How To Write a Fabulous Thank-You Note

A local etiquette expert gives her top 5 tips for writing a thank-you note — and exactly what to say.
card reading "thank you" with a fountain pen resting on it

A portrait of Tina Jesson sitting next to a flower for a thank-you note story
Tina Jesson

The thank-you note: as antiquated to some as it is a powerful marketing tool for others. As texts and emails have become acceptable forms of acknowledgment, a meaningful handwritten note is still suggested as the best way to make the ultimate impact.

Tina Jesson is a native Englander who is now a local etiquette expert in the Indianapolis area, and she has several tips for crafting a memorable thank-you note. Jesson is often asked to provide etiquette training to businesses and corporations, and to everyone from young adults to children. Her in-person training ranges from table manners to social and networking etiquette to workshops that help children become confident and self-assured young adults.  

three envelopes that are open and contain cards reading "tank you!"“If you feel a quick response would be best, it’s ok to send a quick email or call. However, if you really want to show your sincere gratitude, thank-you notes are one of the most heartfelt and meaningful ways to express gratitude. The note needs to be personal, specific, and timely,” Jesson says. 

While emails, calls, and texts are efficient, a personalized note is the most heartfelt and meaningful way to show appreciation. 

Jesson shared five tips for writing a fabulous thank-you note below, just in time as we launch into the busy holiday season. 

Tip #1: 

Take your time and use your best handwriting. You might want to draft out the words on a separate piece of paper first. Services like Handwrytten and Postable, which mimic real handwriting and are printed for you, should typically be left to businesses or corporations wanting to reach lots of clients as a marketing tool more than a real thank-you note. 

Tip #2: 

Don’t start your thank-you note with the words “thank you.” Try to be thoughtful and start with alternatives like: 

“I enjoyed…” 

“You made my day!” 

“The gift from you was a delightful and unexpected surprise” 

“Whenever I receive a gift from you I feel…” 

Take the time to think about how you want the other person to feel when they read your note by making it personal and about them. Give a compliment while acknowledging their kindness.  

Tip #3: 

When you are thanking a friend, relative, or close associate, be specific about what you are thanking them for, why it matters to you, and how you will use it. Sharing an insight shows how their kindness made you feel and makes them feel appreciated. 

Tip #4: 

Always end the thank-you note by mentioning when you hope to see or speak to the recipient again. There is nothing like receiving a handwritten note that is not only meaningful but sets the tone for your next interaction, whether it be personal or professional.  

Tip #5: 

Be prompt in sending the thank-you note. The general rule of thumb is one to two weeks for a gift and within 24 hours after a meeting or interview. Ideally, as soon as possible is best. It’s always helpful to have blank cards on hand so you’re prepared to send a quick note for any occasion. 

To find out more about Tina Jesson, the services she offers, and her informative etiquette blog posts, you can visit her website at 


Natalie Platt works in the commercial real estate industry and pursues her journalism passion by writing about lifestyle, relationships, and entertainment. You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.  

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