The power of a handwritten thank you noteMy secret weapon in business is old fashioned. I learned it from some very successful businesspeople who I admire. I write personal handwritten note cards and send them in the postal mail with a stamp. That’s a habit I learned from my own mother, and it has stood the test of time because so few people in this day and age use handwritten note cards to follow up.

So few people take the time to write thank you notes these days that just the act of doing it will make you more memorable in the minds of the people who receive your notes.

The fact that you actually took the time to sit down and hand write a note is significant. People do remember. Receiving a thank you note in the mail is so much more meaningful than an email or a text because people know it takes much more time, thought and effort to write a note and send it.

There is psychological data showing that taking the time to express gratitude is as powerful as receiving the thank you note. Slowing down and thinking about feeling grateful is one of the secrets of a happy and fulfilling life. Receiving a handwritten thank you note is so rare in this day and age of the internet that people will remember that you cared enough to send something in the mail.

The Anatomy of a “Thank-You” Note by Lizzie Post:

Step 1: Start with an opener or greeting: “It was so lovely to see you at the conference this year!”

Step 2: Thank them for the specific item given and tell them what you remember about the conference. “I learned so much from listening to your keynote speech.”

Step 3: Then, add a closing. It’s nice to include a wish for the future, but not obligatory: for example, “I look forward to seeing you again at next year’s conference and hope we can keep in touch in the meantime.”

In order to expedite the process, I keep a stack of personalized note cards with envelopes already stamped right at my desk. As soon as I think of someone I should thank, or acknowledge for a job well done, I sit and write that thank you note.