The Lost Art of the Thank You Note


“The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It’s personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it’s flawed.” – Ashton Kutcher

Yeah, we couldn’t believe it either. We checked and verified…Ashton Kutcher really did say it.

But even if it came from the guy we will forever know as Kelso from That '70s Show, the quote’s meaning isn’t lost. There is something inherently vulnerable about a handwritten note. No spell check, no perfectly aligned fonts, no writing or rewriting to find the perfect words. Hand-written notes are personal and even a little raw.

Is that the reason they’ve become nearly extinct? Possibly. But let’s face it, we know why snail mail is rarely used any more. The answer is right in the name - it’s slow.

Why take the time to write a letter, look up the address, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and take it to the mailbox when you can send out a dozen emails in that same amount of time? Why spend the money on a stamp when sending an email is free? Business is about efficiency and hand-written letters aren’t efficient.

But all these points – the time, the money, the inefficiency – only solidify one thing: you will stand out in a crowd if you send a hand-written note. You can almost bet that no one else is doing the same.

All it takes is a few sentences. “Dear So-and-so, Thank you for meeting with me…” “Dear Such-and-such, Thank you for doing business with me…” Just a quick note to say you appreciate their time, their effort, their business.

When you take the extra time, go the extra mile, and put your vulnerability out there, you’re opening your humanity a little bit by saying, “Let’s find perfection in the imperfections.” You’re no longer a name on a card…you’re a person who had to scratch out a word or whose handwriting is a little sloppy. You’re human, just like them.

Consider making hand-written thank you notes a part of your business and watch your relationships flourish.

When was the last time you wrote or received a thank you note?

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