Have you ever felt like your “thank you” has gone understated? It’s as if you couldn’t quite find the right words to express your gratitude. It’s a difficult balance to write a thank you card that really gets through to the recipient. Many people find that their thank you notes swing too far to the left for right on the spectrum – too far in one direction, and they’ve sounded sentimental and disingenuous. On the other hand, too far in the other direction, the thank you note sounds disconnected, as if it’s an afterthought. So how do you write sincere thank you notes? Here are some tips and examples of what to write in a thank you card.

How to Write a Sincere Thank You Note

TIP # 1: Consider Your Audience.

The card that went to Grandma isn’t the same note that would go to your boss. Before you begin writing, considering your audience will help you consider your tone. Is the card going to a family member or loved one? That calls for sentimentality. Is the card going to a colleague, thanking them for a referral? Keep it polished and professional.

Example 1: Personal Thank You

“Just wanted to write a quick note to thank you so much for the card and the check. It means so much to me that you’re looking out for me and want the best for me! Thanks for thinking of me – I love and miss you so much!”

Example 2: Professional Thank You

“We are sincerely grateful for your investment into our company. Thank you for your time and trust! We look forward to serving you with the same attention and care that you have given to us.” 

See how both of these “thank you’s” were for money? But the audience determines the tone. Neither message is gushy or groveling – they are simple and sincere thank you for the leg up. 

TIP # 2: Write In Your Own Voice.

Now is your chance to say what you may have trouble saying face-to-face, especially if a gift or gesture was sent across the miles. To really get through to the recipient, make sure you write in your own voice. What does that mean? Simply put, it means don’t use words that you wouldn’t say in conversation.


“I just wanted to thank you so much for sending along that awesome reference letter. I think it really made my resume stand out from the crowd!” 


“It is with great joy and optimistic expectation that I extend my sincerest gratitude for the exemplary reference letter that you penned in my honor.”

Easy there, Ms. Austen! The more you write outside your own voice, the less authentic your gratitude will sound.

TIP #3: Make It Memorable!

When someone goes out of their way to do something special for your benefit, you want your appreciation to do one thing: get their attention. A memorable gift from our collection of Thank You Gifts, a well-written card or a timely, sincere phone call are all wonderful ways to express your gratitude and make it count. And remember: even if the thanks are belated, it’s better than sending none at all!