While many people think of wedding gifts or baby gifts when they think about thank-you notes, there are many other occasions when thank-you notes are appropriate. When you receive a gift from your employer, business associate or a client, etiquette says that you should send a thank-you note. Not only is it a nice idea, but it can also help build a relationship with the giver.
While email has become a convenient and even preferred mode of communication in many instances, avoid sending thank-you notes through email. Email has an informal feel to it, and a thank-you note can seem dashed off and not completely thought through. Instead, write the thank-you note on a piece of business letterhead and mail it in an envelope with the business's logo stamped on it. While you want the note to remain professional, it is best to write it by hand rather than typing it, to give the note a personal touch.
Choose the greeting for the note based on how you would normally greet the recipient. For example, if a colleague gave you a gift and you normally refer to him by his first name, feel free to begin your thank-you note with "Dear Bob." Use a more formal greeting, such as "Dear Dr. Jones," for someone with whom you have a more formal business relationship.
Body of the Note
Begin your note by simply thanking the person for the gift that she gave you. Include a line about how you will use the gift. For example: "My wife and I enjoy drinking red wine and were pleased to add a bottle to our collection." That way, you are acknowledging the gift and showing the person how much you appreciate it in particular.
End the thank-you note with a line about your business relationship with the person. For example, say something like "I look forward to working with you on another project very soon." There is no need for the note to be excessively long. A few sentences work nicely. End the note with a phrase such as "thanks again" or "sincerely."
The time frame for sending the note is also important. If you let the time slip away, sending a note will become awkward, and the person who gave you a gift might think you have neglected to do so. It's best to send a thank-you note as soon as you can after you got the present. If you can't send the note within a day or so, try to have it in the mail within two weeks.
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