Discuss why a handwritten thank-you note is better than a thank-you e-mail. How do you perceive each?

Expert Answers

Want to remove ads?

Get ad-free questions with an eNotes 48-hour free trial.

Try It Free No Thanks
coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In business, a hand written thank-you letter is always well-received because it shows the sender ‘went the extra mile’ to give courteous personal service underlining the fact that he values the input of the recipient. In writing business letters or notes it is important to strike the right balance between genuine warmth and care and over-familiarity so the writer needs to remember to stay professional.

In the world of business , time pressures and deadlines shouldn’t  mean giving up on courtesy or care. In fact, good manners are important everywhere and should sit happily with sensible business and professional practices. The classic thank-you letter  is a perfect example of this,  a friendly gesture is also a great way to strengthen bonds, build deeper relations, be remembered, stand out, and show class in a competitive and ruthless business context. But striking the right balance between friendly courtesy and professionalism is not a easy. Notes should not be too light-hearted.

The first rule is that a letter is usually more likely to be noticed, opened and read, than an email - there may be a ton of the latter in a client’s inbox. The next rule is about time, never put it off as speediness is of the essence.  In almost all business contexts, the top advantage of sending a thank-you note is that it leaves a strong and lasting impression with the recipient who may be a potential clent, donor or even a new boss.. The more days that go by between the interview, meeting or deal, and the receipt of a compliment, the less significance this communication  will be. This is less likely to happen with a letter as emails are more easily swamped and moved down to another page.

Real paper looks nice and gives an opportunity for discreet personalisation and an expression of quality and style  compared  to a uniform email. For  companies, typing the note on an official letterhead is the most professional option. However, depending of the closeness to the recipient, a handwritten card adds a more person touch, and may be better in some circumstances. For example, small family-run businesses may appreciate a more personal approach., or when showing  gratitude for spport or help freely given. Hand-written letters are also suitable for thanking a potential employer after an interview, or for thanking someone for their input and support during an important meeting. In most of these cases, emails come a poor second in the personal service stakes.