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5 Ways to Say Thank You in a Meaningful Way

Expressing gratitude can be one of the most powerful things you do to foster business relationships.

It’s been said time and time again—business is all about relationships. Expressing gratitude to your clients, partners and employees is an imperative practice in building an authentic and genuine business reputation.

Here are a few ways to say “thanks” and when it’s appropriate to use each one:

Social media

Many people view social media as an impersonal way of communication. In some cases, social media can be impersonal (think breaking a client announcement on your Facebook page before your client even knows), but positive social media mentions can be great brand-builders. And who doesn’t love a shout out these days?

When it’s appropriate: You just received a beautifully designed, delicious Edible Arrangement from a client, friend or co-worker. Snap a photo and pop it up on your page with a kind note. Make sure you’re tagging all parties to make the “thank you” more visible to all of your audiences—and theirs.


If you’re anything like me, hundreds of messages float in and out of your inbox each day. Even though email is a very common way of communicating, it can still be a powerful way to say thanks.

When it’s appropriate: Follow up a great meeting with a short email. These are especially helpful when you need to recap information. Be cautious: make sure you establish your sincere thanks first—jot down a funny anecdote or something memorable that happened when you met to show that you value your relationship and that the meeting made a lasting impression.

Phone call

It’s refreshing to hear someone’s voice on the other line. And when you have someone on the phone, it allows for a deeper conversation to follow the initial reason you called (to say thank you).

When it’s appropriate: I recently had coffee with a new friend and mentor. A few days later I wanted to schedule another time to brainstorm about an upcoming project. Instead of following up with a text, I gave her a call to say how much I enjoyed coffee—and the superb place she recommended—and asked if we could meet again soon. We talked for nearly an hour!

Handwritten note

The handwritten note is by far my favorite way to say thank you. This practice takes time; it’s important to show thoughtfulness throughout the process. From picking the most fitting stationary to ensuring that your handwriting is legible and addressing the note with a proper title—every detail counts.

When it’s appropriate: A handwritten note is the perfect way to make a lasting impression on someone you just met. If you just met with a potential new client or employer, jot down a few key details from the meeting immediately afterward. Drop a thoughtful card in the mail as soon as possible. They’ll receive it a few days later—a great reminder for them to follow up with you, as well.


There are some things we’re always thankful for: great business partners, timeless friendships and stellar colleagues. A gift is a great way to remind someone you appreciate him or her without having been cued to say “thanks.”

When it’s appropriate: The key here is to know when you’re gifting a little too much, especially when it comes to business relationships. There’s a fine line between a pleasant surprise and an abundance of gifts that make the other party feel like they owe you something in return.

Thank you’s shouldn’t be rushed—tailor your message so that it’s remarkably personal. You might be surprised how far a genuine note can go. The key to a meaningful thank you is to leave the other person thinking, “Wow! They paid attention to that detail. I must really mean a great deal to them.”

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