Handwritten Notes: The Gratitude Tool That Always Works

Handwritten Notes the Gratitude toolThanks to guest blogger, Bob Burg

On December 11th, Bob was my featured guest on the Marketing Blab. Please feel free to watch the replay on YouTube. In the meantime, enjoy Bob’s post about the importance and value of writing handwritten notes.

Long before the rise of email and social media I was extolling the virtues and value of saying “thank you” with handwritten notes. While certainly not an original idea (whose Mom didn’t make them write thank you notes for gifts?) they remain – in my opinion – one of the best ways to express gratitude and make another person feel genuinely good about themselves and the value they provide.

I’m often asked, “But with email so accessible and so much easier to write than a handwritten, hand-addressed, hand-stamped envelope, isn’t it so much easier to just send emails?”

Absolutely! That’s even one more reason why handwritten, personalized notes are so much more effective. Talk about distinguishing yourself — and your message — from others!

Whether sending a thank you note to a service person, their employer, a customer, your salesperson, a team member, and especially to those people who typically don’t receive acknowledgement, not only do they feel great about themselves, they feel great about you, too! No, that isn’t why you do it — it’s simply the natural result.

Truly Treasured

When speaking about this during sales and leadership conferences I’ll often hear from successful audience members who do this regularly. One of the most common stories is their discovering that many of those to whom they’ve sent these notes . . . have kept them!
Yes, people often keep them! Why?

Because . . .
1. they’ve been acknowledged;
2. they’ve been acknowledged in a powerful and personal way;
3. they received something from you they most likely have never received before.

In his excellent book, Creating Magic (highly recommended!!) former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort, Lee Cockerell — an avid note writer — shared a very touching story of a team member who had his note framed…and hung in his home!


While I have a specific format for my personalized notecards, there’s no one correct way.

What’s key is forming the habit of sending them, and sending them often.

Have you experienced something similar either by being on the giving or receiving end of a personalized, handwritten thank you note?

About guest blogger Bob Burg: Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve. Although for years he was best known for his book Endless Referrals, over the past few years it is his business parable, The Go-Giver (coauthored with John David Mann) that has captured the imagination of his readers.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Debra, thank you so much, my friend. Honored to have my post published on your page. Greatly looking forward to our upcoming Blab discussion!!

  2. Thank you Debra and Bob for reminding us of the importance of personalization. I love receiving and giving personal notes. Taking that extra time and effort to consider who you are writing to and why speaks volumes to the person on the receiving end.

  3. I admit, I’ve done these exercises before and I have kept them as well. They are a powerful reminder of how others see us, and can have a powerful effect on us!
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  4. Thanks for this great reminder. I love receiving hand written notes. My little niece and nephew have been sending them since they were very small. And in the beginning, I imagine their mom told them what to write. Now they are tweens and still sending those notes and fun to see how their thinking has evolved and feels really nice that our yearly birthday gifts of donation to their college fund is noticed and acknowledged even if they don’t yet see the full value of the gift. Who would have thought years and years ago that snail mail would be so exciting.

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