As a freelancer, taking time to send thank you messages to clients can be the secret sauce that creates a helpful, professional network for future work. This can boost customer loyalty and ensure your valued clients always think of you when they need some help.
Thank you messages can also make your client feel appreciated, which, in return, can establish a healthy and long-lasting relationship. Here at Indy, we aim to make freelancing simple. In this lesson, we'll show you how to write professional thank you messages to help you create a more lasting relationship with your clients.
Why Saying Thank You Is Important
According to research by psychologists, when people say thank you before asking for something else, the recipient is twice as likely to provide further assistance. As a freelancer who is looking to build a business or establish a personal touch in their company, expressing appreciation just makes business sense and sets you apart from those who forget to send thank you letters.
While it might seem like a simple gesture, it can really go a long way in building meaningful and long-lasting business relationships. After all, customer appreciation is one of the main reasons why we remain loyal to our favorite businesses. We all like to feel appreciated, and a handwritten thank you note is one of the best ways to do so.
Thank you letters are also a great way to create opportunities for referrals. In fact, 91% of clients say they'd give referrals—if you ask them to do so. While a thank you letter isn't a direct invitation to refer your services or product, it's a gesture that represents client loyalty and appreciation, and a great start to a referral pipeline.
Specific Is Key
Once you've expressed your gratitude, follow up with a detailed explanation of why you're grateful. Include specific examples and details that demonstrate your appreciation for each team member or client and their unique effort.
Specifics in handwritten letters make your message more genuine because they personalize the content for the reader. Try to use the term "you" as frequently as possible in the letter. Because you're focused on what the recipient did for you and your company, your message will become more customer-centric.
In order to operate a successful business and establish a unique personal touch, the use of sincere thank you notes, with an evocative subject line expressing gratitude, can be an invaluable tool in building strong, lasting relationships with your clients.
To avoid sounding automated in your thank you letter, make sure to include personal and specific details that speak directly to your client and the project. For example, although the example below includes the business name, it's a generic note that could appear automated to your client.
"Thank you for your excellent communication and support during the project. I learned a lot and enjoyed working with your [business name]. I hope we can continue to work on future projects together."
Instead, you could include exactly what support was helpful during the project, and what you learned.
"Thank you for your excellent communication and support during the project; I appreciated your organization and attention to detail. You made some valuable points regarding the work, and I've passed that feedback along to other team members. I learned a lot—especially regarding content management—and enjoyed working with you and [business name]. I enjoyed the partnership and believe we have the potential to create some wonderful work in the future."
Additionally, you could use a template or AI (such as ChatGPT) to generate a thank you letter. Although both are good options, neither will make a personalized letter for your client or project. Instead, you can use a template as a guide and fill each field with the necessary information, and use AI to generate a letter that can be edited to include specific details mentioned above.
Whether it's the impact that their purchase has on your developing business or feedback that might help you improve, the more you let them know they made an important contribution, the more they'll feel like they contributed more than just their money and time.
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Why Do Follow-Ups Matter?
A follow-up should be included in your business thank you letter. It doesn't necessarily pitch a hard push for additional business; rather, it sets the tone for the next time you'll interact.
Your follow-up can include anything from selling your own services to networking contacts. While following up with a company is a good idea for all business and professional correspondence, it can be especially useful when sending a thank you letter for a networking chat, an interview, or a connection. For example:
"It was a pleasure discussing project opportunities at the business meeting. I hope we can stay in touch and will send you a LinkedIn request. Best wishes."
Always conclude your follow-up with a proper closing. This demonstrates you want to keep this collaboration active and may lead to continued patronage and the client or customer remembering you when new projects arise.
How many follow-ups are considered "too much" depends on the business relationship and client. Typically, however, the rule of thumb is anything over six is deemed too much for any follow-ups in business. Keep this in mind when concluding your thank you letters, and consider the previous follow-ups you've sent to the client.
This step opens the door to future opportunities and broadens your network. If you are a freelancer or a small business owner trying to get more business and develop your network, these networking skills are essential.
When Should You Send Thank You Letters?
There is no rule as to when you must send a thank you note. If it simply escapes your memory, make a point of getting back on track as quickly as possible, preferably within 72 hours of the customer interaction.
Appropriate situations for a thank you letter
There are situations when it is simply appropriate to express gratitude to first-time or new consumers, loyal clients, business associates, or other professionals. These include:
- Send a note to new clients saying "thank you for choosing our company" to show that the customer is important. This will increase customer loyalty and make new clients and customers feel valued.
- Send thank you letters during your job search after any job interview.
- When you conclude a project, consider writing a thank you note to collaborators or partners. Thank them for their support and service as it may lead to future collaboration and commercial partnership.
- A thank you note for payment is also always appreciated. This demonstrates that you appreciate their business and are grateful they chose your product or service.
- Send loyal customers a thank you letter once or twice a year, perhaps even at the end of the year. This shows appreciation while also keeping lines of communication open between all business parties.
- If a business encounter or a colleague partner inspired you, send a thank you message. If the meeting did not result in a tangible project, the additional insight and knowledge gained is never squandered. Furthermore, it may result in strong professional friendships and knowledge sharing.
Better late than never
Although good practice is to send a thank you letter within 72 hours of customer interaction, late is better than never. After all, a business owner's life isn't just about acquiring new customers. You also want to keep your current clients satisfied. When customers feel valued, the likelihood of repeat business increases dramatically.
When you conduct business processes, go ahead and add “send thank you note” to your task templates or project overview. On a platform like Indy, you can even add this to your online calendar or task checker to ensure you never miss a thank you message again. Then, it's automatic that you'll tackle it as you start working through your list of daily must-dos.
Thank you notes - ideas for subject lines
The subject line of a thank you email holds significant importance as it's the first thing the recipient sees. An effective subject line not only captures the attention of the reader but also sets the tone and context for the message inside.
A well-crafted subject line can convey gratitude and encourage the recipient to open the email. It’s essentially the gatekeeper of your email content, so it should be compelling enough to prompt the recipient to read further.
In a business context, a clear and relevant subject line can also aid in efficient email management and quicker response times. Therefore, investing time in creating a meaningful and appropriate subject line is key to the overall effectiveness of your thank you email.
Here are some examples of subject lines:
- "A Quick Note to Show Our Sincere Gratitude"
- "Cheers to Collaboration: A Big Thank You for Your Partnership"
- "Just a Quick Note to Say Thanks"
- "Looking Back: Our Sincere Thanks for the Past Year"
- "A Note of Thanks for Your Support Over the Past Year"
- "Heartfelt Thanks for Trusting Us with Your Project"
Sample Thank You Letters for Your Business
Below are a few thank you note examples, by situation, to use as free templates.
1. For a new customer, after their first purchase
Thank you for stopping by and making your first purchase with us! We're delighted you were able to find what you were looking for. It is our hope that you are always satisfied with anything you purchase from us, so please let us know if your experience was less than wonderful. We hope to see you again soon. Have a wonderful day!
Your friends at [your company]
2. For a repeat customer – 1-year mark
I'm thrilled to inform you that you have now been a customer of ours for a full year! We just wanted to thank you for becoming a part of our family. We appreciate your ongoing support because we wouldn't be here without dedicated customers like yourself. You could have gone with any other company, but we appreciate that you selected us. Thank you once more, and have a wonderful day!
Your friends at [your company]
3. For a partner after a new business deal or partnership
I'm really thrilled about our new collaboration, and I'd like to thank you for becoming a part of our extended family. Please extend my best wishes to everyone on your team, as I know they played a significant role in making this deal happen. I am looking forward to a long and profitable partnership between our two companies. Thank you once more!
4. Informal thank you letter
Thank you so much for your recent purchase. I appreciate that you chose us as your supplier for your project and that you continue to put your trust in our services. I hope you were pleased with the order.
We are always delighted to help you with your supply needs for any future projects you may have. I wish you the best of luck with your current project and eagerly await the results. Thank you once more, and I hope to work with you again in the future.
5. Payment thank you letter
This is just a quick email to express my gratitude for your recent payment. We value your business and wanted to thank you for your promptness in delivering it to us. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have you as a customer and look forward to servicing you in the future. Thank you for being a loyal customer!
Thank you very much,
Mastering Thank You Notes: Advanced Tips
Here are three advanced tips to help you write your thank you letter and impress your clients or customers.
- Consider writing letters or thank you cards by hand. A handmade thank you letter will always leave an impression on the recipient. A small handwritten note can undoubtedly make a big difference. Who doesn't want to receive thank you letters in the mail, especially if it's their first time doing business with you?
- Sharing information from your interactions with the thank you note recipient exhibits active listening skills and conveys attention. It may also help a new contact remember you. This is useful if the recipient spoke with multiple people in a short period of time, such as if you're sending a thank you email to someone you met at a conference or trade show.
- Less is more when it comes to thank you notes. You should keep your thank you note short and sweet, generally under 200 words. Even for a good customer, long paragraphs and numerous pages are too much. It's fine if you want to say more than you have space for in your note. Send a brief thank you note and explain that there will be additional follow-up in the future.
These advanced tips can assist you in developing even stronger professional relationships with your entire team, as well as clients and customers. Adding that extra bit of value shows them how much you value their effort, relationship, continued business, and support.
Whatever your business is, whether it is a multinational organization or a sole proprietorship, a simple thank you can go a long way.
Checklist for thank you emails
Here’s a final checklist to make sure you cover all the bases:
- Be Prepared: Always keep a stack of thank you notes in your office. They can come in handy when you want to express your gratitude to a client or partner quickly.
- Use Sample Letters: Use the sample thank you letters in this document as a guide to crafting your own custom messages.
- End on a Positive Note: Always end your thank you letters or emails on a positive note. This can leave the reader feeling good about your interaction.
- Focus on the Client: As a business owner, it is in your best interest to build and maintain customer loyalty. A simple thank you note can go a long way in achieving this.
- Use Clear Subject Lines: Make your subject line clear and concise, such as "Thank You for Your Purchase" or "Appreciating Your Continued Support".
- Customize It: Personalize your thank you note or email by mentioning specific details about the client or your business interaction.
- End on a Warm Note: Always sign off your thank you letters or emails with a warm closing, such as "Best Regards" or "Sincerely".
- Consider Writing by Hand: Consider sending a handwritten thank you note. This can make a greater impression, showing your appreciation in a more personal manner.
- Be Concise: Acknowledge the recipient's busy schedule by keeping your thank you note concise and to the point.
- Build Customer Loyalty: Regular thank-you notes can help build customer loyalty, letting them know they are valued.
- Talk About Next Steps: In your thank you note, express your eagerness to assist the client with their next project.
- Leave a Positive Impression: The ultimate goal of any thank you note is to leave a positive impression, ensuring future business interactions.
How Indy Can Help
Here at Indy, we aim to make freelancing simple. With our Tasks tool, you can keep track of all of your business tasks, set reminders to send thank you notes, and link them all to your Indy calendar (which also connects to Google Calendar). Additionally, our thank you note templates are easy to use, and for any situation! By creating a free account, you can access our free letter template to help you save time and find the right words to say in a given situation.
Other ways Indy can help include:
- Our Time Tracker tracks your hours for you. If you are billing customers based on hourly rate, Indy's time tracking widget shows you how many hours have been billed, or still need to be billed, and can be filtered to your projects for easy timekeeping.
- Invoices can be created and sent in minutes with our free Invoicing tool. You can review your prior invoices and create new ones through your dashboard. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions, enter the required information, and send it straight to your client through Indy.
- Indy easily interacts with hundreds of your favorite apps to automate your workflow, allowing you to get more done in less time via Zapier, a no-code automation tool that lets you connect multiple tools. Zapier links Indy to the applications you currently use, allowing you to streamline and automate your workflow.
With Indy, you can manage all of your business tasks, keep track of your time, and safely store important files all in one place! Sign up today and try for yourself.
If given a short survey to complete, most people would welcome the idea of getting a thank you letter for their time. The best business thank you letter is one that's heartfelt and creates a stronger, more lasting connection between you and your client. By putting a few best practices from these tips into action, you'll be well on your way to a healthy, long-lasting professional relationship for years to come.
Indy can help keep your client relations strong by giving you all the tools you need to facilitate a healthy working relationship, including forms to ask clients for feedback, scheduling, invoicing, and workflow automation for automating your follow-up messages. Check out how Indy's tool suite can help grow your freelance business today!