Finding a valuable customer, or landing a huge business deal can be overwhelming. Why not, when it is not easy to make it big in the business world.

But being in business is not just about making sales, or meeting the most influential of movers. To survive, you must also endear yourself to people – show them that a contract and big bucks is what makes you, but valuable human relationships which you can form with customers and contacts.

In fact, the nicer and more courteous you are in business, the more likely you are to be successful.

Among some of the most basic ways to practice business courtesy is to thank customers for their patronage, for a referral or two sent your way, or for extending support to a past project.

But how do you thank your contacts without sounding insincere or robotic?

Choose an appropriate greeting.

Don’t you just get turned off by any letter that impersonal? If there is one person in particular to whom thanks is due, address him or her by title and last name– e.g., “Dear Mr. Smith” When addressing more than one person, include them all by name and title in the greeting line. Avoid impersonal greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.” Or “Dear Subscriber” Otherwise, the formality of your tone should depend on your level of familiarity and the nature of the business conducted with the recipient(s).


Perhaps the most important thing about saying thank you is doing it in a timely manner. Of course a thank you at any time is better than none at all, but recipients are more likely to give thanks if I do it quickly and succinctly. No matter the size of the favour or support, a simple thank you sent within a few days of the event or extending of the favour you’ve received is always best. If you are writing to a business address, keep in mind work hours too.

Identify yourself

In the opening sentence, express your gratitude and clearly identify what you are thanking the recipient for. There is no need to qualify your introduction– avoid openers like “I’m just writing to say thanks for…” or “I would like to express my gratitude…,” and opt instead for the simple and direct present-perfect tense: e.g., “Thank you for supporting our corporate community service project.”

While it is important to state what you are thankful for, avoid the direct mention of money if it is for a donation.

Always have an appropriate subject line

Another distasteful mistake is not saying what the subject of the email is. Why leave your recipient wondering if he/she is opening either a spam or legitimate message. Always fill in the subject line so that the person you are emailing will know more or less what the email is about. Don’t leave them wondering because that is being discourteous.

When To Send Them To Make Them more Relevant and Appropriate

There is no bad time to send a thank you note, but certain times can make more sense than others.

  • After a Promotion

If your business has recently run a promotion that resulted in an increase of new customers, sending a thank you note can help turn one time buyers into brand loyalists.

  • At The End of The Year

The end of the year is a common time to thank vendors and valued customers. However, there are a few reasons to avoid the holiday thank you card. Would it make more sense to send them at a time of year when receiving cards isn’t as common, and folks are less busy with family?

  • Directly After a Sale

For larger sales (real estate, cars, etc…), its a good idea to send a thank you note soon after the deal goes through. This way the customer will associate the positive feelings of receiving your note, with the experience of buying from you.