Your parents might have taught you about the value of a well-written thank-you note when you were younger. Mine certainly did.

After every holiday or birthday when I received gifts, my mom made me diligently write out and mail thank you notes the next day.

"Even if you thank them in the moment," she explained, "an additional note expressing thanks shows people how much you care and appreciate their time and generosity."

A similar sentiment should be adopted for thanking your customers. They spend time and resources supporting your business, and it would give them so much delight to receive a thoughtful acknowledgment of how much they mean to you. But there are many reasons you may want to give them a sincere thank you:

  • When a first purchase is made
  • Receiving feedback or review
  • When subscribed to your newsletter
  • For a positive shoutout in social media

In this blog post, we'll teach you how to show appreciation by sending a customer a thank you letter that will be sure to delight them — and make my mom proud.

→ Access Now: 11 Customer Thank You Letter Templates [Free Prompts]

1. Select a form 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, it might be logistically impossible to carry out for every customer you conduct business with.

When choosing the right format for your thank you letter, consider what exactly 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’ family.

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 an appropriate greeting.

Start your letter off 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 letter is formal, address the recipient as "Mr." or "Ms.," followed by their last name.

If the 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 particular brand voice in mind as you write.

Featured Resource

11 Free Customer Thank You Letter Templates

Fill out the form to access the templates.

3. Express thanks and appreciation.

Next, thank the recipient for whatever they gave you, whether it was a gift, a donation, an interview, or 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 you.

For example, for a customer who re-purchased your subscription product, you would 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 received with a more genuine approach.

abercrombie fitch thank you letter

4. Include specific details.

Share specific details about their business 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 details like the following:

"Thanks for completing the survey about your experience using [Product]! Your feedback helps us improve our offerings and help troubleshoot for you and other customers, so I really appreciate you taking the time. You make a good point about it being too difficult to find cancellation information on our website, and 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.

5. Look toward the future.

Wrap up your thank you letter by looking toward the future with the recipient. If working together was mutually beneficial, express to them that you would like to work together again. You can build customer loyalty by following this additional step as other companies may treat their client relationships as concluded when the service has been provided.

6. Say "thank you" again.

Close your letter with a final line, with something simple like:

"Thanks again for your [Gift/Support/Purchase/Feedback]."

7. 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 ..."

8. Sign your thank you letter.

Once you've wrapped things up with a friendly sign-off, be sure to 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.

9. Give customers a way to respond.

It's important to remember that thank you letters effectively extend the conversation with your customers. So, 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, be sure to check if customers can respond directly to the return email address. Some shared inbox tools will use a placeholder email address, which allows you to send 1:1 emails to a large audience but it doesn't allow your recipients to message back. If you can't edit your reply-to email, then you should consider adding an email address to the message itself so customers have a direct way to contact you.

Now, let's take a look at the different elements that every thank you letter should include.

Thank you letters should be personalized every time you use them. However, there are some core components that should be included regardless of who and what you're thanking them for. Below are the four elements required for an excellent thank you letter.

1. Use thank you letter templates.

thank you letterThanking 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 a moment of customer delight. 

2. Determine the best communication medium.

Before you even begin to write your thank you letter, you should consider the best medium to use for the occasion. Generally, handwritten letters are considered more sincere than emails or text messages. That's because these notes take time to write, which demonstrates sincerity and appreciation on your end.

If that isn’t an option, gratitude can be shared through email, text, or even a voicemail can be received as thoughtful and genuine.

3. 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 have 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 with them.

For example, if it's an important stakeholder, your greeting may 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.

4. 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.

In this section, try to include the word, "you" 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.

5. 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 how their action is important to you so they know that they have had a positive impact on you beyond the simple gesture.

For example, if it’s 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 an act or service, say how much easier it was to complete your work with their help.

6. 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 that you intend to continue working with them over time. This is important for long-term relationship-building because it sets the expectation for future interactions.

7. Add 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 ..."
  • "Miss you ..."

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 your customer thank you emails in particular.

Here are a few best practices to writing a successful customer thank you letter, no matter what industry you're in.

1. Say something positive in the subject line.

If you've decided an email thank-you is the best route to take, make sure 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 as an opportunity to get your customers to spend more money. Full stop.

Nothing makes a letter from a company (masquerading as a thank you letter) seem more insincere than immediately asking the recipient to buy something else. There are plenty of other opportunities to share offers and new products with your customers -- and this is not one of them.

It's perfectly fine to send a customer thank you letter that's just that -- a thank you note. Other acceptable options could be including a link to a customer feedback survey, personalized educational content, or information about a loyalty program -- or anything else that doesn't require more money from them.

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 there's another human reading your message. If your email feels insincere or perfunctory, it won't have the intended impact on your audience. While they'll appreciate the gesture, it won't leave an impression that will remind them of your brand in the future.

One way you can really spruce up your thank you is by including something personal in your message. This could be a short story about how this purchase impacted your business, a noteworthy interaction that happened between your team and the customer, or just 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” 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 the conversation with your customers. So, 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, be sure to check if customers can respond directly to the return email address. Some shared inbox tools will use a placeholder email address, which allows you to send 1:1 emails to a large audience but it doesn't allow your recipients to message back. If you can't edit your reply-to email, then you should consider adding an email address to the message itself so customers have a direct way to contact you.

6. Start with a template your whole team can use.

While you should try to 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 when you begin writing. Instead, you simply have to personalize the template and include whichever information or offers that would be relevant at this point in the customer's journey.

If you're an ecommerce business, then you may already interact with your customers via email. The section below can help your team write eye-catching thank you letters after customers complete a purchase on your website.

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 their support options.

chewy pet company thank you letter with personal touch

Image Source

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 really want to step things up, writing your thank you as a hand-written letter is an excellent way to grab your customer's attention.

Now that you know how to write an effective customer thank you letter, here are a few examples of how real brands are doing it:

10 Examples of Thank You Letters to Clients for Their Business

1. Loom

Here's a thank you email I received from Loom — a screen and video recording software my team at HubSpot uses quite frequently:

hubspot survey email for customer

The heart emoji and personalization (along with the promise of a very short survey) made me click to read this email, and the hilarious union of both companies' logos was very human and funny.

Loom effectively communicated thanks, personalized the email, and didn't ask too much of me -- I was happy to answer a couple of questions about a tool I use every week. They got valuable customer feedback, and I got a funny note I shared with the rest of my team.

2. BioClarity

Here's a thank you letter I received from skincare company BioClarity after referring a new customer:

bioclarity customer thank you letter

Ecommerce brands love to send out emails about new products and offers, and what I appreciated about this thank you email was its simplicity. All BioClarity did was thank me for referring a new customer -- and let me know about the reward coming my way for doing so.

BioClarity's thank you letter wasn't pushy or sales-y -- it thanked me for my loyalty, told me about a prize, and the authentic writing style made me smile.

3. JetBlue

Here's a thank you letter I received a couple of days after a trip on JetBlue:

jetblue customer thank you letter

You might already know that JetBlue has some of the best customer service of any airline out there, consistently going above and beyond for their customers. But sometimes, simplicity works too.

This letter thanked me for flying with JetBlue on a recent trip, and it showed me how to sign up for its customer loyalty program -- and how to get reward points for the flight I had already taken.

Frequent flyer programs help travelers book expensive flights at a discount -- so I really appreciated JetBlue pointing out how to get more value out of my future bookings with them. That's true customer appreciation -- sure, JetBlue wants me to book future trips with them, but they're also showing me how to get more bang for my buck with their loyalty program.

4. SoulCycle

Here's an end-of-year thank you letter I received from cycling workout brand SoulCycle:

soulcycle customer thank you letter

SoulCycle has built a brand about creating a sanctuary away from the rest of the world to exercise, and this thank you letter really drives that home. It's not pushing me to book another exercise class, but it is welcoming and encouraging me to show up and feel included -- and thanking me for being a part of its community.

This letter is sincere -- it's not trying to do anything or sell me anything, it's just about cultivating community and appreciation. Well done, SoulCycle.

5. Discover

Here's a thank you letter I received from my credit card company, Discover:

discover customer thank you letter

This is another great example of a short and sweet thank you letter that has no agenda other than saying thanks. By letting me know it won an award for customer satisfaction (and thanking me for being one of those happy customers), Discover makes it clear that they value customer feedback.

It's also worth noting how infamous credit card companies are for inundating customers with unsolicited credit card and loan offers -- which makes this offer-less email even more appreciated.

6. World Wildlife Fund

Here's a thank you letter I received from the World Wildlife Fund at the end of one year when I donated:

world wildlife fund customer thank you letter

The letter led me to this thank-you video WWF produced, which showcased how my donation was used in action:

This is an effective way to thank customers, especially if they're donating to a cause -- by showing them where their money actually goes. (Plus, who can resist cute animals?)

A sincere thank you note paired with engaging content is another great way to go.

7. Ann Handley

After subscribing to her newsletter, marketing expert and author Ann Handley thanked me -- and asked me a question:

ann handley customer thank you letter

I didn't reply to this email when I initially received it (if you're reading this, sorry Ann). However, this email does a fantastic job of taking the thank you one step further by providing me with details about what I can expect -- and some awesome content right off the bat. Additionally, Ann made it clear that she valued her subscribers' feedback, and for those who did reply, she was able to tailor her next send based on the preferences she learned about.

8. Capital One

Here's the snail mail example of customer appreciation that I promised -- a thank you letter (and a pan flute) I received from Capital One:

— Kristen Georgette (@ksceppa) March 19, 2021

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 made 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.

9. UH Bikes

Here's a thank you letter that my colleague, Clint, received after downloading UH Bikes, a Cleveland-based bike sharing app.

Thank you letter from UH Bikes to Customer

This thank you letter is great because it answers everything new users would want to know after downloading the app. It explains how to rent a bike and provides answers to common questions you may have about the service.

This makes onboarding much easier for new customers, especially Clint, who was on vacation in Cleveland and was completely new to UH Bikes. He quickly signed up on the app, then used this handy email to rent a bike. Without these step-by-step instructions, it would have taken him much more time to reserve a bike.

10. HubSpot

After you sign up for the Service Blog's daily or weekly newsletter, you'll receive this thank you letter.

Thank you letter from HubSpot to CustomerThis thank you email follows all of the steps we listed above. It begins with a friendly greeting, expresses gratitude for your sign-up, acknowledges the future relationship we'll have, then thanks you again before signing off. 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.

To learn more about making your customers happy, read our ultimate guide to customer delight next.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Apr 20, 2021 5:00:00 PM, updated June 15 2021

Topics:

Customer Delight Issue Tracking Software