Owning a successful business is all about building relationships. Happy customers will come back time and again to buy your goods or services, ensuring a loyal following that will support long-term success. Writing business thank-you letters is one of the many ways to show your appreciation to your customers for their loyalty.
You can also write business thank-you letters to team members, business partners, and other valuable professional contacts (e.g., vendors, suppliers, etc.), thus, strengthening the professional network that maintains your operations.
If you've never written a business thank-you email or letter, you may be wondering just what to say. This guide covers all the essentials, from how to format your letter to what kind of content it might include.
What Is a Business Thank-You Letter?
A professional thank-you letter is a direct communication to a company or a person at that company, expressing gratitude or appreciation for a past business interaction. It helps to build and nurture relationships in the business world. With this letter, you are showing gratitude and appreciation for the person's or company's time, effort, commitment, or collaboration.
You can also write an email instead of a handwritten note. That said, a handwritten letter shows some extra effort and will stand out more since most people receive many email messages in a day. Still, if you don't have the means to write a formal professional letter, an email is better than nothing! The letter-writing tips in this guide also explain how to adapt your thank-you for the email medium.
Why Write a Thank-You Letter for Business?
Here are some scenarios when you might write a thank-you letter:
- To a customer, to thank them for choosing your business to collaborate with. They could have chosen a competitor, but they picked you! That loyalty is worth recognizing.
- To a supplier, to thank them for a package price deal they offered you. This saves your business money — also something worth expressing gratitude for.
- To a business contact, to thank them for referring a customer to you. They helped grow your business — yet another point worth expressing appreciation for.
- To an employee, to thank them for their ongoing hard work. They are a critical part of your business operations and success, and well worth recognizing.
In each of these instances, the recipient is sure to be pleased about an unexpected "thank-you" from your side. This good feeling will increase the odds of an ongoing positive business relationship. That customer is more likely to return; that supplier won't regret giving you a bargain and may do so again in the future; the professional contact is likely to refer new business to you again; and your employee will remain motivated, feeling that their work is recognized.
If you're worried that sending a formal thank-you might come across as awkward or frivolous, consider this: Scientific research has shown the value of thank-you letters. In one study, people were asked to send a thank-you to a person of their choosing. The senders assumed the letters would be received with awkwardness or wouldn't mean much to the recipients. In fact, the recipients were pleasantly surprised and happy.
How to Write a Business Appreciation Letters
Hopefully, you're convinced of the value of writing a formal business letter just to say thanks. But just how do you write one? Follow the steps below that outline how to write the perfect thank-you letter. In the next section, you'll find two business appreciation letter templates, including an example of how you might adapt this for an email.
Format the Page
When writing a letter, use single spacing. Add an additional line between each paragraph, after the greeting, and before the closing. Left and justify the text so that it's flush with the left side of the page. Use a standard font and size, like Times New Roman, 12-point. The same rules apply for an email.
Add Your Address
Add your contact details at the top of the letter, at the top left side of the page. Include your name, job title, company, address, city and state zip code, phone number, and email address. For an email, don't put this info at the top. Instead, make sure these details are in your email signature at the conclusion (after you "sign" your name).
Input a Date
Add the date that you are writing the letter after the header. Assuming you are in the United States, use the standard format: Day, Month, Year. (Note that some countries put the month before the day). For an email, there's no need to add the address, since the email will be automatically time-stamped.
Add the Recipient's Address
Add the recipient's contact details next, continuing along the top left side of the page. Include their name, job title, company, address, city and state zip code, phone number, and email address. For an email, there's no need to add this information. It will come across as spam and clutter up the page.
Write a Greeting
Next up, add a salutation. If your relationship with the person is more formal, stick with "Dear Mr. / Ms. / Dr." plus the person's last name. If you have an informal relationship, it's okay to address them by their first name. This holds true whether you're writing on paper or via an email.
Write the Body
The contents of the body will depend on what you're thanking the person for. Get to the point quickly. You can simply jump right in with a line like "thank-you for [reason]." Communicate your gratitude and appreciation in the first paragraph.
You can use a second paragraph (remember to add a space between paragraphs!) to reiterate the message and look towards the future. For example, if your letter is to thank a customer for a big order, you might say something like "I look forward to working with you again in the future."
It's usually best to cap a thank-you letter at two paragraphs, whether it's on paper or email. There's no need to go into great detail.
Write a Sign-Off
Finally, add a closing sign-off. Possible closing phrases for more formal communications include "Cordially," "Respectfully yours," "Yours sincerely," "Respectfully." For less formal communications, consider "Regards," "Best regards," "All the best," "thank-you," or "Best." This holds true whether for an email or a handwritten letter.
Finally, sign your name. For a handwritten letter, leave three spaces to sign your name and then have your name typed underneath it. For an email, simply type your name.
Sample Business thank-you Letter Templates
Below are a couple of thank-you business note examples that you can refer to as templates. Of course, you will have to adapt your own letter format and verbiage according to the purpose and recipient of the letter. These are just to give you an idea of what a letter or email might look like.
Example 1: Informal Handwritten letter
Here's an example of a thank-you letter you might write to a long-standing repeat customer who recently put in a big order with your company.
Robert Robertson, CEO
Robertson's Lumber Supply
555 Main Street
Robertsonville, VA 55021
August 26, 2021
Head of Project Management
Sarah's Super Architecture Design
222 Big Town Boulevard
Stevenstown, VA 22041
Thank you very much for your recent order. I'm pleased that you entrusted us as your lumber supplier for your project and am grateful that you continue to put your faith in our services. I hope the order met your expectations.
As always, we are happy to support you with your lumber supply needs with any future projects you may undertake. I wish you the best with your current project and look forward to seeing the outcome. Thank you again, and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Example 2: Formal Thank-you Email
Sometimes, sending a formal thank-you letter by mail isn't feasible or reasonable. For example, if you have a professional contact overseas, it may take a long time for the letter to reach them. In these instances, you may prefer to write an email.
Here's an example of a thank-you email you might write to a professional contact whose referral scored you a new customer. As you'll see, this one is more formal.
Dear Ms. Wood,
Thank you for recently referring John Johnston's Builders to us. We were pleased to help Mr. Johnston with his lumber supply needs and hope that we satisfactorily met his expectations. I appreciate your thinking of us and referring Mr. Johnston to our business.
If you or your customers need our services in the future, do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you again for your referral; your trust in us is greatly appreciated.
Robert Robertson, CEO
Robertson's Lumber Supply
555 Main Street
Robertsonville, VA 55021
Stay on Top of Your Business Correspondence — and Your Business Financials
As a small business owner, you rely on strong relationships with your customers, professional contacts, employees, and business partners. Writing thank-you letters can help maintain positive connections and build long-standing working relationships that will continue to drive your business success for years to come.
Financial management is another critical part of any business's success. Tracking your income and expenses, payroll, chasing invoices — these are just some of the money management tasks you deal with every day. With Skynova's accounting software and business templates, you can save time on these tasks. Discover Skynova's solutions.
Notice to the Reader
This article provides general information about business thank-you letters and may not apply to your specific situation. Further, when implementing new accounting tools or systems, always consult with a professional accountant to ensure you're meeting accounting best practices.