Today’s post is brought to you by a reader’s comment from this post. I thought it was such an important topic, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already touched on it!
A common trend to escape actually writing thank you notes is for the recipient of a gift to send a group email or send a thank you note to everyone from work/church/etc. This, though, defeats the purpose of the thank you note, which is to express genuine thanks specifically to a person or family. The most people you should include on a thank you note would be everyone who resides in a single home. So, sending one to Uncle John, Aunt Sue and cousins Mark and Maggie is acceptable. Sending one to all 15 members of the IT department is not.
One minor exception would be to send a group email expressing thanks before following up with a hand-written note.
Ideally, a thank you note is physical (not electronic); it is to one person or family; it is handwritten.
The note doesn’t need to be lengthy. Let the giver know how the gift will be used and that it is appreciated. I always suggest adding in that you appreciate that they attended/missed them and one other personal thing in the note.
Thank you for the topic suggestion!
This is actually a follow up post to one I posted a while back. The premise of the original post was the difference between “you’re welcome” versus “no problem” in response to someone’s thank you. I had someone follow up with an email stating that saying “you’re welcome” sounds too formal to them. However, in a world where everything goes, a little formality isn’t a bad thing, and it’s a mindset I hope to change. That being said, there isn’t actually anything formal about saying “you’re welcome.”
Responding with “no problem” indicates you feel the thanker thought him or herself to be a bother or problem to you. You’re consoling them. This can put the thanker on the defense, wondering if he or she was truly a problem and you’re simply being kind. It’s a negative response. Let’s think of the alternatives: You’re welcome. It was my pleasure. I was happy to do so. These are all responses in the positive form, leaving the thanker with a pleasant memory and experience of the interaction. If you’re in the business world, this is vital. If you are in the social world, it can make or break you.
I speak from experience when I say that people will take you more seriously when you give a more sincere, positive response to their thanks. I hope this summarizes up enough for most readers to understand the importance of a positive response that they will reconsider the passé “no problem.” As always, thank you for reading!
This has been a week of surprises! In addition to presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, coming to Sulphur Springs, Texas (who I got to welcome to our town publicly), I received two thank you notes in the mail. One from a mom who is taking an etiquette class with her daughter and one from a judge in our local World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest (try saying that five times fast…). Trust me when I say it’s rare anyone thanks me for having them take approximately 75 bites of stew, some of which smells like diesel. I was so caught off guard in a good way by these sweet notes – which absolutely shows the impact a piece of paper can make.
Now, the time has come for me to do the same! A few weeks ago I entered a local contest from a business here in town called Just Country. They have homemade rustic signs and decor. It’s very cute stuff. Anyhow, I amazingly won. So, I went by the store to pick out a piece. I must have been taking a while because the owner told me she could make whatever I wanted. Being the 29 year old I am, I held out my phone with their Facebook page pulled up to their photos and asked if they had a particular Christmas sign. Alas, it already sold. However!! They made it for me. A person who WON a contest – I wasn’t buying this. Wow. That’s amazing service. Winning the contest in-and-of itself warranted my sending them a thank you for gifting a piece to me. Add this on top of the fact they went out of their way significantly, and I am posting everywhere of their customer service in hopes other shops will take notice. 🙂 So, publicly, thank you to Just Country. You amaze me.