This week we’re looking at the technical side of things when it comes to customer appreciation. Whether you’re giving thanks via a handwritten note or email, errors can detract from the sincerity of your thank you. Not to mention, you run the risk of looking less professional. Don’t let a silly mistake get in the way of your thank you! Keep these points in mind when expressing gratitude:
Check for Grammar Mistakes
There’s no doubting you’re busy. You need to get your message across, and you need to get it across fast. But as the old saying goes, haste makes waste. It pays to double check your work, even something as short as a thank you. Here are some of the most common grammar mistakes to look out for:
- Their vs. there vs. they’re
- Your vs. you’re
- Affect vs. effect
- Who vs. that
- Then vs. than
- Assure vs. ensure vs. insure
- Complement vs. compliment
If you ever have a grammar question, Grammar Girl is a great source for grammar tips and rules.
Avoid Passive Voice
Passive voice is one of the most common mistakes people make when writing. Many people don’t realize they are writing in passive voice, so it is an important point to keep in mind when proofreading.
A sentence where the subject performs the action expressed by the verb is considered to be active voice. Passive voice, on the other hand, occurs when the subject is acted upon. See, we did it right there – is acted upon!
The Hemingway App is a great tool to check for passive voice. It also checks for the level of readability and for phrases that have a simpler alternative. Clear writing made easy!
Keep an Eye on Tone
Have your target audience in mind. This is true for all forms of content, including thank you notes and emails. Are you thanking a new or long-term customer? Casual language is OK for someone you’ve established a relationship, but aim for higher diction when thanking a business partner. It’s also important to consider the deed at hand when writing. An over-the-top thank you for a small favor, is, well, over-the-top.
These points might seem small, and they are – but when it comes to saying thanks, it’s the little things that count. Errors like these will take away from your message, so it’s worth having a second pair of eyes look over your writing.