Thank you email: How to say thank you meaningfully

We say thank you all the time in person for all kinds of kind gestures. Writing an appreciation email is handy in many professional and personal settings. Have you ever received a thank-you email that made you feel appreciated? We all can enjoy receiving an email that reminds us of Elvis Presley’s famous words, “Thank you, thank you very much.”
Smiling man shakes hands with unseen person
A thank you email shows that same appreciation, just in digital form

by Montanna Owens

What is a thank-you email?

A thank-you email allows you to express your gratitude for something someone has done for you or will do for you in the future. You can even say thank you when asking for something and you are not sure you will receive it. Thank-you emails enhance your digital personality and let your recipient know that you appreciate their efforts. An email of appreciation can be a small or grand email gesture depending on the significance of the subject. There are many reasons why people write appreciation emails, from expressing sincere gratitude to putting your most polite foot forward.

When to write a thank-you email

Writing a thank-you email is not mandatory but it does give you some brownie points with your colleagues or anyone else who is in contact with you through email. A good rule of thumb is to write a thank-you email when someone does something for you. This can be in response to a small gesture such as sending you a report or a grand gesture like a job offer. You can also write a thank-you email to your friend for inviting you to a cookout or your cousin for sending old photos they found in Memaw’s attic. The only difference is the way you say, “thank you.”

Thank you email when making a request

Making request is a part of everyone’s life, whether you are making a request to your electric company for your bill, requesting assistance from a co-worker, or even requesting serious documents from the government. Saying thank you at the end of an email when making a request shows your recipient that you value their effort and time. It also helps you come across as very polite and appreciative. Ever received a request from someone and they didn’t say thank you (or please)? It almost sounds demanding and rude, doesn’t it? Well, the same tone comes across when thank you is not added to an email request.  

How to say thank you meaningfully in email

It doesn’t matter if your thank-you email is meant for work or for your personal use; to make your email of appreciation sincere and meaningful, follow this guide:
  1. Be clear and concise: Detail what you are thankful for and how the recipient’s efforts were of assistance to you. It does not have to be long and lengthy to be meaningful. Do not be vague; instead, be specific about what you appreciated.
  2. Express in a timely manner: Send your email of appreciation in a close time to when the favor or action took place. It is a good rule of thumb to thank someone within 24-48 hours of the thank worthy situation.
  3. Describe the effect: Detail how their efforts will impact you, your work, or other processes. This adds a layer of personalization, and the recipient can really feel the gratitude.
  4. Tone: Your writing tone should be authentic and genuine as if you were thanking someone in person. Just as you can tell when an apology email is sincere, you can also detect an insincere.
Pro tip: It is common to use a form of thank you as a part of your email signature. Right before “Best regards” comes the infamous “Thanks for your time!”

How to write a professional thank-you email

Writing a professional thank-you email is not as complicated as it may seem. Formal appreciation emails are different from informal emails because they require a professional tone.
  1. Appropriate subject line: Your subject line should allude to why you are thanking your recipient. E.g., “Thanks for your help.”
  2. Address your recipient accurately: Ensure you use your recipient’s preferred salutation or name.
  3. Use professional language: Avoid using slang or inappropriate workplace language.
  4. Professional and appreciative tone: It is not only about the words you say but also how you say them. Maintaining a professional, sincere, and appreciative tone will go a long way in your thank-you email. Here are a few examples:
  •  “I appreciate the information you have shared.”
  • “Thank you very much for your time.”
  • “ I am grateful for your insights.”
  1. Be specific: Express why you are thanking your recipient and what the impact is or will be.
  2. Say thank you with sincere language: Use words of gratitude to express your thanks but do not overdo it and use fluff words. Your email of appreciation should have a specific thank you phrase that is easily understood and isn’t hidden by filler words.
Good to know: Keep in mind that expressing gratitude could differ culturally depending on personal and working culture. Check out our blog about cultural differences in email here.

Here are some sample thank-you emails to get you started!

Professional thank-you email after job interview

Subject: Thank you for our meeting

Dear Mrs. Smith,

I would like to express my gratitude regarding my interview yesterday. I was able to learn more about the [Insert company name] and the company culture. Based on my background in [Insert skill area here] and the wonderful insights you provided about the team’s mission and vision, I am confident that I can fulfil the duties of [Insert job here] while being a valuable addition to the team.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks again,
[Insert name here]

Thank-you email when making a request

Subject: Policy Request

Dear [Insert name here],

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request an updated copy of my insurance policy for the year of 2023. I have misplaced my previous copy and could really benefit from another copy.

Thank you for your help with this!

Kind regards,
[Insert name here],

Group thank-you email

Subject: Big thanks to you all 

Hello [Insert name here] team,

I wanted to take this time to share my appreciation and gratitude for all our accomplishments this year as a team. I would especially like to thank you all for your continued hard work and dedication to [Insert accomplishments here].

You all never cease to amaze me with your abilities to accomplish such great milestones, which inspires me as your manager.

Thank you for everything you do!
Kind regards,
[Insert name here]

 Thank-you email with specific information

Subject: Your donation matters

Dear Donor,

Please accept my sincerest gratitude for your donation to [Insert cause here]. With your helpful donation we are able to impact the lives of many who are in need.
Your donation gives us hope that we can accomplish our goals of [Insert cause here].

Thank you for your support!
[Insert name here]

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Would you like to spruce up your business email etiquette? Check out our email etiquette explainer here.

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