The Perfect Handwritten Thank-You Note in 6 Steps

A handwritten thank-you note not only conveys gratitude to your customers, but also leaves a lasting impression and helps build a thoughtful relationship.

Customer appreciation

The power of a thoughtful, handwritten thank-you note to your customers, prospects or business partners should not be underestimated. With the plethora of email communications drowning email inboxes on a daily basis, it can be a real treat to receive an actual, physical note in the mail. A handwritten card takes a bit more effort than an email, and your customers will recognize that. As such, taking the time to reach out to them in a more personalized way will show them that you care.

Here are six tips for writing a thank-you note that will help show your gratitude:

1. Be Timely

Send the thank-you note as soon as possible. Generally, you shouldn't wait more than a day or two to send a follow-up note, as you want to ensure that your recipient remembers why they are receiving the card in the first place. For instance, a good time to show your gratitude is directly after a sale.

2. Ensure the Card Reflects Your Business

The stationary or cards you choose should reflect your business. Make sure the card isn't generic. To make it more memorable, make sure it's relevant to both your recipient and your business, as this is also an opportunity to boost brand awareness. For example, if you own a local veterinary clinic, you could stamp a paw print on your notes for an added touch.

3. Choose the Right Pen Colors

In most cases, you should use blue or black ink to communicate your message, because other colors can look unprofessional or hard to read. However, there are exceptions. Let's say you run a chic nail salon; you may want to use a metallic pen with a bit more glimmer to subtly relate to your offerings.

In general, use your regular handwriting when writing the note. However, for senders who own crafty businesses, and for those who have the skill, it's also OK to use a fancy lettering type like calligraphy. If it reflects the style of your business, then go for it.

4. Greet the Recipient by Name

Always start the greeting by using the recipient's name. A standard salutation like "Dear" is often a good choice. However, simply using the person's name can work as well. Depending on the formality you're aiming for, you can either address the recipient by only their first name or their last name with the appropriate prefix.

For women, it's best to use the prefix "Ms." because it tends to be the most neutral option — unless the recipient has clearly referred to herself as "Mrs." or "Miss" in past interactions with you.

5. Write a Thoughtful and Concise Message

Write a clear message that's a few lines at most. To ensure personalization and sincerity, include specific details in your message. For instance, if you want to thank an employee for a job well done, mention what the person actually accomplished. If you're reaching out to a prospective client to thank them for taking the time to meet with you, mention something from the conversation you had. The key things to remember here are specificity and brevity — and, of course, always proofread your message before sending.

6. Include a Sign-Off

Closing salutations, such as "Warm regards," "Sincerely" and "With gratitude" are common in handwritten thank-you notes. This ends the note nicely and adds a professional touch.