How to Structure a Thank-You Card

Though thank-you cards are often overlooked, they play an essential role in maintaining polite communications. Whether you’ve received a gift, an invitation, or special assistance, it’s important to express your gratitude. This not only rewards the recipient, but it also benefits the sender by helping them to maintain a more grateful attitude in their relationships. If you’re not familiar with written communications, these steps will guide you through the essential parts of a thank-you card.

Offer a Greeting

Image via Flickr by lindsay.dee.bunny

The top of your thank-you note will include all the essential details to identify yourself and your recipient. In a formal thank-you letter to someone you’re not familiar with, you should include your name and address. You can omit these details for people that you’re familiar with. Include the date at the top of the card so the recipient can look back on the note fondly through the years and easily remember the occasion.

The greeting itself is typically short and simple, reading “Dear [Name].” Do use the individual’s proper name for a professional thank-you card.

Provide Details in the Body

The body of the thank-you card is the most important part. There are many ways to say thank you, so it’s important to find the right approach. Express your gratitude in the first sentence, so it’s immediately clear that this is a thank-you card. Specify what you’re thanking the recipient for, whether it’s an invitation, a gift, an act of service, or their attendance at a special event.

Include details about why you’re so appreciative. Some things you might say include:

  • You were instrumental in helping us complete the project on time.
  • The serving platter you gave us is beautiful, and I’m already looking forward to using it at John’s birthday party this weekend.
  • You prepared a wonderful dinner, and the Thai beef was especially delicious.
  • I’m looking forward to putting the birthday money toward my new car.
  • Your inspirational words were instrumental in helping me get through this difficult time.

Finally, you should look ahead to the future. If you’re sending a thank-you note for an invitation, mention whether you will accept the invitation or regretfully decline and make plans to see the individual at another time. When thanking an employee for a job well done, you could mention future projects that you look forward to working with them on.

Sign Off Respectfully

At the end of your card, briefly restate your thanks and sign off with a respectful closing. “Sincerely,” or “Best,” are classic choices. You could use “With gratitude,” or “Many thanks,” as well. For a personal note, you might conclude with “Love,” but this should be reserved only for instances where you have a close personal relationship with the recipient. Making the effort to consistently send thank-you cards, both personal and professional, will help you maintain strong relationships in all areas of your life. Once you’ve practiced putting these pieces together a few times, you’ll be a pro at expressing your gratitude eloquently and letting others know they’re appreciated