Having issues writing your thank you’s? Or maybe you’re not writing them at all (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, elbow). During the course of the day the almighty “thank you card” sometimes has a tendency to fall down the priority list and ends up with the likes of “sharpen pencil” or “rinse my coffee mug.” How does something that wields so much power slip down the to-do list?
The Value: If we were to really know the value a well written thank-you card could yield, then maybe our priorities might change to include them as part of our “system” for our personal and business branding.
Did you know:
- Princess Diana was known to have personally written at least one thank you note each evening after dinner. How many people were at her funeral? Her thank you notes exemplified who she was.
- Regular mail for personal notes has decreased by 60% over the past five years. Your thank you card may well stand out!
- And here’s the key point: Many people today do not even return phone calls. A personal thank you note is a huge deposit and a form of honour that builds trust like never before.
Are you convinced? Great! So, how do you write a thank you note? In school, when writing an essay, you may have heard these 3 words: Open, Body, Close. Yes, this simple formula still has a practical application. But what do these words really mean when applied to writing your thank you cards? Let’s find out!
- Hi Bev, Hey Bev, Greetings Bev, Wow!, Congratulations!
The opening is key because it lets them know that an actual person is writing, as opposed to an all knowing generic computer response. Connect and engage the reader from the word-go.
Actual thank you examples:
- “Thank you for choosing XYZ Bank for your first mortgage.” (generic statement).
- “How exciting for you to own your own home!” (personal comment).
- “Thank you for stopping by the branch Monday (generic statement).
- “I’m glad we could help you with your loan; it’s exciting to see everything come together for you.” (personal comment).
- “It was great to meet you and discuss your retirement plans for next year (generic statement).
- “We are committed to helping you with any financial needs you may have.” (personal “we” comment).
The body addresses and acknowledges your interaction with the person as well as looking after the formalities of the message; the winning recipe calls for short, sweet, and professional, with a side order of personality.
Close and P.S.:
Signing off examples:
- Take care
- Looking forward to seeing you soon
- Call if you need anything else
- We are in your corner.
Wrapping up your note with the appropriate ending and personalized P.S. is a perfect opportunity to add humour – “And no, I don’t think you’re crazy for loving country music” or a sense of community – “Looking forward to seeing you at the hockey game Saturday”.
Closing remarks are also good opportunities to acknowledge success: “Congratulations on the new baby” or something personal like “Good luck on your exams.”
The thank you card holds great importance because it acknowledges the person and helps to personify you and your company.
And in closing, who should you write to? Consider this list:
- New clients (prospects you want to engage)
- Current client (to keep them engaged)
- Previous clients (to re-consider engagement)
- Upset clients (to extend the ‘olive branch’)
- Staff (to encourage, thank, congratulate)
- Suppliers (to secure their loyalty to you)
- The general population, as you see a need – try it!
P.S. The practice of written communication and thank you notes in a timely way will weave a tapestry of connections for you for a lifetime!