How to write a referral thank you letter

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Mom was right, don't forget to say Thank You!
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Tips for writing a referral thank you letter

For many, companies and individuals alike, referrals are the lifeblood of their professional success. Customers reaching out to others to express their satisfaction, resulting in additional business, are the more reliable, least expensive means of advertising.


Receiving referrals is also an indication youíre doing something, perhaps several things, right. Your customer service and products are recognized as superior; the objective of any company, and your business profits as a result.


However, the surest way for referrals to stop, for customers to no longer recommend your product or service, is to not promptly acknowledge the recommendation. Contrary to what some believe, it is not necessary to inundate customers who provide you referrals with expensive gifts or trinkets. What is necessary is to let them know you appreciate their efforts, and a well crafted referral thank you letter is designed to do just that.


With the above firmly in mind, letís take a look at a few tips to write an effective letter that will both thank customers for their referral and increase the chances of them continuing to do so in the future.


Keep It Simple

As is the case with any good thing, it can be overdone.


A referral thank you letter should be concise; minus flowery language and excessive verbiage. The objective is to recognize a customer for their trust and confidence in you and your service, but this should be balanced with the realization that it is warranted. Why wouldnít a customer want to share the great experience or product youíve provided them?



Your letter should reflect your genuine gratitude for your customerís recommendation while avoiding the sappiness many seem to gravitate toward. A form or pre-generated letter will end up doing more harm than good. Using an old-fashioned writing utensil and quality paper will add a measure of sincerity in and of itself.


Donít Wait

With every passing day, the impact of a well thought out, genuinely appreciative referral thank you letter loses more and more of its impact. There are some that would suggest email precisely for this reason, and there is merit to that. However, for me email is too easy, its simplicity eroding some of the sincerity. If it is unavoidable (a referral from an international client for example, when mail time is extended) take extra care to personalize the message whenever and wherever possible.



If you have it, use it for your referral thank you letter. While the message is a personal thank you, itís important to remember this is a business letter first and foremost. If professional letterhead is not an option thatís okay, but make certain to use quality paper at the least.


Iíve always been a proponent of writing referral thank you letters using pen and paper. With word processing options and the aforementioned email, handwriting is becoming a lost art, which is exactly why your letter will be even more impactful if it is handwritten rather than typed. But only do this if your handwriting is attractive and readable. A scrawled, unreadable message will do more harm than good!


Remember, though, the message itself remains the most critical aspect of a successful letter, regardless of the delivery method, format or tools used to compose it.

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