Entertainment · June 24, 2022

Traditional handwritten thank you letters are a thing of the past thanks to instant messaging

The most popular ways to thank someone are now with a message on WhatsApp, Facebook or email – but handwritten notes are still considered the most meaningful

The traditional thank you card is going out of style with instant messaging
The traditional thank you card is going out of style with instant messaging

The traditional handwritten thank-you letter is no longer the most popular way of expressing gratitude — research shows that digital methods like instant messaging and email are being preferred instead.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that only 9% send a thank you note today – down 11% from 10 years ago.

Instead, messages via WhatsApp, SMS text, email, and Facebook have become one of the most common ways to show appreciation.

Nevertheless, handwritten thanks are still among the most meaningful words of thanks – close behind heartfelt phone calls and personal visits.

M&S Club Rewards research underscores the importance of the personal touch and found that personally giving flowers or treating someone to a coffee are also among the most sincere ways of saying thank you.

But delivering flowers is one of the top 10 most meaningful ways to show gratitude


Dickson Lee / South China Morning Post / Getty Images)

The study also found that 58% think it’s more important than ever to say thank you to loved ones – with 28% admitting the past few years have helped them appreciate the little things.

And 29% think it’s important to show others how much you mean to them – so they can see how much they are loved.

However, three out of ten tend not to say thank you in a meaningful way as often as they would like.

Etiquette expert William Hanson said: “Gratitude will never go out of style, and while the way we say thank you may have changed, simple good manners are timeless and priceless, and saying thank you has never been like this.” easy.

“In our digital age—and with all these new and easy ways to communicate and show our gratitude—it has become standard for many to say a quick thank you via instant message.

“But if you really want to say a meaningful thank you, giving someone your time or adding an element of a personal or more human touch will go a long way and have a much greater impact.”

The study also found that the average adult says thank you to loved ones seven times a week — one in 10 say thank you 21 times or more over a seven-day period.

Seven in 10 also believe that a meaningful “thank you” can be very powerful – with these respondents feeling “appreciated” (46%), “happy” (38%) and “positive” (31%) after receiving one to have.

More than a third (35%) have also used loyalty points earned through rewards programs to share treats with others – as a thank you.

WhatsApp is among the most popular ways to send someone a thank you message


Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto / Getty Images)

Almost four in ten (38%) do so because they like looking forward to little treats to enjoy with friends and family year-round.

And 43% like to say thank you to others in this way because it makes both their relatives and themselves feel good.

Paul Stokes of M&S Club Rewards said: “Our research shows that while the art of saying thank you has evolved over the years, the importance of showing our gratitude has never been more important.

“Over the past few years perhaps more than ever we’ve needed to come together and support one another – so it’s great to see so many of us as a nation taking the time to say thank you.

“While some of the more traditional ways of saying thank you still exist today, our research has found that people show thanks in many different ways.

“Using the loyalty points and rewards vouchers you earn throughout the year is a great way to show your gratitude and spoil others.”


  1. A call
  2. WhatsApp message
  3. SMS text message
  4. E-mail
  5. Facebook message
  6. A hug
  7. A visit to someone’s home to personally say thank you
  8. Handwritten letter
  9. Hand delivering flowers
  10. A little gift
  11. Arranging flower deliveries
  12. With chocolates
  13. Invite someone over for coffee
  14. Take someone out to dinner
  15. A FaceTime call
  16. To offer/offer assistance to someone in the future
  17. With cake
  18. e-card
  19. Instagram message
  20. video message

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