In your day-to-day business email communications, do you send emails that just say “Thank You!”? When you receive a thank you email, are you then required to respond with “You’re welcome!”?
Why are these questions even being asked? Mostly because it isn’t as common as it once was for others to take the time to show gratitude.
When was the last time you were thanked? Admit it — it is a pleasant surprise to get a “thank you”, right? Clearly there isn’t enough thanking going on…
So much so that the recipients actually 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 let me know that they think thanking is unnecessary and just mucks up their inbox. Yeah, like an extra email reflecting gratitude is a volume issue.
The next question asked 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 who are wondering are nice folks who just want to know what is 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.
Basically, “You are welcome” is assumed and more a part of in-person ongoing conversations. With that said, if you do have additional comments, including a “you’re welcome” as part of the ongoing conversation is a nice acknowledgement of their gratitude.
An exception would be on social media where short chatty bursts are more common. But we’re specifically talking about business email communications.
I get thanked all the time by kind folks who ask for my advice. Both here and on my consulting site. They send back 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”. I will email stating my gratitude for them taking their time to do so, let them know how I appreciate their input and to also let them know they made my day. Because they do.
In my daily business email communications, I never expect the “you’re welcome” reply. This is because I know 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”. I let the recipient know why I am so grateful.
Email is very much about reflecting your personality in how you choose to communicate. In business, showing courtesy and gratitude is a very important to relationship building.
Some folks are more chatty and friendly than others. However, there are those that, unfortunately, 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 my efforts were appreciated.
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.
If in your business activities someone supports your business by virtue of their words or actions, I hope you don’t hesitate to thank them. Especially if they gone above and beyond 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. My guess is that it will be welcomed and reflect positively on you and your business.