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Referral Thank You Notes (With Free Template Downloads)

Many businesses, particularly small businesses, can generate precious leads through referrals. However, it’s critical that you express your appreciation to those who help you find business through referrals by saying, “thank you for the referral.” While you might include discounts or a cash reward, referral thank you notes are the foundation of a referral program.

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What is a referral thank you note?

A referral thank you note is an expression of appreciation to someone who has recommended your business, products or services. In particular, you’ll send it to someone who’s generated new leads for your company through their recommendation.

Sending a thank you note is a professional way to strengthen your relationships with customers or other businesses that recommend you. This can lead to more business referrals, especially if you give these individuals referrals as well.

You can send referral thank you notes when:

  • Customers refer friends or family to your business
  • A business sends you new customers or their referral leads to a new contract

Why are thank you notes important?

It’s important to recognize anyone who contributes to the success of your business, especially a nonemployee who’s helping out of confidence in your services. When a person or organization refers someone to your company, they’re providing an invaluable service free of charge. You need to be grateful and express your gratitude to encourage them to continue this behavior.

Rewards and discounts are an important way to encourage referrals, but genuine appreciation fosters relationships in a way that dollars don’t. By making a referrer feel appreciated, you deepen the relationship between them and your organization. This can result in continued business, new partnerships, additional referrals and more.

Handwritten vs email thank you letters

When it comes to writing referral letters, you can choose between either email or handwritten and mailed letters. When it comes to emailing thank you notes for referrals, you enjoy benefits such as:

  • Simplicity
  • Guaranteed delivery
  • Easy scalability
  • Speed

In comparison, handwritten letters require good penmanship and take more time to write and deliver. However, this time and effort is exactly what makes a handwritten note much more meaningful. Ideally, all thank you notes should be handwritten, and you can use email as a follow-up a few days later.

Related:How to Grow Your Business

How to write a “thank you for the referral” note

Follow these steps to write a thank you note:

1. Greet the recipient professionally

Include your salutation and greet the recipient using their last name. Greeting them in this manner conveys a sense of professionalism and respect.

2. Express your gratitude

Be specific about the nature of the referral and explain how the referral helped your business. Sharing how their referral created a specific outcome will emphasize your genuine appreciation.

3. Conclude and close your note

Write a brief conclusion. Consider offeringa complimentary service or discount on future products. If your referrer was another business, letting them know that you will return the favor with customer referrals can also show your appreciation.

4. Include your contact information

Include your direct phone number and email address to encourage a friendly relationship. This can lead to additional business referrals or add to your professional network.

5. Proofread and send your note

If you’re emailing your thank you note, use spellcheck features to make sure your letter is free of grammatical errors and typos. If you’re sending your thank you note through the mail, have a friend or colleague review it to catch any misspellings or other errors.

Referral thank you note template

Use the following template as a guide when creating your referral thank you note:


[Recipient’s name], [recipient’s job title or department]

[Recipient’s address, if mailing]

[Recipient’s organization]




[Your first and last name], [your job title]

[Your company]

[Phone number]

[Email address]

[Business website]

Referral thank you note template for PDF & Word

Check out our referral thank you note template to help you strengthen relationships with client and customers.

Download PDF for Free

Download Word for Free

*Indeed provides these examples as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your HR or legal adviser, and none of these documents reflect current labor or employment regulations.

Examples of referral thank you notes

Use these examples to help you say, “thank you for your referral”:

Letter to an organization for a customer referral

January 3, 2020

Jeannie McValen, Manager

Dear Ms. McValen,

I am writing to express my appreciation for your customer referral to our business, Creative Office Solutions, LLC. I value your confidence in our products, particularly as your referral has enabled us to build new business relationships.

As a token of thanks, I would like to extend a special offer for your organization’s future office supply needs.Please feel free to contact me regarding a business discount or if you have questions. Thank you again.


Victoria Torrano,President

Creative Office Solutions, LLC




Letter to a company for a client referral

October 29, 2019

Eliza Harrison, Product Development

Concord Technologies, Inc.

Dear Ms. Harrison,

I’d like to extend my thanks for your client referral. Your kind gesture has sparked the beginning of a long-term financial data monitoring and reporting project that we are currently developing for G and M. Since the beginning of our business relationship, I have enjoyed Concord Tech’s financial documentation software. Being able to take on an additional client where my project teams can exercise their expertise with your products will be a great contribution to Heines Financial’s monthly revenue and developing reputation.

If there is any additional support or impact we at Heines Financial can extend to Concord Technologies, please feel free to get in touch with me to develop a continued relationship. Thank you again for your kind gesture, and I look forward to our future communications.


Isaac Stringer,Co-founder

Heines Financial, Ltd.




Related: Gifts for Businesses: 6 Client Gifts to Show Your Appreciation

Letter to an individual customer

December 14, 2019

Dear valued customer,

I would personally like to extend my gratitude for your kind referral and positive review. We at Urban Natural Foods cherish and support our customer relationships, and your thoughtful referral to our natural and organic food products helps us reach more customers like you who desire to nurture and support their health and wellness.

As a token of our appreciation, Urban Natural Foods would like to offer you a special discount on your next purchase at one of our stores or our online marketplace. Simply download and print this coupon, or save it to your device to scan at the register during checkout. Thank you again for your valued business.

Kindest regards,

Kerry Dubois,General Manager

Urban Natural Foods, Inc.



Letter to an employee for referring a candidate

June 14, 2020

Dear Mr. Shabazz,

I would like to personally thank you for going above and beyond in your work with our company. In addition to successfully completing your assigned duties, you’re an ambassador who’s helped recruit fresh talent to our company. Workers like you are the heart of our company, and nothing we do would be possible without you.

To thank you for bringing a new member to the Deep Sea Fishing family, we’ve credited a bonus to your next paycheck. Once again, thank you for all of your work with us and for representing our company in a positive light.

Best regards,

John Ericson, Chief Human Resources Officer

Deep Sea Fishing, Inc.



Related:5 Ways to Create an Effective Employee Referral Program

Referral thank you note FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about referral thank you notes:

How long should a “thank you for the referral” note be?

One or two brief paragraphs will suffice for a thank you note. Thank the recipient within the first paragraph, followed by a few brief details regarding the impact of their referral. You can include a second paragraph if you have something else you would like to add, such as providing a referral in return or encouraging future business.

Should I include a discount offer in my thank you note?

A discount or cash offer is not a necessary element of a thank you for the referral letter, but it does strengthen the message. Additionally, it encourages the recipient to continue using your products or services. This can result in future business transactions and growth in your business’s market reach.

How is a referral program beneficial?

A customer referral program is an effective way to attract new customers, retain current customers and create additional revenue. In addition to sending referral thank you notes, a service provider might offer a 10% discount for clients who refer others to their services. Creating incentives through a referral program can also increase your market reach and help you build a more loyal clientele.

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