Every year I get emails from folks just like you about this topic. Here’s a post that covers the issue 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?
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 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.
I mailed one out just today. Some say that makes me old-fashioned. I don’t think so. Some things never go out of style, and a handwritten thank-you note is one of them.
When it comes to my clients, I am blessed that we are on a first-name basis. Many I have worked with for decades. In most cases, our relationship goes beyond the client/vendor formality. Because of this, a thank you email would not seem adequate.
Choices Make a Statement
Yes, I could send my thank you by email. After all, I am in the technology business, which would make sense. Some folks wouldn’t think twice about taking that approach.
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 have vendors that send me holiday gifts. It is a lovely sentiment, but they aren’t really from a person to me. They are from a company. In that case, I 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.
As with most topics that 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?