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Thank you letters are the best way to express your appreciation to a person. A thank you note not only shows your gratitude, but it also makes the receiver feel the genuineness of your thanks offered. It makes the receiver believe that his/her effort has been noticed and respected. You can always send an e-mail expressing your thanks, but a handwritten letter delivers a personal touch.

Formal thank you letters are used in case of business or professional appreciation. Formal thanks given in businesses help getting your company noticed by a future or existing client. It helps strengthen professional bonds. Many businessmen or professionals forget to send a thank you letter or find it unnecessary to send it to the opposite company or party they wish to build or strengthen business ties. This follow-up system keeps your company in the forefront of clients and potential customers.

Writing a thank you letter not only helps you 'thank' the receiving company, but also make them notice your professional attitude and positive points. A business thank you letter format is similar to other business writing. You should word your letter carefully or else it may lead to some serious repercussions. You should send it within two days of the business meeting or telephone conversation.

Formal Thank You Letter
It should contain the following details:
  • Type or handwrite the letter on the letterhead of your company. Mention the date on your letter without fail.
  • Write the full name, designation and address of the receiver on the left hand side of the letter.
  • It is very important to mention the subject or purpose of the letter in one line. It should obviously mention your expression of gratitude.
  • Begin your letter with appropriate salutation with a colon. For example, 'Dear Mr. Smith:'.
  • The first paragraph is used to express your appreciation.
  • The second part should contain the details about the business meeting or the telephone conversation. In case of thanking a customer, add a little more detail about the meeting.
  • The last paragraph should summarize the letter. Restate your thanks and appreciation. For example, ' We thank you once again for taking time to meet with XYZ and Bros.'
  • The closing should contain 'Sincerely', followed by a comma. Skip four single lines and write your full name. Sign in the space between the closing and your name.
The second paragraph should always explain the first paragraph. It is always better to use a pleasant tone for a formal letter of thanks. Your letter should sound sincere and not too sugary. Letter writing will always help you stay in the minds of your clients and customers. Keep in mind, everyone loves to be appreciated.

Thank You Letter Samples

After Interview
Dear Mr. Brown,

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the marketing position with me. After the meeting with you, I am sure you will find my profession background and skills match the requirements of the job offered. In addition to my education and experience, my communication as well as people skills will prove to be an asset for this job.

I look forward to hearing from you with a positive reply from your part. I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,
(Your signature)
Your Name

For a Donation
Dear/Dearest _______________:

How generous of you to send us a check for our Holy Cross Orphanage Fund. Although we missed your presence at the charity ball, we know that your love, kind thoughts and well wishes were with the children of the orphanage.

We truly appreciate your gift and we plan to use it to for the education as well as health care of the children.

Do visit us when you have the time. Thanks, again for your very thoughtful and generous donation.

With warmest regards,
Name
Designation

Interview thank you letters as mentioned above, can also be sent as a follow-up for the job. It sends a message that you are a professional and it also helps create a positive image of yourself in the minds of your future employers. You can also send it in case of a delightful customer service experience in a restaurant, departmental store or government office.

Personal Thank You Letters
These are written to thank someone in a more informal way. These letters are written to thank people after you receive a gift, especially a wedding gift. You can even write this letter to a person who has done a personal favor to you. At times, thank you letters, called the 'bread-and-butter letter' are written to thank someone who received you as a houseguest. These letters make the receiver feel appreciated. It helps them know the sender has actually noticed their effort. This letter should be written on paper, rather than e-mail. It helps add a personal touch to your thanks.

When writing a personal thank you note, write your address on the top. If the person knows you well, just write your name, town and state. Next write the date followed by the address of the recipient. Open the letter with 'Dear' as the salutation. Thank them for the gift, kindness, favor or hospitality offered to you in the first paragraph. In the second paragraph, you should mention how glad you were to receive the gift or enjoyed the hospitality offered. You can even share some latest development in your life, especially when you have been out-of-touch with the receiver of the letter. The closing paragraph or sentence should contain your thanks again. Mention you look forward to meet or speak to the person soon. Do not end the letter with a formal phrase like 'Your faithfully' or 'sincerely'. Instead say 'love' or 'best wishes' as the closing salutation.

Personal Thank You Letter
Anna Brown,
Merryville,
Maryland.
February 1, 2012

Dear Martha,
Thank you so much for the wonderful cookbook you sent me. It has easy recipes of which I have already tried three dessert recipes. My kids loved the new desserts and I can't thank you enough for the most thoughtful gift for my birthday. I love cooking and you knew very well which recipe book I will enjoy trying out the most.

Again, thanks so much, and I'll talk to you soon.

Love,
Anna

Thank You letters always help create a feel good factor and motivate people to work more expeditiously.