Career Development

How to Write a Business Thank You Letter

January 26, 2020

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What is a business thank you letter?

A business thank you letter, whether hard copy or email, builds and maintains relationships in the professional world. It’s important to let colleagues, employers, vendors, networking contacts or other individuals know that you value their time. In any business arrangement, the initial meeting is only part of building a connection. Sending a business thank you letter is a great way to build rapport with your contact and communicate your intentions for the future. Here are some examples of when to send business thank you letters:

Thank You Letter

  • After someone helps with a job search
  • When someone provides a networking contact
  • When a customer makes a purchase
  • If a business awards you a contract
  • Stating general appreciation
  • To follow up on an interview

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The benefits of writing business thank you letters

Thank you letters show potential employers, colleagues and other business contacts your dedication to the professional relationship. Other benefits of expressing your gratitude in this form include:

  • It demonstrates professionalism. Showing your contacts respect in your interactions will foster business relationships.

  • It is an act of courtesy. Basic etiquette calls for sending thank you letters to individuals you conduct business with. Even in situations where the recipient does not expect a note, the act of sending it will let your contact know that you care about your relationship.

  • It will make you memorable. Positive gestures toward others will help them remember you. This kind of act could be a deciding factor in whether you get a job or contract. If you send thanks to contacts, it may make them more likely to help you in the future.

  • It is another opportunity to promote yourself. After conveying your gratitude, you can further promote your goals and qualifications. Restating your qualifications will let your recipient know that you are a valuable contact and are ready to work with them.

  • It maintains communication. Sending a note of thanks can extend a conversation beyond the interview or meeting. Remaining in the contact’s mind could make you the first choice for a professional opportunity.

Related: Guide to Writing Thank You Notes

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How to write a thank you letter for business

Aim to be prompt when sending a letter of thanks. A thank you note immediately following a job interview, for example, shows your desire to get the job. Sending a thank you letter after your company bids on a contract shows the organization that you want their business. No matter the occasion, a quick follow-up is best for sending thanks.

Once you have decided to send a thank you note, follow these steps:

1. Pick your method of contact.

A handwritten letter is more personal and shows dedication. However, a mailed letter can take up to several days to arrive at its recipient. Some occasions like job interviews may be time-sensitive, in which case an email is better.

2. Choose your recipients.

If you interviewed for a position with an HR manager, thank that person directly. If you meet with a team, thank each individual separately. Sending a unique thank you to each person shows that you value the relationship. It will also help ensure you receive a response from the appropriate person. For instance, if you interview with a group, having a unique response to each person will ensure the main decision maker receives your message.

3. Make it legible.

If you send a hard-copy note, write neatly. For typed letters, use a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman in 12-point size. Carefully proofread to avoid spelling and other grammatical errors. 

4. Use a professional tone.

Business thank you letters are forms of professional communication, so it is best to avoid colloquialisms or other informal figures of speech. Maintaining clear, direct language will show your communication skills and earn the respect of others.

Example“Hello Greg, I enjoyed our talk yesterday. I believe it will be helpful in our work on the construction project.”

5. Address the recipient appropriately.

Use Dear Mr., Mrs. or Ms. as needed, followed by their last name. You may also use their full name. If the recipient is an acquaintance, it is appropriate to use only her first name.

6. State the purpose of your writing.

Let the reader know immediately why you are writing. Professionals are usually busy, so it will help if they can get right to your point.

Example“I am sending this letter as thanks for organizing the client files last night.” Or “I want to convey my gratitude for introducing me to your equipment supplier.”

7. Refer to specific details from your meeting.

Referencing earlier conversation points lets the receiver know you actively participated in the meeting, and adds a personal touch. Choosing the points most relevant to your goals will help ensure the recipient responds to the issues that affect you most.

Example“I appreciate your insights into the company’s upcoming plans to renovate your offices. I believe my contracting firm is well equipped to handle the job.”

8. Highlight your qualifications.

A thank you letter can be more than a display of gratitude. It can also be an opportunity to talk about your desirability for a position or other interactions.

Example“I am grateful for the chance to interview with your company. With my dedication and attention to detail, I know I have the skills to succeed in copywriting.” Or “I appreciate your first order from Langley Textiles. I am confident that my company can continue providing the products you require.”

9. Restate your goals.

The thank you letter allows you to reiterate your desire for future contact. It is much easier for people to offer you assistance if they understand what you want or need.

Example“I very much hope to join your law firm as a conflicts analyst.” Or “I hope to hire a roofer for the new office building next week.”

10. Ask about the next steps.

Let your recipient know that you are ready to take the necessary measures for a continued relationship by asking a question regarding next steps. This question will also give you a timeline for what to expect later on. Knowing this information can help you plan if there are other measures you can take.

Example“When do you expect to hire a candidate for this position? Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to aid your decision.”

11. Conclude the letter.

Thank the recipient again for the interaction that led to you writing the letter. Follow this last item with a proper closing (ex: “sincerely” or “gratefully”) and your signature. If you’re sending an email, typing your name is appropriate. 

12. Send it.

If sending a hard copy, make sure to mail it promptly. You can also hand deliver the note to a front desk if possible. Emails are the quickest method, and promptness is key in business communications. A fast follow up is more likely to have a strong impact on the reader.

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Business thank you letter examples

Use the following examples to guide you when writing business thank you letters.

Example 1: Thanking a new business contractor

Dear Ms. Paulson,

I would like to thank you for meeting with me yesterday regarding the new accounts. My firm is excited to provide you with our document review services. I am confident that our 30 years in the legal business make us an ideal vendor for your needs.

You noted yesterday that you need us to review a minimum of 1,000 documents per month. Our team of eight dedicated analysts will certainly provide you with the level of work you require. We pride ourselves on attention to detail, diligence and timeliness. These skills will ensure your satisfaction with our firm. Can you tell me if there is an opportunity for more work after this contract is completed?

Again, I am grateful for your time and that you have chosen us for your business. I look forward to developing this working relationship with you.

Sincerely,

Andre Torrance

Example 2: Thanking a colleague

Dear Madeline,

Thank you so much for your assistance in decorating the office for the holiday party. I know you stayed late to get everything in order, and I appreciate your dedication. The holiday party is an important opportunity for the whole team to socialize together. Having a great location and atmosphere is crucial to the experience and your help made it possible.

I look forward to working with you on many more successful events throughout your time at the company.

With gratitude,

Tyler Burke

Example 3: Thanking a networking contact

Dear Abdul Kahn,

Thank you for introducing me to Leanne Jones yesterday. Your introduction showed faith in my professional qualifications, and I am sure that your recommendation will greatly benefit my relationship with Ms. Jones.

As you know, I am seeking employment, and Ms. Jones’ software engineering company is ideal for my skills and training. 

I know your extensive experience in the software development business has provided you with many valuable contacts. I am grateful that you thought to include me in your professional network. Please keep me in mind for any future introductions.

With thanks,

Veronica Grandi

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