Thank you notes show who you are.
The etiquette rule is:
any time someone does something for you that
takes them more than 15 minutes,
or costs them more than $15,
they deserve a thank you note.
There are stories of Presidents who earned the support required to get that job because of a habit of writing thank you notes every day.
Princess Diana is reported to have written her thank you note, while still dressed in her gown, immediately upon getting home from a party. She was beloved.
Twenty years ago, when starting my business, I decided to write a post card to every person I met with in person, every day. Then I got busy and stopped. In the past two years I’ve systematized the notes and the addressing (that’s the time consuming part for me - the addressing) so I can delegate this. (Yes, including my signature.) I often start the day with a meeting of 20 people. By end of the day a post card is in the mail to each of them. Two days later I start getting thank you emails. Mmm.
I personally write a thank you note to the hosts for every party I attend. They did a lot of work - (I know, I have 8 to 30 people for dinner 10 times a year, it’s expensive and it’s a lot of work.) - and I’m honored to have been invited.
A few times a year I receive a thank you note. I keep them on a board near my desk to remind me that I am doing good work. There are six up right now. The last one says
Dear Wendy, I so enjoyed having coffee with you and getting to know you better! Not to mention how kind it was of you to help me improve my InfoMinute stories! Thank you so much! Best wishes, Trish :)
Three lines and she made my day.
There may be nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
Small investment on her part for unlimited good will on mine.
I’m under no illusions when I write a thank you note -
I know it’s for my benefit,
to show who I am.