All right, Elvis, it’s time to leave the building, because there’s a whole new way to say thank you these days.

Sending a gift card as a thank you is the perfect idea for anyone looking to show some extra special love and appreciation for their thank-worthy human. But knowing the type of occasion and what kind of thank you gift card to give can be tricky when you’re used to pen and paper mercis.

Tip #1: Stick with friendly, rather than formal, thank yous.

Formal thank yous — handwritten with your pinky up in cursive with a feather pen — certainly are a beautiful and timeless way to send your appreciation. We suggest keeping these reserved for after birthdays, weddings, showers, or any occasion that requires a thank you for an actual gift. Think about it: If you say thank you for a gift with a gift, you’ve just started a vicious gifting cycle that may never end.

Instead, send thank you gifts for acts of kindness or events rather than for physical gifts — like for a house sitter, a friend that let you crash at their place for a weekend, or the latest dinner party hostess. No downward gifting cycle, just a whole lotta love.

Tip #2: Send a gift card that relates to the thank-worthy deed.

If you’re saying thanks to your weekend house sitter (who also acted as a dog sitter and a babysitter), send them a spa gift card so that they can indulge themselves in some major pampering… They definitely deserve it. Or maybe you’re thanking a host who opened their home to you, whether for the weekend or for an elegant soiree. Go for a home gift card or a gift certificate for their favorite bottle of wine, you know, so they can stock up for next time (wink).

Tip #3: Personalize, personalize, personalize.

The best thank yous are those that don’t seem forced, rushed, or pre-written. So make sure to keep the message on your thank you gift customized to the person and the occasion.

  • The first line should always start with “thank you.” Get straight to the point!
  • Follow up with some specific details from the event. A simple “the coq au vin was divine” will do.
  • Then add some suggested plans for the future. How could they pass up an invite for a dinner party at your place next month? Maybe they’ll bring that bottle of wine…
  • Finish your note with another thanks and a signature. So simple.

Now get to gifting! Those thank yous are going to send themselves.

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