Thank You Cards: Are They Dead?

Musings of a Printer
November 9, 2020
Andrew Myers
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Hand-written notes have become such a rarity in today’s world where keyboard and virtual keyboards are the norm. However, a few decades before emails and texts became so common, people used to mail thank you cards. Maybe some people send handwritten notes even today. But the percentage has certainly dropped. Some people believe that we should revive the habit of sending hand-written notes to friends and business clients. Why is it important to express gratitude through a hand-written note? What impact does it have on the receiver? Let us try to understand. 

What does the research say?

According to a study published in the Psychological Science Journal, a simple gesture of thanking a person through a hand-written card boosts positivity and the emotional well-being for both the parties involved – the person sending the message and the one receiving it. The research also says the people often tend to underestimate how satisfied the receivers of hand-written messages are. They tend to think that it is going to make the receiver feel awkward! Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Taking a break from technology to unleash the hidden Wordsworth in you can be a rewarding experience! You only have to try. What are some situations in which you can write a thank you card for someone?

When to write a thank you card?


Regardless of whether you get selected for the job or not, it is a good practice to send a thank-you note to your interviewer(s). If the results of the job interview were not released on the spot, your note can increase your chances of landing the job. In this era of technology, the hand-written thank you note can make you stand out from the rest. Even if you got the result during your interview itself – you should still send a note expressing your gratitude. If you made it, you could thank them for the job opportunity. If not, thank them for taking the time to go through your profile and interview you. 

To people who helped you through milestones

If it takes a village to raise a child, then nobody can be a self-made person in the true sense. When you transition from school to college, you have a set of people who help you through the major change. Once you graduate, show your gratitude through a beautiful handwritten letter. 

These notes are not only to celebrate triumphs. Any major change such as divorce is possible only if you have the support of the people around you. Therefore, you can use a thank you note in such cases as well.

To people who give you letters of recommendation

People who are experts in their respective fields receive thousands of requests for letters of recommendation. Despite their busy schedule, they take out time to give you a letter of recommendation which is a powerful tool for you. As soon as you receive a letter of recommendation from a professor or a higher authority in your office, never fail to thank them with a hand-written card. It will not fail to put a smile on their faces. 

To your business clients

Businesspeople, especially the ones who are in B2B, thank you notes can help you develop a special connection with your clients. Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a thank-you note can go a long way in having a loyal clientele? If you are trying to make a good first impression, look no further. The handwritten note is all you need. Thank you cards for business is a win-win – the client feels special and you are likely to win their trust! 

To people who do little favors

Small favors such as watching your children while you are away, waling your dog if you have an emergency and so on make your life a tad bit easier. Nobody is obligated to do favors for you. Yet, some people who themselves lead busy lives agree to help you with a few tasks. These people deserve to be appreciated for their help. Therefore, do not hold yourself back. Write a little thank you note to people who readily offer help when you need it the most. 

To people who send you gifts

During special occasions such as your birthday, Christmas or graduation, you will receive gifts from your near and dear ones. During the festive season, is return gift is a must. You can make the gift a bit more special by adding a handwritten thank you note. 

People who remember your special days and make it a point to send flowers/presents should be sent a thank you note. Some caring souls who take care of you while you are grieving and people who send condolence messages would also appreciate it when you express your gratitude with a handwritten card. 

To the host of a get-together/party

It takes a lot of efforts to host a party or a fun evening. If you attended a party and had a good time, then make sure you appreciate the efforts of the hosts. A personalized thank you card which carries your message of gratitude in your handwriting is an excellent choice in this situation.

As you can see, we come across numerous situations in our everyday life where a handwritten note would make a difference. If people do not check their emails regularly, your ‘thank you mail’ can get lost among the hundreds of other messages in their inbox. 

The next time you encounter any of the situations discussed above, try it the handwritten way. We are sure you will notice a difference!

Why a hand-written note?

We have been saying how a handwritten card would ‘make a difference.’ How exactly? Both – your email and your card carry the same message. So why should you prefer one over the other?

It is good for you too!

The person who receives the card will undoubtedly be overjoyed! But you gain something too! When you sit down to write a message, you use a pen and paper – which is something people do not do regularly. It helps you disconnect from the digital world for some time. Writing on paper has its own benefits. Also, you are by yourself. With a handwritten card, you do not have spellcheck or copy-paste. You write the words that come directly from your heart. You express yourself most originally. That is why people who send handwritten cards experience a different level of satisfaction.

Build relationships

In personal relationships, a handwritten thank you card further brings the two parties closer. In a business relationship, you increase your chances of getting more referrals. Your reputation will spread by word of mouth. Your client feels that your business is trustworthy as you have spent the time to write a personalized message. They understand that your business serves the best interests of its clients. You can put up banners and claim that you care for your clients. But unless you show it in a way that clients feel so, you cannot expect other potential clients to happily approach you.

It sets you apart

Our minds perceive what’s rarer as a ‘cool’ thing. When mobile phones had just entered the market, sending an SMS was the cool thing. Today, as handwritten notes have almost reached the stage of a dying art, it is seen as the cooler way of expressing gratitude. Whoever you send the note to, is sure to remember your name and feel connected to you. It may take only a few minutes. But see how big of a difference it makes! You are not just someone who is expressing gratitude – you are a part of a small army that is trying to revive a beautiful old tradition. 

Touch and feel the love

There is no personal touch in an email – it has printed text, just like the rest of the messages in the receiver’s inbox. When you send a physical note, the receiver and touch feel the gratitude. The notes go into their collection of keepsakes and will be treasured forever. It is the same reason why our parents’ or grandparents’ collection of handwritten letters are considered a treasure even today.

How to go about writing one?

If you do not send handwritten notes, try to make it a habit. You will be filled with positivity. So now that you decided to start this new habit, how do you go ahead? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Go through sample notes

The internet is your best friend! Check out samples of handwritten thank you notes. There are examples for thank you notes to be sent in various situations. Notice the format and the tone that these sample letters contain. Once you have a basic idea, you can move to the next step.

Make drafts

If you are newly trying this, do not expect to get it right the first time. Make a few drafts – play with your words, check whether it conveys the message in the same tone that you want, ensure that the punctuation is right. Once you work on a few drafts, you may notice that words start flowing more naturally! 

Ditch the formal tone

If you are planning to maintain the same formal tone that an email carries, then your note is nothing but a handwritten version of an email! But it much more than that. Do not be afraid to move away from the formal tone and say hello to the personable tone! The words you use in your note should have an approachable tone – it should be an invitation to strengthen the relationship. Use simple words and keep it short.

Stick to the purpose of the note

You are writing this note to express your heartfelt gratitude. Thus, that is the only message that the note should convey. Do not use it to request for the job, for more recommendations or to sell more products/services. When the recipient reads the message – they should feel that you have sent it is purely out of gratitude, without any other motive/expectation. 

Is there a format?

Try to keep your message short and sweet. It would be best if your note contains 4-5 sentences. Although there is no set format that you should follow, here is a sample to guide first-timers.

1. Start with the salutation and some warm greetings.

2. It would be great if you can mention any incident that would instantly remind them of your meeting.

3. Mention why you are thanking the person.

4. Close it on a warm note and hope to maintain a good relationship with the person.

The best materials for your note

Now that your stationery is going to be used after a long time, you should know the best writing utensil for your note. Fountain pens are an excellent option for handwritten notes. You can use different colors of ink and play around with different calligraphy styles as well. If you do not have or use fountain pens, you can use rollerball or gel pens. For your card, you have different choices of paper based on finish and thickness. Choose a material that is thick enough so that it can be preserved well. You can choose a paper with a matte finish or a glossy cover. 

The final word

Overall, we can safely say that a personalized, handwritten thank you note serves a bunch of purposes – it is good for your mind, it establishes a special bond with the recipient, and you are reviving an almost dying art.

It is said that one can never go wrong with a handwritten card. Make sure to follow the tips discussed above and do not miss any situation where you can make someone’s day better with a thank you card! Situations are aplenty – once you start writing these notes, you will take every opportunity where expressing gratitude is a must. The happiness it spreads and the satisfaction it provides is unparalleled.

If you need thank you cards for any of the occasions listed above please contact us to learn how you can get custom thank you cards here.

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