Wide World o ZuTroy

Thank You Notes and Emails

There’s a really good little clip on youtube by Tom Peters about the importance of Thank You notes.

I would add one thing that I don’t think Tom calls out in this video. That’s to hand write the Thank You note.  Why?

It’s the same reason that I hate getting Thank You emails.  A “thank you” is meant to show appreciation right? I get Thank You emails all the time and most are just a waste of time and don’t really make me feel appreciated.  I know that person is grateful but I already knew that in 99.9% of the cases.  There are a few small exceptions to my “no thank you email” rule.

Last week our entire department received a thank you email from our boss (the VP of marketing) where he called out specific actions and milestones that our team had accomplished.  Not only had we just launched the new corporate site but we had launched a plethora of smaller but still  hugely important sites.  And then he took it a step further, he copied all the C-level executives in the company to make sure they knew how well his department is doing.

I have also received a few in the past that detail why a colleague or client is so thankful.  They don’t just say “thanks”, they explain why it was so critical that you did what you did.  Those are good emails to get.

There have been 2 or 3 occasions when I have met with a potential vendor, client, partner, employee and received a hand written thank you note.  Let me tell you, that can make the most unattractive interviewee a potential hire.  Than can make the difference in choosing a vendor in close competition situations. Someone even overnighted me homemade cookies once to apologize when they had called me Todd by mistake. Even though that vendor wasn’t really a contender it was really had to say no to them afterward.

When the Thank You note is hand written you know that they really mean it. ” Who writes anything by hand these days?  I mean wow, they hand wrote this?  And look at this penmanship, he must be a really sharp guy.” Hand writing is the text equivalent of body language.  You can learn so much about a person from their hand writing.

Putting the thank you note on letterhead or a really nice stationary is important too.  If you are doing this in the name of a business this is one of the best things you can do to build your brand.

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  • http://twitter.com/unculturedswine Joel Jenkins

    Agreed! Along with making a new business card for ‘Me’ (not a company, just me) I’m designing out some Thank You cards to use as well, and maybe another stationary item or two.

    Alicia is also fantastic at crafty things and I’ve asked her to make me a cool layered paper thank you card that I plan to send to the guy that invited me to Dribbble along with $15 to iTunes. I really just appreciate it and a quick thanks on twitter just isn’t cutting the mustard.

    You want in on some free printing?

  • troygroberg

    I think I’ll make up some good “Thank you” cards and take you up on that offer… assuming it hasn’t expired already.