Writing Style – Saying Thank You in an Email

In our recent poll on pet peeves regarding emails, a number of respondents expressed irritation about receiving messages that contained only the words thank you.They reasoned that opening these short messages wasted their time. They were merely doing their job and didn’t need to be thanked. I understand their rationale; however, sending a thank you indicates the receipt of information and a close of the requested action.My suggestion – to keep the process short but to acknowledge the receipt of information and your appreciation – is to put the thank you on the subject line along with the indicator END. END on the subject line means there is no need to open the message as there is nothing in the body text.

Example
(original subject line)
Figures for Annual Report

(Your response subject line)
Figures for Annual Report — Thank you — END

Receivers can read the entire message in their inbox and immediately file it or blow it away. By the way, some organizations use EOM (end of message) or NT (no text) instead of END. It doesn’t matter – whatever works for you.

  • Kathleen Preston

    Recently, I have noticed replies to me with “Thanks, Kathleen”. The comma annoys me, and just looks and sounds wrong. Is this the correct or incorrect way of writing this?