The Thank You Letter is quickly becoming a lost art, or at least it gets lost in rules of etiquette.  Be assured, though, that it is never wrong or inappropriate to send a thank-you.  Handwritten notes let the giver know that not only is his gift appreciated, but the thought behind it is as well.  In a corporate setting, it is even more essential that you write a thank you note for gifts received.  It will help curry favor with the giver, of course, but it is also a thoughtful gesture.  How do you write a good corporate gift thank you letter?

A corporate gift thank you note or letter has to be both formal and personal.  It can be a hard balance to achieve; you don’t want to be overly familiar with the giver like you would be with a close friend or family member, but neither do you want to be cold and distant, which can make the giver think the gift was not really appreciated or was expected.  Everything, from your word choice to your letterhead, helps to create the right feel for your letter.

For a corporate gift, use your company letterhead for your thank you.  You generally want to avoid buying pre-made “Thank You” notes from the store.  If your company has had its own Thank-You’s printed, and your logo is on the card, then that is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

Use the correct format for a business letter or indicate that your assistant should format it this way.  Start by considering the recipient.  Is this someone with whom you are very familiar?  Do you work with this person frequently?  If you called this person right now, what would you call him/her?  This is how you want to address the note.  If you are comfortable with this person and have a working relationship, “Dear Ben” will be appropriate.  If the thank-you recipient is less familiar to you, write his/her title: “Dear Mr. Smith.”

Use the opening lines to explain who you are and your reason for writing.  If the gift is one of many corporate gifts, the giver may not remember exactly what he gave!  Make a subtle reference to the gift, service, or favor that has prompted you to write.  If the giver has sent you a fruit basket, for instance, mention how much you and your family enjoyed the fresh treat.

Make sure your tone is professional.  “Hey, thanks for the fruit!” may work for your friends or family, but in the corporate world, a more subdued, “Thank you for the terrific fruit basket” will be better received. Don’t go to the other extreme though and be entirely distant and cold.  Adding that personal touch – “My family really enjoyed the fresh treat” gives your note a more casual tone.  Just like the best staff meetings, your thank you note should be brief and to the point.

Finish by using your formal name and title on the signature line.  Sign it as such if the recipient is not as well known or is someone with whom you do not work frequently.  If it is a more familiar person, you can sign just your first name.

The formal structure of the letter, combined with the more casual tone of the thank you will help you maintain that perfect business balance.

Author Bio: Sarah is a writer for All About Gifts & Baskets, where you can find great holiday corporate gifts for both your clients and your employees. You can find more of her work on their website’s blog!