Tips and Samples for Happy L.I.F.E. emails

With thanks to

What should a thank you or recognition email include?

A thank you email does not need to be elaborate but it is most effective when it:

  • Specifically describes the behavior you’d like to recognize,
  • Says thank you and that the person’s contribution is appreciated,
  • Is written and given close in timing to the event you are praising, and
  • Is customized and avoids sounding like a form letter.

Don’t ever underestimate the joy people experience when they receive a thank you or recognition message from someone who is important to them. Might that important someone be you?

Following are some templates to get you started.  Use these as a guide, but remember, thank you‘s should come from the heart, so don’t forget to personalize yours!

1. Thank You Email Templates for an Everyday Job Done Well

From a student to a faculty member:

Dr. Martin,
Your class is one of the most enjoyable – and well-organized – classes I’ve had at while at Life University.  Thank you for making sure that all the material in covered, understandable and even a little fun.  You make a difficult program a little easier and more rewarding.
Bob Malley


From a faculty member to a student:

Dear Tiffany,
I just wanted you to know that I’ve noticed your ongoing dedication in class and appreciate the effort you’re bringing to the study of Physics.  Your participation in class, asking questions and paraphrasing difficult concepts, also helps your classmates understand the material better.
Thank you for your commitment to academic excellence,
Dr. Madison


From a fellow student:

Hey Shawn,
Thanks for being my “lab buddy” and always doing great work in class.  Having you along for the ride makes it MUCH easier to slog through all the details and keep me heading toward graduation.
You rock,


From a supervisor to an employee:

Dear Tom,
Just wanted you to know that I thought you did a terrific job on updating our prospective student database. Now that we have returning callers identified, we are building relationships with future students. This sure beats treating them as if we don’t know who they are. Again, great job. We really appreciate your efforts – as do the prospects.
Thank you.


2. Thank You Email for Filling In Due to Absence

From a student to a classmate:

Hi Debbie,
When I overslept Tuesday morning and realized that I would not be able to make it to class, I almost died!  Then, I thought of you and what great notes you take – and felt a little relief.  Then, when I texted you and you said you’d be happy to share your notes with me, I knew I’d be OK.

Thank you so much for being such a great help and classmate.  I look forward to being colleagues in the future!
Many thanks,


From a supervisor to an employee:

Hey Marty,
Thank you for covering for Julia while she was out on maternity leave. Her staff appreciated that they had you to go to for questions and support. They said they got some new ideas, too, by learning how your group approaches interactions with students and other departments.

Now that Julia is returning from leave, I hope that you spend a couple of days with her to update her about anything important that occurred during the past twelve weeks. She’ll be returning part time for the first few weeks, but her staff will report to her once again, as soon as she returns.

I trust that you will make this transition as smooth for everyone as you did when you took over Julia’s staff leadership while she was on leave. Again, I can’t express how much the organization appreciates your efforts on our behalf.


3. Thank You Email From Coworker/Fellow Student

Hi Larry,
Once again, a great time was had by all at the party. I can’t believe that you have the energy to set up this event for so many people each year. Just getting a date, getting the word our to everyone, and making all the arrangements is mind-boggling.

Again, Larry, thank you for another great time. I hope you feel the love from enough of us that you decide to put the party together again next year. I’ll be there.


4. Thank You Email for Running a Meeting

Dear Beth,
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your filling in for me at today’s marketing meeting. The group could not afford to lose a week if we plan to have the campaign ready for launch. The project appears to be on schedule, which makes our timely preparation even more critical.

I can’t believe that my daycare closed because of the weather on the day of the most important meeting this month. But, thanks to you, we are still on target. I also appreciate the minutes that Cheryl forwarded. Looks like you had a most productive meeting and the notes kept me in the loop.

Once again, thank you for jumping in so effectively at the last minute and doing a great job.


5. Thank You Email for Going the Extra Mile

From a student to a classmate:

Your contributions to our group project were so valuable in keeping us on track and focused – and I’m sure we would never have been able to complete it so successfully without your input.  I know we didn’t all pull our weight (what else is new, right?), but your leadership inspired some of us to rise to the challenge and do our best to meet your level of dedication.
You were our rock!


From a faculty member to a student:

Dear Ricky,
I have to tell you, in 23 years of teaching this course, I have seldom seen a student better master the material and make contributions to class discussion that elevated the performance of the entire class.  I look forward to the day when we are colleagues.
Thank you for being such a great student,
Dr. Willis


From a supervisor or coworker:

I want you to know how much we appreciate the extra time you put in this week to get Web Advisor updated. The students were well served by your extra efforts and the University was able to demonstrate our student-centeredness because we delivered on our promised timeline.
Thanks so much again.


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