When was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? If you’ve received one in the past year or two, you’ll almost certainly remember who sent it and why. In my opinion, handwritten thank you notes are one of the best ways to show your appreciation, however it seems as if they have become somewhat of a lost art.
Growing up a short while before computers were mainstream and cell phones the norm, I can clearly remember a time when thank you cards and notes were significantly more prominent. Now, rather than take the time to physically write out a thank you note, most people seem to be accustomed to jumping on their computer and shooting out a quick thank you email.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the act of saying thank you and taking any time at all to do so is a fantastic gesture. However, if you’re looking for the maximum impact I would suggest that you take the time to send a handwritten thank you note.
Evoking The Senses
I believe that handwritten thank you cards and their personalized nature, automatically lend themselves to greater impact. However, research suggests that there is a direct link between engaging more than one of our five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) and memory.
So, if you’re looking to increase the impact of your thank you, try closing your browser and send a handwritten note. This will quickly bring your sense quota up from just sight, to sight and touch, which will ultimately lead to a more memorable thank you.
Looking to go the extra mile? Try sending a lightly scented thank you card. While it sounds a bit silly, if you’re looking to create a lasting memorable impact it may just be what takes things to the next level.
Putting The Handwritten Thank You Note to Work
One particular scenario where I highly recommend the use of a handwritten thank you note is with interviews. I’m always surprised at how many interviews result in no thank you at all, which I personally find a bit off-putting. After all, you’re looking to make an impact and you don’t want to be easily forgotten, right?
So, next time you find yourself at an interview make sure you bring a few thank you cards with you. Then, once your interview is finished, take 10-15 minutes to write out thank you cards in your car and drop them with the receptionist before you leave. While it’s not necessarily a substitute for outright lacking qualifications, it could be the thing that gives you the edge, particularly for a competitive hire.
There’s no doubt that writing thank you cards takes a little extra thought and effort. Recognizing this I like to keep a box of thank you cards handy, which you can order online at sites like Papyrus or Etsy.
Better yet, purchase two boxes and keep one at work and one at home since you never really know when you might need to break out a quick thank you.
What are your thoughts on thank you notes?