Thank you emails are common in businesses, especially when a boss wants to thank an employee for their continued hard work. However, “you’re welcome” emails aren’t nearly as popular. There’s a reason for that, and this article will explore what that reason is.
Should I Reply “You’re Welcome” To A Thank You Email?
You should not reply “you’re welcome” to a thank you email in most cases. A simple “you’re welcome” is never going to be useful to read in an email format. If you’d like to elaborate (and the original email calls for it), then there is nothing wrong with that.
Here’s what we mean:
Dear worker, Thank you for working. Kind regards, Boss
Dear boss, You're welcome. Kind regards, Worker
Notice how silly that second email would be to send to your boss. It’s just a simple “you’re welcome,” which would probably be better left unsaid (or may be mentioned in passing when you next see your boss).
However, if we were given more to work with, we might find a “you’re welcome” to be more suitable:
Dear worker, Thank you for your continued hard work. I know I can always count on you to help us out. Kind regards, Boss
Dear boss, I'm glad you took the time to send me this email. I'm always happy to help out wherever I can. Kind regards, Worker
While the worker does not strictly say “you’re welcome,” the second example demonstrates a good way to phrase a “you’re welcome” email that doesn’t seem like wasted inbox space.
When Should I Reply “You’re Welcome” To A Thank You Email?
Let’s start by looking at when it’s appropriate to reply to a “thank you” email.
You should reply “you’re welcome” to a thank you email when someone has sent you an extended “thank you” message. It also works really well when you want to keep up business relations with the person on the other end of the email.
Even in cases when you want to keep up business relations, “you’re welcome” emails aren’t always required. They’re an added email that most people skip over. Still, it could be worth using it in some instances.
These examples will demonstrate when a “you’re welcome” might work (and how to write one):
Dear Michael, Thank you for taking the time to help me with the work this morning. You made it all much easier for me to get through. Yours sincerely, Jonathan Walker
Dear Jonathan, Don't mention it. I was more than happy to help out where I could. I'll do it again whenever you need me to. Kind regards, Michael
Dear Jackie, Thank you for being there for me last night. It was really hard for me to open up to you about that, but I'm glad you listened. All the best, Sean
Dear Sean, I'm so glad you took the time to open up to me, and I'll happily spend the evening with you to listen again! Best regards, Jackie
These emails can work well with a “you’re welcome” reply because the “thank you” messages are more elaborate. It would be strange to leave them without a reply because it would feel like the conversation just abruptly ends without any real closure to it.
Still, though, the “you’re welcome” emails aren’t always necessary. Even when a well-thought-out “thank you” email is sent, a reply isn’t always the best answer!
When Should I Not Reply To A Thank You Email?
And when does it make more sense not to reply?
You do not need to reply to a “thank you” email when it is nothing more than that. If they did not put more time into writing “thank you,” then you do not need to reply with “you’re welcome” (or anything similar).
It’s not rude to skip over the “you’re welcome” message. It’s just something that is accepted in most business formats. Don’t worry yourself with trying to stay polite when nobody else worries about it in business!
These examples will demonstrate when the “you’re welcome” can be skipped entirely:
Dear Terrianne, Thank you for helping me out with that. All the best, Mr. Mariopol
Dear Stuart, Thank you for that information. Best regards, Dean Smith
Dear Susan, Thanks for the update. Kindest regards, Peter Pablo
Dear Richie, Thanks. Steve
As you can see, these emails don’t require any “you’re welcome” replies. That’s because they don’t tend to elaborate further than the simple “thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” or anything similar would just be a waste of messages and inbox space.
Is It Impolite Not To Reply To A Thank You Email?
Now that we’ve shown you when to reply and when to leave it, it might be good to look into the politeness of the situation. It’s polite for “you’re welcome” to be used in speaking, but is it the same in emails?
“You’re welcome” emails are not necessary. There is nothing rude about not replying to a thank you email. Most people send thank you emails as afterthoughts anyway, and they do not expect you to reply to what they’ve said.
Imagine you receive this from your boss:
Dear Tom, Thank you for your continued support in this trying time. Kind regards, Mr. Smithers
While it’s really nice to receive a “thank you” like this, it’s not necessary for us to reply. After all, we might only do the following:
Dear Mr. Smithers, You're welcome. Kind regards, Tom
While your reply might not look exactly like that, hopefully, it’s enough to prove our point. That email didn’t add anything new for Mr. Smithers to read. If anything, it’s just given him one extra email to have to delete or mark as read so that his inbox doesn’t get too full.
If I Am In Doubt, Should I Reply Or Not?
Finally, here’s a quick tip to help you understand what to do if you’re in doubt.
Don’t reply. Besides one’s underlying need to please someone, there is never a real reason to reply to a “thank you” email. A “you’re welcome” email often just takes up space in an email, and you do not have to worry about replying with one.
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