Relationships in the business world are more about how well you know people than just about who you know. It’s great to be able to name drop now and again, but if your contact barely knows more than your name, is he/she really an asset to you?
Father, you are so creative and generous. This delicious cup of coffee I’m enjoying this morning has to be one of your greatest inventions. 🙂 The taste… the aroma… just heavenly. And, I Thank you.
Every good and perfect gift comes from my Father, from You!
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. –James 1:17 (NLT)
Thank people for referring others to you for business or personal opportunities.
Thank people for praying for you and with you.
Thank people for helping you build your good habits, your foundation. Really thank people for helping you build what you have built. When you express your thanks, you renew your basic commitment to the family, the friendship, the business partnership. You work to strengthen your village.
Thanking people via email and social media
Even Emily Post admits that it is not uncommon these days to work with people whom we’ve never met, and may never meet, in person. Our business and social network is so uniquely different than it was a couple of decades ago. However, we should never lose sight of how important it is to thank people. And with email and social networking, it’s never been easier.
However there’s the big YIKES! factor in pressing send on a poorly constructed email. Before deciding on the best way to thank, consider a few things. Since you lose the benefits of one-on-one communication such as body language and tone, it helps to show your intentions by being very mindful of details. And since you don’t have the benefits of high quality stationary and printing or fine handwriting, carefully selecting your words will show your respect.
Here are a few basic pointers in constructing emails:
- Use 5-7 words in the subject line that indicate it’s a personal message.
- Start with a simple greeting, such as “Hello”. (Hello! How many junk emails have you received that aren’t written to a person? TOO many!)
- Check your spelling. It’s EASY – don’t be lazy!
- Always include your signature in your emails. Your friend may have lost her contacts list, phone, address book… or perhaps the person *gasp!* knows others with your same first name!
- Write with courtesy and kindness. Paying attention to details can help you avoid a terse tone that is so common with email.
- Use capitalization appropriately. We are not in elementary school. (If you ask my friends, they will tell you I ignore this rule.)
- Use a friendly, warm closing that is appropriate for the situation. My friends get “xoxoxoxo” while someone that I’m acquainted with would receive “warmest regards”.
Now, thanking people formally for wedding, anniversary and baby gifts, should ONLY be done with hand-written notes, mailed in the old-fashioned way. While the younger generation will appreciate the quick communication of an email, and will understand your desire to save trees and money on stamps, the older generation would feel very uncomfortable receiving an email thank you for most formal occasions. If you’re unsure, always send a hand-written note.
However, there are times when an email thank you is appropriate:
- After someone buys something you’re selling online.
- After someone passes along a useful online article, reading suggestion, recipe, or nearly any helpful email, showing you she’s thought of you.
- After a job interview when time is of essence.
- To a group after a collaborative work or school project.
- After your local garden club repots flowers on your business’s section of the public sidewalk… or any act of Good Samaritanism.
- To thank your friend for being your friend for no reason at all.
…you get the idea?
Suppose your friends surprise you by treating you to dinner and a night out at the local hole in the wall for a fun musical gig — is it OK to tag them all on Facebook in one big thank you? It’s generally thought of today as being good-spirited to tag a bunch of people in one big thank you if you are very close friends who speak regularly, but if not be careful: you may not know your friends’ comfort level AND you might forget someone.
If you’re running a business, you should know that thank you emails are an “untapped goldmine of email marketing”, according to HubSpot. They are even more engaging than an unsolicited email, or even a subscription email, because the person receiving it is already engaged in your business in some way.
There are some fantastic paper products out there, and I am one girl with a paper fetish. But you can’t deny the ease and efficiency of an online thank you. After all, there’s SO much to be thankful for — it’s time to start showing it as a regular part of your personal or business communications.