When I received gifts as a child, my mom taught me to write and mail thank you letters the next day. This lesson stuck with me throughout my career because of her reasoning for this simple gesture:
"Even if you thank them in the moment," she explained, "an additional note expressing gratitude shows people how much you care and appreciate their time and generosity."
You should adopt a similar sentiment for thanking your customers. You're probably thinking, "I can't send every customer a thank you card after every purchase!" But you don't have to.
Several opportunities exist to incorporate thank-you notes into your customer success strategy. In this blog post, we'll teach you how to show appreciation by sending a thank you letter that will delight customers.
How to Thank a Customer for Their Business
- Select a format that works for your business.
- Use thank you letter templates.
- Use an appropriate greeting.
- Express thanks and appreciation.
- Include specific details.
- Look toward the future.
- Say 'thank you' again.
- Use an appropriate closing.
- Sign your thank you letter.
1. Select a format that works for your business.
When thanking your customers, you want to sound both professional and genuine. While a handwritten thank you card may feel the most thoughtful, sending one to every customer you conduct business with might be logistically impossible.
When choosing the right format for your thank you letter, consider what you're thanking them for.
For instance, an email would be appropriate for routine products purchased online, while new or first-time customers would appreciate more personalized messages.
For example, Chewy has a team of artists that paint new customers' pets and give them handwritten thank-you cards specific to their furry friends' families.
In cases where a handwritten note isn't possible for each customer you want to thank, use a well-trusted customer thank you letter template to show them how grateful you are for their business, feedback, or loyalty.
2. Use thank you letter templates.
Thanking a customer should be sincere but on-brand.
That's why we've compiled this collection of thank you letter templates for your team to build a backlog of letters for thanking your customers directly.
Customize each template to fit your needs and send them out for customer delight.
11 Free Customer Thank You Letter Templates
Fill out the form to access the templates.
3. Use an appropriate greeting.
Start your letter on the right foot with a correct and appropriate greeting. These are all dependent on your brand voice and tone.
If you know the recipient, start your letter with "Hi ..." or "Dear ..."
If you've never met the recipient, start your letter with "Dear ..."
Then, double- and triple-check the correct spelling of the recipient's name.
If the thank you letter is formal, address the recipient as "Mr." or "Ms.," followed by their last name.
If the thank you letter is informal, refer to the recipient by their first name.
Generally, keeping the interaction formal will make the customer feel well respected, but keep your company's brand voice in mind as you write.
4. Express thanks and appreciation.
Next, thank the recipient for whatever they gave you — whether it was a gift, a donation, an interview, or just being your customer — and express true gratitude.
Say thank you, and state how much you appreciate what they gave you and how it will help your business.
For example, if a customer re-purchased your subscription product, you could write the following:
"Thank you so much for re-subscribing and purchasing [Product] again. Support from long-time customers like you helps our business grow and evolve thanks to your helpful feedback."
Or take a note from Abercrombie & Fitch and see how much more impactful a thank you message can be:
5. Include specific details.
Share specific details about their interaction with you to make the recipient feel like whatever they've given you was useful and valuable.
For example, if a customer submitted a feedback survey, you could include the following:
"Thanks for completing the survey about your experience using [Product]! Your feedback helps us improve our offerings for you and other customers. You make a good point about it being too difficult to find cancellation information on our website. I've passed that feedback along to our web design team to suggest making it more readily available."
Whether it's the impact their purchase has on your growing business or feedback that can help you improve, the more you let them know they made a positive contribution will make them feel like they contributed more than just their money and time.
6. Look toward the future.
Wrap up your thank you letter by looking toward the future with the recipient.
If working together was mutually beneficial, tell them you would like to work together again.
You can build customer loyalty by following this additional step, as other companies may end their client relationships once the service has been provided.
7. Say "thank you" again.
Close your letter with a final line, with something simple like:
"Thanks again for your [Gift/Support/Purchase/Feedback]."
8. Use an appropriate closing.
There are a lot of different closing salutations you can end your thank you letter with.
For business relationships, close your email with "Best regards ..." or "Kind regards ..." (Read our full explanation of when to use which closing in this blog post.)
Other business-appropriate closings can include:
- "Respectfully ..."
- "Cheers ..."
- "Have a wonderful day/weekend ..."
- "Sincerely ..."
- "All the best ..."
9. Sign your thank you letter.
Once you've wrapped things up with a friendly sign-off, sign your work.
If you're communicating with a new customer, add formality to your signature by including your last name.
If you're hand-writing your letter, sign the document in cursive for a more professional aesthetic.
These details make a big difference in determining the tone of your letter.
Whether you're writing a thank you letter for a new customer or one of your most loyal, these tips will help your message land.
Now, let's look at the different elements that every thank you letter should include.
What to Include in a Thank You Letter
- Determine the best communication medium.
- Use an appropriate greeting.
- Express gratitude.
- Tell them how they made an impact.
- Acknowledge the future.
- Add a proper closing.
Thank you letters should be personalized every time you use them. However, some core components should be included regardless of who and what you're thanking them for. Below are the elements required for an excellent thank you letter.
1. Determine the best communication medium.
Before writing your thank you letter, consider the best medium for the occasion.
Generally, handwritten letters are considered more sincere than emails or text messages. That's because these notes take time to write.
This demonstrates sincerity and appreciation on your end.
If that isn't an option, gratitude can be shared through a thoughtful email, text, or voicemail.
2. Use an appropriate greeting.
Your letter should begin with an appropriate greeting.
If you have a prior relationship with the recipient, your greeting should be warm and courteous. Use their first name to create an inviting, friendly tone that reinforces the bond you've developed with them.
If you're less familiar with this person, your greeting should set a professional tone for the conversation. Address the recipient by their appropriate title and use an opening that fits your relationship.
For example, if it's an important stakeholder, your greeting might be, "Dear Mr. Fontanella." Or, if it's a new customer, you could start with, "Hi, Mr. Fontanella."
Picking the right greeting ensures your thank-you message is received with the intended context.
3. Express gratitude.
The next section should include a statement that outlines what you're grateful for.
Use specific details to describe what the recipient did to warrant this note.
Including specifics makes your message more sincere because it personalizes the content for the reader.
Try to include the word "you" in this section as much as possible. This will make your message customer-centric because you're focusing on what the recipient did for you and your business.
4. Tell them how they made an impact.
After you give thanks for what they have given or done for you, briefly explain why you value it in more detail. Elaborate on their action's importance to you so they know they've positively impacted you.
For example, if the person gave you a physical gift, say how you intend on using it and get specific. More context will make them feel even better about giving it to you.
If they provided you with an act or service, say how much easier it was to complete your work with their help.
5. Acknowledge the future.
Following the expression of gratitude, the next section should acknowledge your future relationship with the recipient. This portion will let the customer know you intend to continue working with them over time.
Mentioning the future is important for long-term relationship-building because it sets the expectation for future interactions.
6. Add a proper closing.
For friendly or familial relationships, use the friendly, informal closing that you're comfortable with, such as:
- "Talk soon ..."
- "See you soon ..."
- "Fondly ..."
Finally, your thank you letter should conclude with an appropriate closing statement.
Thank the recipient again, and offer them options for contacting you if needed. Then, conclude the message with your preferred sign-off, followed by your signature.
Next, let's talk through some digital approaches using customer-centric language you can use in customer thank-you emails.
How to Write a Thank You Email to Customers for Their Business
- Say something positive in the subject line.
- Be judicious with what you promote.
- Write like a human.
- Include something personal or genuine.
- Provide customers with a way to respond.
- Start with a template your whole team can use.
Here are a few best practices for writing a successful customer thank you email, no matter your industry.
1. Say something positive in the subject line.
If you've decided a thank you email is the best route, ensure your subject line gives your customer a preview of what's awaiting them.
Words like "thank you," "valued customer," "your loyalty," and "appreciated" are all good signals that the customer can expect a positive message from you, but they aren't the only terms to choose from.
Take a look at these examples to get creative in how you open your thank-you message:
- "Big News and Bigger Thanks." (MindBody)
- "Thanks for having great taste" (Alex Mill)
- "You showed up in a big way" (Patagonia)
2. Be judicious with what you promote.
A thank you letter should not be used to get your customers to spend more money.
Nothing makes a letter from a company (masquerading as a thank you note) seem more insincere than immediately asking the recipient to buy something else.
There are plenty of opportunities to share offers and new products with your customers — but this is not one of them.
It's perfectly fine to send a customer a thank you letter that's simply that — a thank you note. Other acceptable options include a link to a customer feedback survey, personalized educational content, or information about a loyalty program.
3. Write like a human.
If you're going to enter your customers' email inboxes, make sure the thank you letter is well-crafted, personalized, and sincere.
Our inboxes are already overflowing with automated email templates sent en masse from brands every day.
Make sure your thank you email sounds as human as possible to communicate just how thankful you are for a customer's business and loyalty.
As an added touch, address the email from a real person at your company — ideally in leadership — to further communicate authenticity.
4. Include something personal or genuine.
Part of writing like a human means understanding another human is reading your message.
If your email feels insincere, it won't have the intended impact on your audience. While they'll appreciate the gesture, it won't leave a lasting impression of your brand.
You can spruce up your thank you by including something personal in your message.
This could be a short story about how this purchase impacted your business, a noteworthy interaction between your team and the customer, or a funny joke and a lighthearted reminder that your support channels are always here to help.
Whichever you choose, it should add more context to your email so you aren't just saying, "Thanks for buying that," and then sending the customer on their way.
5. Provide customers with a way to respond.
It's important to remember that thank you letters effectively extend customer conversations.
You should include an option for customers to respond to you if they have additional questions about their order, want to submit feedback, or are interested in making another purchase.
If you're using marketing software to email your contacts, check if customers can respond directly to the return email address.
Some shared inbox tools will use a placeholder email address, allowing you to send 1:1 emails to a large audience but don't allow your recipients to message back.
If you can't edit your reply-to email, consider adding an email address to the message itself so customers can directly contact you.
6. Start with a template your whole team can use.
While you should personalize the thank you letter for each customer, a template can provide consistency for branding elements like fonts, colors, and imagery.
This will also save your team time as you won't have to start from scratch every time you begin writing.
Instead, you simply have to personalize the template and include whichever information or offers might be relevant to the customer's journey.
Thank You for Your Order
In ecommerce, thank you notes are an effective way of staying in touch with your customer base after they make a purchase. By sending a letter or email after an order is delivered, you're not only extending a courtesy but also providing a direct channel to ask questions, provide feedback, or even make a repeat purchase.
One perfect example of this comes from the brand, Chewy. Chewy sends its customers one-of-a-kind portraits of their pets, along with a friendly reminder that its team can be reached 24/7.
As you can see from the image below, this is an extremely cool way for an ecommerce brand to thank its customers for their business while reminding them about the support options available.
While a personalized portrait of a pet is a sure-fire way to earn your customer's appreciation, you don't have to give away a prize with every "thank you" message.
For most customers, receiving a note in the first place will show that your company is grateful for their business.
But, if you want to step things up, writing your thank you as a hand-written letter is an excellent way to grab your customer's attention.
While a personalized portrait of a pet is a surefire way to earn your customer's appreciation, you don't have to give away a prize with every "thank you" message.
For most customers, receiving a note in the first place will show that your company is grateful for their business. But, if you want to step things up, handwritten letters are an excellent way to grab your customer's attention.
Thank You Letter Examples
Now that you know how to write an effective customer thank you letter, here are a few examples of how real brands do it.
Here's a thank you email from ButcherBox — a direct-to-consumer food brand specializing in farm-to-table meats.
The subject line promising the power to choose your own free year's meat supply was an enticing offer, making this a must-read email.
ButcherBox effectively communicated thanks, briefly highlighted its offerings, and didn't ask too much of the reader. Additionally, it provided value by offering a discount to the recipient.
Why it works: Ecommerce brands love to send out emails about new products and offers, and what I appreciated about this thank you email was its simplicity.
Butcher Box's thank you letter is an excellent example of positive reinforcement. In the first sentence, the company tells me which action they're thanking me for. This email wasn't pushy or sales-y; the authentic writing style made me smile.
2. Village Meat and Wine
Here's a thank you letter from specialty food company Village Meat and Wine.
All Village Meat and Wine did was wish me a happy new year — and tell me their holiday hours. It's a simple and effective way to bring someone to the store for a special occasion.
Why this works: Village Meat and Wine works with specialty and gourmet food. By sending out a holiday reminder, you'll think about the brand when you need a dish to blow your guests away.
3. Naked Wines
Here's a thank you letter I received from Naked Wines in an offer to become a subscriber:
With this letter, Naked Wines makes it clear they want to build a relationship with me that lasts for the long term. They bring me into their world, showing their appreciation for subscribers and our importance to the company's success.
Why it works: Naked Wines wants to attract long-term subscribers, so it is appropriate to write a longer letter to make its case. They'll be a part of their subscribers' daily lives, and a more substantive letter can help to solidify that relationship.
4. Cxffee Black
Here's a thank you letter from Memphis-based coffee company Cxffee Black:
Cxffee Black has built a brand around reclaiming high-quality coffee production as a part of Black culture. The husband and wife owners have created a community around coffee, culture, and education.
They have rolled out several new initiatives over the last few months, working directly with growers in Ethiopia. The letter is simple and honest, thanking me for being a part of its community and the journey.
Why it works: This letter is sincere — it's not trying to do anything or sell me anything. It's just about cultivating community and appreciation. It also informs customers that there may be a bit of shipment delay thanks to the boost in interest.
Here's a thank you letter sent from Adobe after I signed up for the Adobe Creative Challenge:
This is another great example of a short and sweet thank you letter but with the addition of inviting you to a wider community. That is made easy with a simple "Join the conversation" button, which takes less than a second to hit.
Why it works: It's short and to the point. The note shows their appreciation for my registration in two simple sentences. Then, adding a clickable button makes connecting with my peers and fellow challengers super easy.
6. National Geographic Society
Here's a thank you letter I received from the National Geographic Society requesting that I become a contributing member:
The letter included information about ongoing Society projects, which showcased how my donation could be used in action.
Why it works: Showing customers exactly where their money goes is an effective way to thank them, especially if they donate to a cause. (Plus, who can resist the thrill of discovery?)
7. The Floor
After experiencing a pandemic shutdown, pilates studio The Floor sent out this heartfelt note to all of their customers:
This email does a fantastic job of using a holiday to show appreciation to their customers. It's not a cheesy "This Thanksgiving, we're thankful for you" email, but a sincere one.
Why it works: In this example, The Floor clarifies that they value their customers and get specific about why: for continuing to support the studio throughout the pandemic. Getting specific about why you appreciate the customer adds a layer of honesty and sincerity to your message.
8. Capital One
Here's the snail mail example of customer appreciation that I promised — a thank you letter and gift Kristen Georgette received from Capital One:
Here's the necessary context: Mrs. Georgette made a simple call to Capital One to fix an unwanted charge, striking up a conversation with the call operator.
She shared news of her growing family, and the customer support rep made a note to both fix the situation at hand and make her feel good with a baby gift basket.
This gift probably cost Capital One less than $20 in total but helped Georgette feel the love. A thoughtful and personalized gift and thank you note are delightful to give to customers who feel the company's agents really care.
Why it works: This gift isn't the typical "thank you for your purchase" gesture. Capital One empowers its service reps to delight customers in hyper-personal and relevant ways. If this idea inspires you, check out this article on relationship marketing.
Here's a thank you letter I received after purchasing hair extensions from Bellami, an online hair accessories retailer:
This thank you letter is great because it comes as a discount. The body of the email itself is short and cuts to the chase. The company values your opinion enough to pay you for your time.
Why it works: This makes committing to the survey much easier for customers. All they have to do is read some brief text and click to take the survey.
10. The Hustle
After you sign up for the Hustle, HubSpot's newsletter, you'll receive this thank you letter.
This thank you email follows all of the steps we listed above. It begins with a friendly greeting, expresses gratitude for your sign-up, and acknowledges our future relationship.
The email also conveys the no-nonsense approach to industry news we'll take through this channel. Then it thanks the reader again before signing off.
Why it works: This email is a great example of a simple thank you letter that can be used for any new user who provides you with their email address. It's short, to the point, and still incorporates a call-to-action and the next point of communication the customer can expect.
11. Marie Forleo
After signing up for a free copywriting course, this email was sent from digital entrepreneur Marie Forleo:
This letter is encouraging and informative. It excites the reader about the free course, boosts their confidence that they can succeed, provides information on the next steps, and tells them who to contact for assistance.
It's a great example of how a sign-up thank you note can spark interest and dialogue.
Why it works: This email gives the reader information about what they should expect next and opens up a dialogue for questions.
12. H&R Block
Filing taxes is never fun, but H&R Block reached out to thank me for my services and to keep my experience personable:
This concise message reassures the reader that H&R Block is there to assist them. Tax season can be stressful, and a direct message like this conveys confidence and competence.
Why it works: Sometimes, a shorter message can provide peace of mind that a longer message wouldn't.
13. The Red Cross
As part of its 9th Annual Giving Day, the Red Cross sent out thank you letters to its supporters:
The letter thanked me for making the critical work the organization does possible.
It then directed me to a video that showed the Red Cross in action, helping people worldwide in their darkest hour. The letter also reminded me that my donation matters for their mission.
Why it works: The Red Cross is about making a difference in people's lives who need it most. Showing the results of donations reminds the reader that their contribution can save someone else's life.
14. Taylor Nation
After signing up for a newsletter through Taylor Nation, the official Taylor Swift fan network, I received the following thank you letter:
Thanks to its welcoming tone and exclamation points, the thank you letter conveys excitement to the reader.
It includes several links to other channels for fans to follow for new updates and content, making the wider community accessible even to a new fan.
The reader is also alerted to future events, news, and promotions, encouraging them to remain actively engaged.
Why it works: Immersive fandoms can inspire deep loyalty; the letter's unique image and recognizable typeface add to that experience. The letter also promises more unique content in the near future, creating a sense of anticipation.
In honor of Thanksgiving, the Pieology pizza chain sent out this thank you email to its customers:
The festive letter thanks both Pieology's workers and customers. It comes at a time of year when many people express their thankfulness for each other.
Why it works: The email expresses gratitude for the people who make the business possible, with a dash of levity to keep the mood joyful.
Thank You Letter Template
Stumped about getting started sending your own thank you letter? We've put together the template below to help you along.
For more thank you notes that can be used in multiple scenarios, download our free customer thank you letter templates.
Delight Your Customers With Thank You Letters
Writing thank you letters may not be the most popular way people spend their time at work, but it's a task that's sure to make your customers feel valued.
Whether you send a handwritten note, an email, or even a text message, this act of kindness can go a long way.
Unsure of where to start? Use the templates in this post and download more for free to start delighting your customers right away.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.