saying thank you is easy when it comes to simple things, like being handed a piece of paper. But when the favor received is too great that a simple word of thanks is not enough, then writing a thank-you letter is the most ideal thing to do.
- It makes the person you are writing the letter for feel special. Something that is written by someone will always make another feel special. With all the thought, effort, and time allotted to writing the letter, the person it is intended for must really feel special.
- Handwritten letters add a personal touch to the letter making it something very valuable. Valuable things are those made by hand, especially now that almost everything is done electronically. Let’s say some people are just so old school and sentimental that they prefer receiving handwritten thank-you letters. Not only do they feel special by receiving one, they also have something to keep as one of their priceless treasures and something to look back after a long time.
- You can tell the recipient everything you feel without feeling ashamed. If you’re the type of person who is too shy to say how you feel about somebody, especially if it’s about saying thank you for something they did that really helped you, then writing a thank-you letter is the way to do it. Tell the person how thankful you are and how you really feel about their help.
- Makes you always sound polite and friendly. Whenever you write a letter, you always make it a point that you write with respect. When people read your letter, they will feel how respectful, polite, and sincere you are about conveying your gratitude.
- Writing a thank-you letter for your previous and current employer helps you reconnect with them. It may just be a little something for you, but it will always be something important for them. Just a little thank-you will help them remember you.
- If used after the initial interview, a thank-you letter can hep an applicant be more memorable, especially when it comes to character and professionalism, which can be shown through the usage of the specified letter.
- A thank-you letter can be a sign of gratefulness if given to a host after a program or an event. For us, it is the job of a host to make the program or event meaningful and it is not something to be thankful about or something to make a fuss about. It is actually something to make a fuss about so writing them a thank-you letter will boost their self-confidence and let them work even harder to make things more memorable for other people or guests.
- Thank-you letters can showcase the appreciation of a patient to a doctor or any medical practitioner once a procedure or a treatment is already finished. Doctors and other members of the medical team work hard to ensure that the patient is safe before and after the operation. It is a big deal for them if they receive a thank-you letter from any of their patients.
- In circumstances of personal exchange, a thank-you letter can be used to openly communicate to friends, colleagues, and family members, especially during occasions where their help has been relevant to resolve or achieve a particular function.
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What to Include in a Thank-You Letter
A thank-you letter can be both a formal and informal thank-you letter. The format that one should use depends on the person or individual you are writing the letter to. If it’s a close friend, your neighbor, or any member of your family, then you can write them an informal thank-you letter. When writing a thank-you letter for your boss or a your business partner, a formal letter format is used.
- The date when the letter is written. Regardless if it’s a formal thank-you letter or an informal thank-you letter you are writing, it is important that you always include the date when you wrote the letter. Also, the name, address, and designation of the person you are sending the letter to should be in your letter if you need to write a formal thank-you letter.
- Greeting. Letters always start with a greeting. Personalize your greeting by using the first name or last name of the person you are writing the thank-you letter for.
- The body of the letter. This is where you will be expressing your thanks to the person for this and that, or for whatever reason you have for writing one. This is where you can tell them how you feel about it. You can go as detailed as you want or write something brief but sincere.
- Details that you want to add to the body. You can add other paragraphs if there are other details you want to add or discuss in the letter. It could be related to the letter or about something different. You can do this as long as you write a smooth transition from one topic to another.
- Restatement of your thanks. Before you go closing your letter with a warm greeting, say your thanks once again. This is even more useful, especially if you have added other topics in your letter. This will direct the reader’s attention back to you saying thanks to them for a favor they did to you.
- A warm closing greeting. What better way to end your thank-you letter than with a warm greeting. It’s always best to be sincere and warm when writing this kind of letter. You can use the following as a closing greeting depending on how intimate your relationship with the recipient is:
- Yours truly
- With love
- Many thanks
- The sender’s name. Don’t forget to write your name at the end of the letter. If you happen to write a formal thank-you letter, affix your signature together with your name to make it look formal or professional.
You may check out sample thank-you letter templates as your reference on the things that are included in a thank-you letter.
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When Do You Write a Thank-You Letter?
We tend to write thank-you letters when we want to say thank you to a certain person. This is because saying thank you and being appreciative is part of human nature. Here are specific instances when people usually write thank-you letters.
- When you receive a big or small favor from someone, whether or not it was able to help you. Think of the thought and effort they had allotted to help.
- You can write a thank-you letter to the people who did your job interview, regardless if you got hired or not. It’s not just limited to a job interview but with all other interviews, like for visa application and the likes. Thank them for their time in doing the interview with you.
- You send thank-you letters to people when you invited them to a party or event that you hosted and they showed up for it.
- When you get professional advice or a simple advice from a friend or family member, you write them a thank-you letter to show how thankful you are for it.
- When you received a wonderful recommendation coming from your previous employer or from your college professor, you just have to say your thanks to them through a thank-you letter.
- On special occasions or days, like Teacher’s Day and Parent’s Day, you write thank-you letters to show how thankful you are for their guidance and support. But you don’t have to wait for any special day to say thank you to the people that you care about.
- You can write a thank-you letter to your doctor and the whole medical team who helped you while you were hospitalized.
These are just a few instances on when you can write a thank-you letter to somebody. There is actually no wrong time to write one as long as you are saying thank you from the bottom of your heart and you sincerely feel grateful. That is all that truly matters.
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How to Write a Thank-You Letter
Nothing is too difficult nor too easy to do. All that exists is the chance for us to try and do it. So whenever you can, say thank you even if it is for little things. You should be treating everything as something invaluable, and the best way to do that is by saying thank you. Here are steps that you can use to help you create a thank-you letter.
- There is no limit to how many people you write a thank-you letter to. If there are a lot of them, make a list so that you will know how many you need to make and make sure that you don’t miss anybody.
- How would you like to write your letter? Would you want it computerized or handwritten? Would you like to write the same thank-you message for everyone or make something personalized for each? Decide what you want before you start writing.
- Open your letter with a warm and personalized greeting. Use their names in the greeting to make your reader feel special about being able to receive a thank-you letter.
- When writing the body of your letter, think first of the person you are writing the letter for. Say thank you and tell them about what they did that made you thankful. Tell them how you feel about it. You can make your letter very detailed or just write a few.
- If you need to discuss or talk about other things in your thank-your letter, put it in a separate paragraph and transition to a different topic smoothly.
- When closing your letter, use a warm closing greeting and then write your name at the bottom.
- Before finalizing your letter, read it again and take note of any spelling errors and grammar errors. It doesn’t matter if it is a formal letter or not. Your letter should be error free so that it will look presentable and worth reading.
- Once you are satisfied with what you have written, you can go ahead and print your letter then have it sent.
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How to Send Your Thank-You Letter
There are a number of ways on how you can send your thank-you letter. Just like all other letters, how you send it would depend on where you happen to write it. Here are some ways on how you can send your thank-you letter.
- Post or Regular Mail – Sending letters through post has been practiced a long time ago and it still is being practiced nowadays. It is a convenient way of sending your handwritten or printed letters to relatives and friends who live a couple of miles away, or who live close by. The only problem is, if your post office is handling a lot of letters and other packages, your thank-you letter might get left in the post office for a couple of days, weeks, or even months. It is often called snail mail as it takes too long to send and receive letters through this way.
- Air Mail – Letters sent via air mail still pass through the post office. Letters sent to very far places or letters sent internationally are sent through air mail.
- Email – The most convenient way to send a thank-you letter is through email. You just type in your message, enter the email address of the person you want to send it to, and hit send. It is that easy. You don’t need any paper, pens, or envelopes. And it doesn’t take forever to reach the person you are sending it to. It just takes a couple of minutes and it’s there.
- Personal – If sending a thank-you letter via email is the most convenient way, then handing the thank-you letter personally is the nicest and the best way. All your feelings and sincerity in the letter gets magnified when you give it personally to the person you intend to give it to. Ain’t that sweet?
- Messenger – Well, if you have a messenger, whether at work or your personal messenger at home, then you can have them send the thank-you letter for you. They’ll personally hand it to the person you want to give it to. The downside is, you might want to use a messenger if the person is just within the same city as you are.
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Tips in Writing Effective Thank-You Letters
Don’t just write regular and generic thank-you letters, write one that is effective. Here are some writing tips that you can use to help you.
- Make sure to select a neat and readable font when writing your letter. You should also use the same font for the entire letter.
- If it is a formal thank-you letter you are writing, make sure to set your margin to the same size for all sides. This will give your letter a framed and professional look to it.
- Recount what happened or what the other person has done and tell them about it in your letter. It would be a nice content and they would love to hear about the good thing that they did, especially if they don’t think that it is something that great.
- Use simple words in your letter. You did not write a thank-you letter to impress the recipient, but you are writing to say your thanks. It is just right that you make it understandable and easy to read as much as possible.
- Make sure you know the name of the person you are writing the letter for. You don’t want to write a different name or spell their name wrongly when you address them. That would be such an embarrassment.
- Make it a point to proofread your letter. Spelling errors and grammar errors would ruin the mood of the person who will be reading your work.
- Personalize each thank-you letter that you make. You can write one using your own words without making use of the generic messages you get on the Internet. Add your favorite thank-you quote or a quote that best relates to your letter.
- It will help you more if you try to check out sample thank you-letters online for your reference. You don’t have to copy them. You can take out some parts of the samples and add it your own.
- You can also use available thank-you letter templates to make it more convenient for you to write one.
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