A site visitor writes:
I would like to know the etiquette on thank you notes when it comes to business holiday gifts. I once read that sending a thank you via-e-mail is not proper, is this true?
Great question and one I bet others have wondered about too!
I believe that the effort you put into something shows your level of sincerity and in the case of thank you notes, gratitude. It all depends on the situation and the relationship you have or plan to have with the person or company you are thanking.
For example, when a client does something nice for me, sends flowers for my birthday or a gift around the Holidays, they get a personally written and hand addressed thank you note via old-fashioned snail mail. My clients and I work closely together, are on a first name basis and have a relationship beyond the client/vendor formality. A thank you e-mail just wouldn’t seem adequate.
Yes, I could send my thank you by e-mail — I am in the technology business after all and that would make sense. But would that show my sincere gratitude as much as taking the time to buy the card, write my note and address the envelope, pay the postage and send it off? Probably not…
How Personal is the Relationship?
On the other hand, I have vendors that send me holiday gifts. Very nice sentiment but they aren’t really from a person to me — they are from a company. In that case I do send a short e-mail saying “thank you” to my contact at the company thanking them for the gift and for thinking of me. Use your discretion based on the type of relationship you have with the giver.
Here I go talking about discretion again!. So many things end up right back to that word, don’t they?
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