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Business Email: Thank You; You’re Welcome

Business Email Communications, Thank You and Gratitude

Do you send emails that say “Thank You!” in your day-to-day business email communications? When you receive a thank you email, you must respond with “You’re welcome!”?

Why are these questions even being asked? Mainly because it isn’t as common as it once was for others to take the time to show gratitude.

When was the last time someone thanked you? Admit it — it is a pleasant surprise to get a “thank you,” right? But there isn’t enough thanking going on…

So much so that the recipients want to thank the sender for having the courtesy to thank them. I get that. But at the same time, according to one site visitor, we don’t “want to create unnecessary email volume.”

Several have told me they think thanking is unnecessary and mucks up their inbox. So yeah, an extra email reflecting gratitude can be a volume issue — to some.

You’re Welcome?

The next question is, do you email back “you’re welcome” when thanked? What is the best way to react to “thank you” emails?

In my experience, those wondering are friendly folks who want to know the best thing to do, primarily because they are not sure of the expectations from the other side.

The short answer? In most cases, a response is not required — or expected.

How much back and forth is required before safely assuming everyone has been thanked and welcomed enough? Just once — unless you have more to discuss.

“You are welcome” is assumed and part of ongoing in-person conversations. If you have additional comments, including a “you’re welcome” as part of the ongoing conversation, it is a nice acknowledgment of their gratitude.

An exception would be on social media, where short chatty bursts are more common. But here, we’re specifically talking about business email communications.

Thanking Expectations

I always get thanked by kind folks who ask for my advice. Both here and on my consulting site. They return a line or two thanking me for taking the time to help them. Never have I thought that to be a waste of time or unnecessary.

Gratitude builds relationships. Business is about relationships.

When a client or associate takes their time to send their kind words my way, and I do reply, it’s not just with a “you are welcome.” Instead, I will email them stating my gratitude for them taking the time to do so, let them know how I appreciate their input, and let them know they made my day because they do.

I never expect the “you’re welcome” reply in my daily business email communications. That is discretionary based on the comments, relationship, and situation.

There is a point in every business thread/communication where replying is not constructive or has no value other than to repeat the obvious. You’ll know what to do when the situation arises.

When to Thank

I wrote an article about When to Send a Thank You! Email. For me, when the urge hits me, I do it. And I don’t just type “thank you.” Instead, I let the recipient know why I am so grateful.

Email is about reflecting your personality and how you choose to communicate. That is why showing courtesy and gratitude in business communications is crucial to relationship building.

Some folks are more chatty and friendly than others. However, unfortunately, some are too curt and to the point and come off as terse or demanding. Some never think of thanking.

Boy, would a simple thank you soften their communications when apropos. There have been times when that thank you comes through; I, too, am pleasantly surprised. Primarily because up until that point, there were no signals that they appreciated my efforts.

Business is All About Relationships

A little thank you can go a long way towards solidifying business partnerships. When nurturing new connections, the opportunity to provide a positive impression about what can be expected in future business communications is golden. Showing gratitude and appreciation is one way to do that.

Any time someone supports your business by their words or actions in your business activities, you should reflect gratitude. I hope you do not hesitate to thank them, especially if they have exceeded your expectations.

And if you are thanked, don’t hesitate to let the other side know how much you appreciate them if that’s what you want to do. It will be welcomed and reflect positively on you and your business.

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