Top tips for thank yous

2019 is almost over and many of us have had quite the ride! Holiday season is around the corner and it’s the time of year when most people are looking forward to some downtime with friends and family. However, before we leave our desks and to-do piles and lists behind, there is one really important thing we need to do first: Express our gratitude  to everyone who made 2019 a good year for us – well, at least most of the time.

Sure, your colleagues, clients, suppliers, and other people you deal with on a day to day basis may be annoying or frustrating at times, but they still contributed to your life in one way or another. So, be gracious and tell them that you appreciate them and are grateful for their support and their willingness to assist. You should also thank them for putting up with you when you were having a bad day or were off your game!

The burning question is: What is the right way to say thank you? The truth is, there isn’t just one right way. Expressing gratitude is customisable – it can take the form of an act or a service. It can be done in many different ways and will vary according to how long you’ve known someone, how well you know them, and what your working relationship is like.

Saying thank you doesn’t mean that you have to rush out and buy someone an expensive gift. A carefully considered and sincere thank you card or letter goes a long way in expressing your appreciation. These are some creative ways you can say thank you thoughtfully and earnestly.

1. Hire a professional designer to craft a fresh and eye-catching e-card or mailer. If you are a small business owner, this is a really good option. A freelance designer can create beautiful thank you mailers that you can personalise. Be original in your message and ask the designer to incorporate some of your key brand elements into the design without making it seem like an overt sales pitch or an over-bearing reminder that you’ll be waiting for someone’s business in 2020!

2. Write from the heart, but use a spelling and grammar tool to ensure your message is remembered for the right reasons! Writing a thank you message is one of the times you can express your emotions (appropriately) in message format. These are messages that convey your appreciation and gratitude only, though, so don’t get too carried away… Be courteous and humble. Acknowledge the person’s contribution, but don’t embarrass them by going into too much detail. Be succinct and sincere and remember to use a spelling and grammar tool before you send any message, mailer, or card out into the world.

3. Personalise each message so that the receiver is convinced of your sincerity. Have you ever had someone send you a message clearly meant for someone else? It’s a bit like receiving a recycled gift: You know, like when you can tell someone didn’t want one of their wedding or birthday gifts and then repurposed it by giving it to you (it may even have come with the original card and name tag still attached). Please don’t be that person… Read and reread your message, check the spelling of the person’s name, and make sure you send it to the correct person if you have more than one contact with the same first name. In addition, your message should include an anecdote or reference that will convince the recipient that you care about them and their contribution to your life, career, or even just a project you worked on together.

Opinions are divided about the phrase “Happy holidays”. Some people love it, others hate it. Still, if you aren’t sure of a person’s religious beliefs, you can use the words. If you really want to play it safe, though, say something like:

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your contribution to our new project, it was a pleasure to work with you!

I wish you well over the festive season and holidays and look forward to speaking with you again next year.

All the best,


There you have it: Thank yous are really simple, and they don’t require a lot of time or effort. The principles outlined here work across a variety of personal and professional contexts, so put them into practice whenever, and wherever, you can!

While you’re here you may want to bookmark this post for future reference, scroll through the slideshow below, and pass this on to your friends, family, and colleagues!



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