I received several questions this week about this topic. Here’s a post that I updated for you that covers the topic of what to do if you receive holiday gifts from business partners or customers. Do you send a Thank you card or will an email suffice?
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 email is not proper, is this true?
Great question and one I know 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. Especially when it comes to building those oh-so-important business partnerships.
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. That note goes out the very next day.
As a matter of fact I mailed one out just today. Some say that makes me old-fashioned. I don’t thinks so. Some things never go out of style and handwritten thank you notes are one of them.
I am blessed that when it comes to my clients we are on a first name basis. Many I have worked with for a decade or more. In most cases our relationship goes beyond the client/vendor formality. Because of this a thank you email just would not seem adequate.
Choices Make a Statement
Yes, I could send my thank you by email. I am in the technology business after all and that would make sense. Some folks wouldn’t think twice about that.
But would that show my sincere gratitude as much as taking the time to buy the card, write my note and hand-address the envelope, pay the postage and send it off?
How Personal is the Relationship?
On the other hand, I do have vendors that send me holiday gifts. It is a 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 thank you email to my contact at that company thanking them for the gift and for thinking of me.
Next time you go to the store, check out the card section and buy yourself a box of nice thank you cards to have on hand. I tend to collect boxes of cards — I just like having them right there when I need them.
Just like anything we talk about, use your discretion based on the type of relationship you have with the giver. Here I go talking about discretion again, right? So many things end up right back to that word, don’t they?