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!
Allie Balling and Irene Pappas of Allieway Marketing are an unusually matched duo. With a background in construction marketing, Allie brings energy and dedication to an “outside the box” approach to marketing and graphic design. Irene’s experience is rooted in the fashion world. As a Public Relations veteran of the NYC fashion scene, Irene is committed to taking clients and brands to the next level through innovative outreach and engaging social media. Together, Allie and Irene have created a true alternative to conventional in-house marketing recourses for Allieway Marketing clients across a variety of markets.