Let’s be real, a thank you note isn’t going to change the course of your life. But in a world of digital communication, receiving something tactile and personal creates a warmer, more authentic, and more memorable interaction. And although you may be in the habit of penning a handwritten note only in the event of births, deaths, new jobs, and retirements, they are just as powerful in the event of business.
Whether as a follow up to a client meeting, networking event or one-on-one coffee with a fellow entrepreneur, a hand-written note can go a long way. We have created this roadmap-to-the-perfect-thank-you-note, with a professional application in mind, to get you started.
1. Be authentic – consider your stationary
- The entire purpose of a handwritten thank you note is to stand out and be different. Therefore, the paper on which your note is delivered, should be different too.
- Custom stationary is a great way to be authentic on paper a few favorites can be found here, here and here
2. Be thoughtful – consider your audience
- When you sit down to write your note – you may immediately be overwhelmed by the simplest of things – a name! When in doubt, you should take up your inquiry with the late, great Emily Post – the final word in modern day etiquette.
- Use this guide whenever you get stuck addressing your recipient on the inside or outside of your note.
3. Be strategic – consider a rough draft
- Don’t let your first pass be on your nice stationary. What a waste!
- First go free style on scrap paper.
- Then, cut a slip of paper or draw a box the exact size of your thank you notes. Use this to practices spacing and size of your writing.
4. Be aligned – consider a ruler
- Many of us have sloping handwriting which is why most paper comes lined. Consider breaking out the straight edge if your script tends to slope.
5. Be legible – consider your penmanship
- If the recipient can’t read your note, it may as well have never happened.
6. Be colorful – consider your ink
- Depending on the tone of the thank you, your ink choice can vary.
- For formality, stick with black or blue. In the case of a more laid-back note, let your personality shine through in a color that suits you best (just make sure your ink never bleeds through and reads well on your paper stock).
7. Be prompt – consider your timing
- Send your note ASAP after your meeting or event.
- If a job offer is on the line, consider a very prompt thank you email followed by a hand written note.
TIP! Take your thank you notes and draft with you to the interview. In a coffee shop on the block, sit down, write your email and drop it back off with the mail room or front desk.
8. Be brief – consider time
- No one has time to read a novel of your personal thoughts – get to the point and leave it at that.
9. Be specific – consider your meeting
- Always refer to something specific from your meeting or interaction. A little detail goes a long way.
10. Be sincere – consider your sign-off
- Best? Sincerely? XO? Use Peggy Post as your guide if you are truly at sea with your sign-off.
11. Be different – consider your postage
- A little extra credit goes to those who go mind their postage. Many sites out there offer custom stamps that can set you apart. One of our favorites is Zazzle.
- Custom postage isn’t necessary by any stretch – just make sure you aren’t sending out notes in June using “Happy New Year” stamps!
One of the ways that Allieway Marketing uses the power of a thank you note is when following up after a meeting with a perspective client. By going the extra step to show our interest in them, we are displaying the value we can bring to their business – dedication, determination and attention to detail.
Do you have a particular approach to writing the perfect thank you note? We would love to hear about it!
(photo: Kelli Boyd Photography for The Southern C + Visit Savannah)