Dear Alicia:

Yesterday I read your post about ‘thank you’ notes, and am looking forward to today’s post about how to write a thank you note!

I think I pretty much understand the components of a thank you, but you seem to suggest that there’s a ‘trick’ to the whole thing.  What’s the ‘trick’ to a thank you note.  Is one part of the thank you note, more important than the other part of the thank you note?

Signed: Thankful Theresa

Dear “Thankful”:

I’m so grateful to you for writing!  Thank you for taking the time to ask a very important question:

What is the most important part of the Thank You note?

Our answer is very simple:  The most important part of the thank you note, is that you actually send one!


The components of a successful thank you note are:

  • Nice stationery – simple, but elegant.
  • Mailed in a timely fashion (but it’s never, ever, too late to mail a thank you note).
  • A personalized salutation is always nice.   Not everyone needs to be addressed as ‘Dear’.   The gentlemen (and ladies) in the room know that addressing a colleague as ‘Dear’ in a letter, might suggest an inappropriate intimacy.  Therefore, using the person’s first name without the traditional ‘Dear’ or ‘Dearest’ will be perfectly fine!
  • The body of the thank you note, need only contain a pleasant sentiment.   Most frequently, a reference to the event or gift that we’re being thankful for, is included.  But, if this is too florid a style, the very simple ‘thank you’ is certainly enough.
  • One might want to include a line suggesting how pleasant it will be to visit with the gift-giver, or event-host in the upcoming (presumably) near future.
  • The closing can be as simple as the writer’s name.  “Sincerely”, or “Regards” seems a little tepid to me, and I’m currently in the mood for: ‘Warmest regards”, ‘Wishing you the best in the coming New Year”, and other, more personal endings.

These are but a few points for the writing of a successful thank you note!   We hope that you’ll take the idea, and make it your own.  I’m sure our other readers have other ‘pointers’ and ideas.  We’ll look forward to hearing from them in our comments, or, they too, can write to us at:

Again, thank you Theresa for your question!

Warmest regards: Alicia