Why This Section Is Useful
Thank You Note Structure and Contents
Greetings – The Basics
Closings – The Basics
Closings Samples – Most Common
General Thank You Note Tips
Tips and Samples by Thank You Note Type
Tips and Samples - for Baby Shower Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Baptism / Christening Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Bar / Bas Mitzvah Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Birthday Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Bridal Shower Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Donation Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Engagement Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Farewell Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Get Well Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Graduation Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Kids Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Money / Gift Cards Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Moving Help / Housewarming Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Acts of Sympathy Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Wedding Thank You Notes
Tips and Samples - for Thank You Notes for Holiday Gifts
Tips and Samples for Non-Thank You Cards
Tips and Samples - for Holiday / Season's Greetings Cards
Thank you notes can often feel so challenging not only because of the magnitude of the task of physically writing them, but also because it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get started. What do I write? What is the etiquette and structure? How do I begin? To help you get over that hump, thankster provides you with many wording samples, plus etiquette tips, that you can use to get started with (copy and paste from this section or add directly to messages in Step 3). NOTE: many of our examples are longer, but it’s best if you keep your notes to just a few sentences, or about 75 words (or about 400 characters) so they fit on one card. Also note that many of the wording samples were culled from the web or contributed by users and staff, so we cannot always vouch for grammar or for consistency with tips and etiquette suggestions made in this help section.
Thank You Notes Structure and Contents
Thank you notes are generally structured as slimmed down, less formal versions of a standard letter. A birthday thank you note should start with a personal addressing of the giver – the greeting, or salutation. If you have a nickname for the recipient, you might want to use that as the greeting name. Next comes the main part of the thank you note, or body, in which you thank the person for the gift you received; the gift should be named and described with as much excitement as you can muster. Immediately following that, a description of how it is being enjoyed is often included. Any other additions to the body can be left to your creativity, but it should stay positive, stay focused on the person that you are thanking and conclude with a repetition of your gratitude. Finally, you end with the closing, or valediction, such as “Love,”, or “Regards,”. If you’d like you can put a date a little above the greeting, or on the top right hand corner of the note, but this is often left off this generally informal correspondence. For donation thank you notes or others that tend to be more formal you may want to include a date.
[Greeting, or salutation]
Dear [Greeting name],
Thank you for coming to the bridal shower and for the beautiful [insert name of gift]. It was the/a [insert compliment such as perfect color]. Your generosity and friendship is truly appreciated. Thanks again."
[Closing, or valediction]
Sincerely, [or Warm Regards, Love, Best]
John and Sally
You should base your choice of greeting and greeting name on the nature of your relationship with the recipient. If you have a more formal relationship, the greeting name will often be followed by a colon; however, for thank you notes we will almost always use a comma, or perhaps a hyphen. If you know the recipient well, use a first name only, or a nickname, for the greeting name; “Dear” is probably the most common choice for the greeting:
Dear Trish and Mark,
Dear Smith family,
Dear Drew-bone –
More informal choices are “Hey”, “Hi”, “Hello”, “Hello there”, or even “What’s up?”. You should only use these terms for your closest friends.
However, if you do not know a person well, or are making first contact, it is always best to be a bit more formal, and to use a title and a last name.
Dear Mr. Sanchez:
Dear Dr. Murphy:
In the rare instance that you do not know the person’s name, and you can’t track it down, then you can use their position as salutation. This is unlikely in the context of thank you notes.
Dear Tax Adjuster:
If a note is to going to two or more women, use the title you know each prefers. If you do not know a recipient’s preferred title, use the neutral title "Ms.":
Dear Mrs. Adams, Ms. Kott and Miss Connor
The point of the salutation is to ensure the proper recipient receives the message and to set the letter's overall tone. If this is not a concern of yours, you may leave out the greeting entirely.
The opening greeting of your thank you notes should also match the tone and formality of the closing salutation. The traditional "Sincerely yours," or "With warmest regards," would be too formal if your greeting is “Hey there Joe-meister”.
Finally, some greeting tips and etiquette to bear in mind (from Wikipedia): Professional titles such as "Professor" or "Doctor" are often preferred over social titles ("Mr.", "Mrs.", "Ms." or "Miss"). Dignitaries are addressed by their titles. (e.g. "Dear Lord Mayor:"). Judges are often addressed as "Honorable". "Miss" is generally reserved for unmarried women. "Ms." is for cases in which the marital status is unknown to the writer, though it is becoming somewhat antiquated; try to avoid it if you can, unless you know that it is the preferred method of address for your recipient. "Mrs." is reserved for married women, and usually only those who have taken their husband's last name. The forms of address are typically followed by a period (e.g. Mrs.) and the person's family name (e.g. Mrs. Smith, Mr. Smith, Ms. Smith, Miss Smith).
Closings (or valedictions) used in thank you notes are similar to those used in letters: on the whole, they are variations of "regards" and "yours". However, a wide range of popular closings can be used in your thank you notes, depending on your style and the nature of the relationships you have with your note recipients. These include:
Keep in touch,
For more formal notes, you might want to use "Sincerely yours" or "Sincerely", or "Best wishes" and "Best regards".
On the other hand, "kind regards" and "best regards" are sometimes used as semi-formal closings. It is more likely you would use less formal expressions, such as “Your friend”, or “All our love”.
In addition to expressing thanks for the gift, a thank you note should also thank someone for attending a party or celebration, kindness and consideration shown at the party, and any other favors that the friend did at the party. A thank you note should detail why you love the gift, how it is being appreciated and used, and how it sits apart from other gifts. If you got a gift card, you should state how you plan on using it.
Thank you notes are ideally sent within the week after an event has passed. It can take two to three weeks in some cases, but it should generally not be delayed any later than that. There can be some variance in this recommended schedule, depending on the type and formaility of the event (see the notes at the beginning of each occasion, below).
A thank you note can be a great way to reconnect with someone you love but haven’t had much contact with. Your friend has put in the effort by going to your event and bringing a gift, and will love the fact that you acknowledge your friendship and kindness with a personal note.