Guidelines for Thank You notes

In preparation for Thanksgiving week and next week’s newsletter on gratitude, I’m focusing on the business of thanking people.

Your Thank You notes should

  • Be handwritten. Nothing beats a handwritten note!
  • Be written on note cards with images of your art on them. Why use a commercial note card or someone else’s art. Show you’re an artist whenever you can! (Would love for you to leave good resources for note cards in the comments.)
  • Come from the heart–they don’t have to be long, but they do have to show your sincerity. Add at least one sentence that personalizes your note to that particular person.
  • Include your Web site, contact info, and image credit on the back.

Your action steps

  1. Get some note cards with your images printed on them. Get lots of them and keep them close by.
  2. Always have a supply of first-class stamps available. Buy the ones with art on them!
  3. Keep track of anyone who needs to get a Thank You note from you so that you can write it in a timely manner.
  4. Pack note cards and stamps for any business trips you take. You can write the Thank You notes on the plane home.

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28 thoughts on “Guidelines for Thank You notes”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Alyson. A lot of were taught to write thank-you notes when we were young but for some reason now seem to think an e-mail can take it’s place. It doesn’t. Nothing lets me know more that someone appreciated what I did than a hand written thank-you. I send personal thank-you’s to fellow artist’s who turn me toward a selling opportunity, to people who lift me up when I feel down, to people who purchase my work … any opportunity to say Thank You, you did good, I send a personal note to. Thank you Alyson for reminding us to do this.

  2. Alyson, thank you for the nudge. I had ordered note cards from Cafe Press several months ago and then never re-ordered. The idea got lost in all that other stuff in my “to do” basket. The pricing was ok – I haven’t spent a lot of time comparing – and the quality was good – what you send is what you get. here is the link:

  3. Hi Alyson, this was really funny…I was sitting here on a cold Asheville morning, trying to do anything but sit down to write thank you notes. So I got a cup of tea, opened the computer, checked my email, and said okay, now it’s time to write. No wait, there’s a new post from Alyson in my RSS feed; I think I’ll read that before I do those notes. Yikes, talk about a timely post! Thanks for the nudge!

  4. Further to your advice to write the notes in a timely manner: Before I send my portfolio to a gallery, I call them so (a) they know my name, and (b) I’m sure they really are my target audience. At the same time that I mail the portfolio I mail my handwritten note (yes, on a notecard with my art on it) thanking them for taking the time to speak with me on the phone. Not only am I genuinely grateful, but it’s one more way to set me apart when they receive a stack of portfolios.

  5. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Sue and Sean: Thanks for the links. Laurie: That’s funny! It was destiny. Michael: Sounds like you know what you’re doing.

  6. I got a set of notecards with my own images on from Moo in London, they also do dinky little business cards that people always comment on when I hand them one.

  7. HI Alyson, I make my own notecards from my photography using a photo program on my computer and using notecard blanks I purchase at an office store. I use these for any type of note I have to send, even to friends and relatives. I also credit myself as the photographer on the back. I haven’t made any notecards with my ceramics yet, but you have prompted me to make some up. I am wondering if anyone knows where I can purchase the plastic liners to keep my cards in? I also sell my notecards when I attend shows with my ceramics and I would like to display them more professionally. Thanks Linda Starr Blue Starr Gallery

  8. I also create my own note cards with my artwork. I purchase 8.5 x 11 Classic Crest 65 lb cover card stock in Solar White from an area paper company, along with matching A-2 envelopes. Then I print 2 cards to each sheet and cut them in half, fold and burnish with a roller. They are blank inside and include all my contact information on the back, along with copyright. Linda: I purchase Crystal Clear Envelopes from They are acid free and resealable. They come in various sizes. I write thank you notes to everyone who purchases original art and prints from me. Alyson: Thank YOU for all your advice and encouragement. It really does help to have someone tapping me on the shoulder each day and reminding me of things to accomplish, both short-term and long-term. Happy Thanksgiving to all, Becky Brocato

  9. for the first time in my life, i sent out thank-you’s to the people who helped me at my last exhbition – i couldn’t send them to all who purchased, as there were 100 drawings in 100 days!! however, the people whom i did send them to called me after receiving them and thanked me!! i thought it quite funny that i was being thanked for sending a “thank-you”!!

  10. I’ve ordered cards from and they are really high quality if pricier than some of the others — and the advantage is that you get an assortment of your art, not just one image. Those on macs can also get great photo cards from the link on iphoto, and I have also printed my own, too — get good deals on nice paper and envelopes from a printer’s paper supplier in your city. I also think that does cards. OR you can use one of the postcard printers (Modern Postcard and many others) to print cards, just leave the back blank and find envelopes that fit — this is economical if you want 500 or a 1000.

  11. I print my own cards using Avery Note cards that I get at an office supply store. The image I use on the card will be an available painting I think my customer my be interested in. I write my “Thanks you” on a separate piece of paper so the card can be passed on if the recipient choses to do so. For mass mailings, I get postcards from Modern Postcards

  12. I also print my own greeting cards (with contact info on the back). I always mail 2 or 3 cards with envelopes to a purchaser of my work – using the image of the painting they bought. Art buyers are often proud and want show their purchase to someone, even if only by mail. I include a thank you note on a card with an image of another painting I think they might like. It is a fun way to leave an additional and personal good impression with an art patron.

  13. Thank you cards really work! I once landed a job because of it. Now that I’m an artist, I use the above mentioned occasions to send them out, of course with my artwork on front and contact info on back. Buyers of my art get six cards with their painting printed on it. I like the idea of sending a card with another painting that they might like. Thank you, Jill, for that great idea. Thank you cards set us apart from the crowd since most people just don’t think of it or think they are too busy to take the time. I get my cards from or or print them myself.

  14. All: Thanks for helping each other out here. I can tell that I’ll be sending people to this post in the future to read your comments and suggestions!

  15. Just wanted to add another suggestion – I just got a bunch of notecards made through I needed a site that would let me easily design a notecard with an image and text on front, AND text on the back (for my website and contact info), and choose colors and fonts to my liking – zazzle fit the bill (I had trouble with adding text to the back of card, which made it a no-go for me). Anyhow, just wanted to report that the cards I got are really high quality – thick cardstock, nice gloss finish. I just received them today, and was happy enough that I turned around and ordered my Christmas cards through them as well!

  16. Pingback: gratitude, giving thanks, being grateful — Art Biz Blog

  17. Pingback: Art Marketing Action + Podcast: Send It Snail Mail — Art Biz Blog

    1. Sheryl: Yes. But if your thank-you card has an image of your art on it, it’s kind of like sending a business card.

  18. Pingback: Art Marketing Action: Accept My Gratitude — Art Biz Blog

  19. Pingback: Art Marketing Action: Finish Off the Sale & Follow Up — Art Biz Blog

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