And thank you for thanking me for thanking you!
November 12, 2007 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Does an e-mail thank-you note require a response?

Twice this weekend I have received e-mails that are, essentially, thank you notes. One was from a professional acquaintance I met by organizing an event for him. He thanked me for how enjoyable the event turned out to be. The other was from a friend, who just wanted to let my significant other and I know she had a great time at an informal gathering we hosted.

I have no clue if it is appropriate to respond to such e-mails, nor do I have any clue what I could say in response. "Great! I'm glad you enjoyed it," and "And thanks to you for coming!" are all I can come up with. They both sound pretty stilted and dorky.

If these were regular, mailed thank-you cards, I would assume that no response was necessary. But since it is e-mail, it seems like there might be slightly different standards.

Any clue on what the etiquette is here?
posted by Ms. Saint to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You have nothing to lose by saying exactly what you already thought of "glad you enjoyed the get together, thanks for coming!".
posted by 45moore45 at 10:44 AM on November 12, 2007

"You're welcome. I had an enjoyable time too! Thanks for coming."
posted by nitsuj at 10:44 AM on November 12, 2007

I think it's fine, absent any other indication that they are trying to open up some sort of discussion, to just not reply. In fact unless I'm having an ongoing conversation with someone, I tend to not reply to emails that don't have some sort of question or action item in them. Email is more like regular mail than it is like a telephone call. That was very nice of your friends to send you thank you notes.
posted by jessamyn at 10:46 AM on November 12, 2007

No response necessary.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:51 AM on November 12, 2007

My grandfather was locally famous in his small town for sending thank-you notes thanking people for their thank-you notes.

The consensus of the people who remarked upon his habit, was that responding to a thank you note is supererogatory.
posted by jayder at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Given that there is not much effort involved in a "Glad you enjoyed it" e-mail, I don't think there's a reason not to send one—people won't think you're weird if you do. But you don't have to.
posted by grouse at 11:49 AM on November 12, 2007

I tend to think of e-mail as more like a conversation than like a traditional letter. If someone were having a conversation with me and said "Thank you for the party--I had a great time!" I would automatically say "You're welcome. I'm glad you had a good time." I don't think you are obligated to respond, but if you wanted to, a simple one-liner like that is probably fine.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:31 PM on November 12, 2007

Best answer: Since it's clear that going either way is acceptable, I would just do whatever you would like somebody to do if you sent them a thank-you email.

Personally, when I send a thank-you email, I don't expect a response, but it's always nice to get a reply (just to at least know they've read it).
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:04 PM on November 12, 2007

Actually, I like both of your proposed responses - nice, and short enough that I wouldn't feel like I had to respond back. I always like to get a little something back when I send a thank you email, makes me feel appreciated.
posted by KAS at 2:21 PM on November 12, 2007

No response necessary- in fact, I've found the "thank you war" can start getting uncomfortable. They thank you for the invite. You thank them for coming and the note. They thank you for the thank you for the note. . .

Ultimately, I get into these professionally (e.g. after being an invited speaker somewhere or other) and finally just delete an email (usually 5 or 6 "thank you!" iterations down the road) and feel somewhat guilty for several days.
posted by arnicae at 2:55 PM on November 12, 2007

in fact, I've found the "thank you war" can start getting uncomfortable.

Then don't send a "thank you for a thank you for a thank you." It's really a "you're welcome."
posted by grouse at 3:11 PM on November 12, 2007

When I read this out to my boyfriend, he remarked "Why npt just Cheers?"
posted by divabat at 4:32 PM on November 13, 2007

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