30 Days of Writing Tips – Day 28 – Send A Thank You Note

by Anne Wayman

snail mailHas a freelance writing client paid you promptly or written a nifty testimonial for you or given you a referral? Perhaps an editor has published your first or 100th article. Maybe an agent answered your query personally even while declining to represent you. Possibly a business associate provided a personal introduction to a source or someone else who might be helpful to your freelance writing career.

Each of these and many more are opportunities for you to send a thank you note. I’m going to suggest you go so far as to actually take time to choose a paper thank you note and mail it. By snail mail.

Here’s why:

  • Saying thank you makes you feel better.
  • Saying thank you makes the person you’re acknowledging feel better.
  • Actually mailing a thank you note makes you stand out.
  • When you stand out you’re more likely to get more work, or a referral, or, well who knows.

Making people feel acknowledged is always a good thing I think. Good for you, good for the world.


And yes, an email thank you also works, and is certainly kinder to the environment. An email card may also be appropriate, although those may disappear or get dumped without opening as spam. I use Care2 ecards. The site does good environmental work and ecards help support that and I can check an option that lets me know if and when the card is picked up.

How do you say thank you? And how often?

30 Days of Writing Tips Archive

Write well and often,

Anne

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Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie Beckett June 5, 2011 at 12:50 am

Your suggestion to say, “Thank you,” is spot on. I will admit that I never send paper cards to express my thanks. I stick to e-mail, which is coincidentally the method I use to deliver my contributions to magazines, as well.

By using e-mail exclusively, I can show gratitude, bring my e-mail address to the editor’s attention, and remind them of the work we’ve just done together – all in one short, simple package. E-mail also allows me to respond quickly, while my contribution and I are still fresh in that busy editor’s mind.

I’ve found more often than not that a sincere thank you, followed up by a pitch shortly afterwards, leads to a new sale more often than not. If nothing else, that secondary sale is a great motivator to keep on sending thank you notes. At least in my case, it literally pays to be polite.

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annew June 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Jamie, I’ll have to admit I use email far more than snail mail too.

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Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing June 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I could certainly do more of this! I often send thank-yous on email but it’s cooler to send something in the mail.
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annew June 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I use email much more than snail mail… partly because it’s probably more sustainable.

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Cathy Miller June 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

I occasionally send thank you gifts. For example, if it’s a client who increased the number of projects or sent a referral, I might send the team something like a basket of fruit.

I like the paper thank-you and am going to adopt that one. Thanks, Anne!
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annew June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Perfect.

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Fiona June 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

Absolutely spot on! This year I started sending handwritten thank you notes to people I interview for stories. Every one of them has emailed to say what a pleasant surprise it was to receive something so thoughtful in the mail.

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annew June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Love it when people agree with me, and make my point.

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