How To Write an Appreciation Letter (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 July 2021

People are inherently motivated by expressions of gratitude. One way to express appreciation for someone who did something to help you is to write a letter to that person. Knowing how to write and format an impactful letter of appreciation will help you let them know you are grateful for their help or support. In this article, we will discuss how to write an appreciation letter, when to write one and how long it should be and provide an example of such a letter.

What is an appreciation letter?

An appreciation letter is a professional note written to business contacts that demonstrates your gratitude. There are likely many times in your life when it is appropriate to write a letter of appreciation. You might receive a gift, advice or professional connections from a person in your personal or professional life. Regardless of what favour you are showing gratitude for, an appreciation letter can make a positive impact on someone you know.

How to write an appreciation letter

Follow these steps to write an engaging and thoughtful appreciation letter:

1. Be prompt

An appreciation letter should be written and delivered within three days after the event. Being prompt helps you make a good impression and conveys the sincerity of your message. However, if you miss the recommended three-day window, there is no need to panic. Expressions of gratitude are better received late than never.

Related: How to Write an Apology Letter

2. Write a greeting

Professional letters to business contacts, potential employers or people you do not know well should include a title in the greeting, such as “Mr" or "Ms”. Personal letters to someone close to you tend to call for more personal greetings using the recipient's first name.

The greeting you choose will set the tone for the letter. For this reason, it is important to use the appropriate greeting to begin your message of appreciation.

Related: Tips and Examples for How to Format a Resignation Letter in India

3. Express the letter's purpose

Your letter should state in a simple and concise manner the reason for your gratitude. For example, if you are thanking a person for having a discussion with you, you should write something like, “Thank you so much for meeting with me on Thursday. I really enjoyed our discussion.

Stating the reason for your letter will immediately inform the recipient of the reason you are writing.

4. Be specific

Specify examples of why you are grateful by mentioning a detail or two about what you enjoyed or are thankful for. Taking the time to personalise your letter in this way will convey your sincerity. Be sure to keep it concise and impactful.

You could say something like, “I especially enjoyed our discussion about the increasing impact of artificial intelligence in the FinTech sector. In addition, your thoughts on implementing predictive algorithms into the loan disbursal process were exceptionally insightful. I plan to continue looking into this idea's viability.” Be sure to keep your tone sincere, or you will risk sounding like you are pandering.

5. Conclude and sign

Restate your thanks and the impact their input has had on you.

You could say something like, “Your ideas have made me much more motivated to explore the potential application of AI and predictive algorithms in our business. Our discussion has made me believe there is a huge opportunity waiting to be explored and we may be missing out on it. This may well lead us into a new phase of advancement in our efforts to provide affordable loans to the underserved, and I have only you to thank for this realisation.

Choose an appropriate closing and sign your name at the bottom of the letter. The most common closing for professional letters is “Sincerely,” but other options include “Respectfully,” “Best Regards,” and other similar phrases.

Signing your name by hand is customary if you are delivering a physical letter, followed by your typed name below your signature. If your letter will be delivered via email, simply typing your name is sufficient.

Related: What is an Appraisal Letter and How to Get it: Sample Included

6. Proofread your letter

Before delivering your letter, take the time to carefully proofread it for grammar, spelling and typing errors. A letter containing mistakes leaves a less positive impression and could indicate to your recipient that you rushed through writing it.

A few proofreading tips to help you deliver an error-free letter include:

  • Read the letter aloud. This can help you catch errors you may miss by reading silently since reading aloud is not as likely to allow your brain to “fill in” the appropriate version that you expect to see; rather, speaking what you are reading will clearly identify mistakes and parts that could be generally improved.

  • Have a trusted friend or colleague review the letter. Choose someone you trust to point out errors and possible improvements without worrying about offending you. Additionally, make sure the person proofreading your letter is fairly adept at reading and writing the language so that they are more likely to identify problematic spelling or grammar.

  • Read the letter backwards. Reading from the end will help you identify missing, incorrect or misspelt words. Of course, this technique works better for some people than others, but it will not hurt to try it out.

  • Know your common errors. Keeping in mind the errors you are prone to committing will help you look for those specific errors more closely while proofreading your letter.

Related: How to Write a Job Application Letter: Sample Included

When to write an appreciation letter?

You can write an appreciation letter to express gratitude in many scenarios. Some common scenarios include:

  • After your job interview

  • After receiving a job offer

  • After getting a promotion

  • After receiving a bonus payment

How long does an appreciation letter need to be?

An appreciation letter should not be more than a page long. You should keep the letter concise and should only include the relevant details. A crisp and concise appreciation letter keeps the reader interested and engaged. A lengthy letter of appreciation sounds more like an official document instead of a genuine expression of appreciation.

How do you start an appreciation letter?

You should start an appreciation letter with a proper salutation addressing the recipient. If the letter you are writing is work-related and you are writing to a colleague or someone whom you only know professionally, use a formal salutation. If you are writing to someone you know well personally, you may use a less professional salutation.

Tips for formatting your appreciation letter

The format of your appreciation letter would depend on whether you are writing to someone you know professionally or to a personal connection. If your letter is addressed to a professional contact, you should type it and print it on good quality paper. Otherwise, you can express your appreciation via email. On the other hand, a casual format would be appropriate if you are writing to a personal connection. In such a case, you could clearly and legibly hand-write the letter on a nice card.

Tips for writing an appreciation letter

Here are some tips for writing a good appreciation letter:

Express your gratitude in a sincere manner

Make sure your expression of gratitude is sincere. If the letter does not sound sincere, it will leave a negative impact on the recipient and may hamper your relationship with them. Try and focus on how their help led to positive outcomes for you.

Personalise the appreciation letter

Personalising the appreciation letter helps create familiarity and builds long-term relationships. Wherever possible, try to include particular points from a conversation or highlight what specifically you are grateful for. This will make your letter more impactful and help you create a strong bond with the recipient.

Make sure the appreciation letter is error-free

A professional letter of appreciation should be well written and must not contain any mistakes. To make sure there are no errors in the letter, check it multiple times carefully before you send it.

Example appreciation letter

Dear Ms Sharma,

I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Tuesday. I very much enjoyed our conversation.

I especially enjoyed our discussion about the increasing impact of artificial intelligence in the FinTech sector. In addition, your thoughts on implementing predictive algorithms into the loan disbursal process were exceptionally insightful. I plan to continue looking into this idea's viability.

Your ideas have made me much more motivated to explore the potential application of artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms in our business. Our discussion has made me believe there is a huge opportunity waiting to be explored and we may be missing out on it. This may well lead us into a new phase of advancement in our efforts to provide affordable loans to the underserved, and I have only you to thank for this realisation.

Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule and meeting with me. I look forward to more such interactions in the future.

Sincerely,

Aditi

Explore more articles