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Questionnaire: Is a Thank You Letter Needed?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 13 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
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In the modern world there are so many ways to say "thank you" that it can be confusing to try to decide if a full thank you letter is needed.

However, there are still many situations in which a verbal thank you, a text or even a quick email note are not quite enough.

To help you decide if a specific situation calls for a thank you letter we have put together the questionnaire below.

Simply answer "yes" or "no" to each question and add up the results to find out if you should send a full thank you letter or if anything less will suffice.

Questionnaire

1. Do you personally feel that a verbal "thank you" is not enough for the specific situation?

2. Do you worry that someone will be offended if they do not receive a thank you letter?

3. Does the situation involve employment, such as a potential job, pay rise or promotion?

4. Does the situation involve a specific life event, such as a christening, graduation or wedding?

5. Did the event host put an obvious amount of time, energy and/or money into the occasion?

6. Do you feel that someone did you a favour or otherwise invested themselves in a situation that they could have avoided?

7. Do you believe that you never could have done something without another person's help?

8. Do you want to offer your services in return, should the recipient ever need them?

9. Are you a new acquaintance of the recipient and want to make a good impression?

10. Do you have a feeling that an electronic communication would not be appreciated by the recipient?

11. Have you heard others discuss similar situations and mention that they sent a thank you letter?

12. Do you worry that you never said "thank you" at the time of the event?

Should You Send a Thank You Letter?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you may not need to send a thank you letter. Instead, a verbal thank you, a quick text or an email might be enough to let the recipient know that you appreciate their efforts. However, a full thank you letter is always appreciated so if you are in doubt, err on the side of caution and send a thank you letter today!

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you should consider sending a thank you letter. Use your own common sense to decide if this specific situation could have repercussions if a thank you letter is not sent. If it involves your employment, a once in a lifetime event or the good graces of a close friend or relative then avoid any unintended consequences and write out a thank you letter right now!

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you must send a thank you letter immediately. Put away the laptop and instead bring out your nicest writing paper. Let the recipient know how much you appreciated the time, energy and effort that they put into helping you, and be sure to include an explicit "thank you" for all that they have done. If you are happy to return the favour some day then feel free to include this information, though this is usually only related to social (rather than business) events.

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