How to Prepare a Business Thank-You Note

Prepare and send thank-you notes within a day or two of the business interaction. Business-related thank-you notes should be short, gracious, and to the point. Two to three lines is a perfectly acceptable length; you don’t need to write several paragraphs.

If someone goes the extra mile for you, a thank-you note is appropriate; if the thank-you is just for day-to-day business, a verbal “Thank you” is good enough. Thank-you notes are always appropriate for gifts you’ve received.

Use white, cream, or gray paper for a professional look; texture and weight aren’t as important. Note cards or fold-over notes (informal) in white, cream, or gray can also be used. This figure shows an example thank-you note.

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When you write a thank-you note, be sure to do the following:

  • Thank the person.

  • Recognize the effort that went into what he or she did for you.

  • Tell the person how his or her effort helps you going forward.

If you’re feeling at a loss for words in starting a thank-you note, try writing these words: “What a [wonderful luncheon, fantastic evening at the theater, thoughtful gift].” The rest of the note should flow from there. Try not to start with “Thank you”; mention the event or gift, or make a general comment, first.

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