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How to write a “thank you for your referral” letter

Business referral: entrepreneur writing a thank you for your referral letter.

Key takeaways

  • Create a “thank you for your referral” template that you can personalize to increase its impact on the recipient
  • Consider adding a small business referral gift as a reward and extra incentive for further referrals
  • Start a formal referral program to encourage existing customers to refer new clients to your business

Many small businesses are built on customer referrals, which isn’t surprising since 93% of people trust referrals from family and friends over other sources. Even before they speak with you, these potential new clients are primed to trust you with their business, making them warm leads.

Read on to find out why letters thanking your clients for business referrals are so powerful and how they help you attract new customers. Plus, learn the best methods for sending them and what to include to inspire current clients to keep sending new business your way.

Why send referral thank you notes?

If you went for a job interview or received a job offer, you would probably send thank you notes to the hiring manager and your contact in human resources. Not only is it good manners, but it also shows appreciation for their time and attention. This small yet thoughtful act can make a positive impression and help you stand out.

Similarly, as a small business owner, sending thank you notes to your referring customers is a powerful way to build business relationships. Just for starters:

  • It helps customers feel appreciated
  • It keeps your business front of mind
  • It generates goodwill so clients are more likely to use your business again
  • It encourages more referrals, which can turn into new business for you

Best of all, writing a thank you note costs you nothing except a few minutes of your time and minimal expenses for stationery. Plus, you can make a great impression on your referring customers by sending a “thank you for the referral” note before their referral even makes a purchase, emphasizing the importance of their trust over their financial contribution to your business.

How to send a business referral thank you letter

The method you choose to send your appreciation for a referral is up to you. For example, you could send a handwritten or typed letter, a greeting card, a specially designed and branded business thank you card, an email, or even (if you’re pressed for time) a text message. Bear in mind that the more personal your thank you letter is, the more impact it will have and the more the recipient will likely appreciate it.

“Thank you for your referral” templates

If you receive many referrals, creating a business referral thank you template will save time and effort. It still needs to look personalized, though, so include the following elements in your thank you letter template.

An appropriate greeting

This should be professional and respectful—and the tone will also depend on your relationship with the recipient. If your relationship is more formal, you might start with “Dear Mr. Johnson,” and if it’s more relaxed, “Dear George” is fine. 

A reference to the recent referral

Be specific about which referral you’re talking about and why you appreciate it. For example, you might say:

Thank you for your thoughtful referral of Jake and Melissa Lopez to Sharper Edge Garden Services. We work hard to make our customers happy and truly appreciate the trust you place in us when you refer our services.


Thank you very much for your recent referral of Dupont Architects to our company. It means so much to know that you value our services highly enough to recommend them. Every referral helps us build our business, and we greatly appreciate your support. 

A thank you gift (optional) 

If you’re including a thank you gift, acknowledge it. For example, you could write:

As a token of our thanks, we would like to offer you a 30% discount on your next garden service.


To show our appreciation, we’re including a Cheesecake Factory gift card. We hope that you and your family will enjoy your next meal on us! 

An appropriate sign-off

Close with a brief, appreciative sentence, then sign off. Again, this will depend on your relationship with the recipient as well as what you’re comfortable with. Your sign-off could be “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Warm regards,” followed by your name and job title.

For example:

Thank you again, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Best regards,

Alanna Khan, Chief Gardener

Your company details

Make sure your company name and contact information—including your phone number and email address—appear somewhere in the letter. 

Pro tips for “thank you for your business referral” letters

There are a few ways you can boost the impact of your client referral thank you letters:

  • Write the thank you card by hand to add a personal touch. If your handwriting isn’t one of your strengths, consider using a font that looks like handwriting.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Reading your note should be an enjoyable experience.
  • Before you send the letter, proofread it. Check your spelling and grammar, read it aloud, or ask someone else to review it for you. It’s easy to miss small errors.
  • Send it as soon as possible after you receive the referral so your client receives immediate appreciation for their efforts—and you don’t forget to do it.

Should you add a gift to your business referral thank you note?

Small biz owner writing a business referral thank you note

Adding a small gift to your thank you card is a thoughtful gesture—and it provides an extra incentive for the recipient to repeat the kind gesture. Some thank you gift ideas include:

  • A flat or percentage discount off the referrer’s next purchase 
  • A gift card to a local store, restaurant, or online retailer
  • A special offer, like a buy-one-get-one-free on one of your products or services
  • A branded promotional gift, such as a pen, power bank, or T-shirt
  • A bouquet of flowers, bottle of wine, or box of chocolates

Encourage more referrals with a customer referral program

Two business owners shaking hands

Get even more referrals by implementing a customer referral program. This helps you leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing so you’re always attracting new leads. 

Use your email marketing and social media campaigns to let your current customers know they can earn rewards by referring their family, friends, and colleagues to your business. After the job is complete or item is delivered, send them a reminder while your excellent work, product quality, or purchase experience is fresh in their minds.

You can also ask them to send any interested parties to your website or Yelp Business Page to learn more about you. When you add or claim your free Yelp Business Page, you can take advantage of Request a Call or Request a Quote to generate more leads and connect with more customers. When you follow up on contact requests, be sure to ask your new prospect who referred them so you can thank and reward that customer. There are a variety of referral program ideas you can try.

For example, if you run a snow removal business, you could offer a discount on the referrer’s next snow removal job. Or if you sell or rent houses, you could give a local gift card for every real estate referral you receive that leads to a sale. 

The key is to find the right balance between what your business’s budget and what will incentivize the customer. You’ll also want to include that all-important “thank you” for your business referral letter.

Many referral programs also reward the referred customer, which encourages them to try out your business. That way, everyone wins.

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“Thank you for your referral” letters express appreciation and attract customers

Referrals are a powerful source of warm leads for small businesses. When you take the time to write a thank you letter for each business referral, you show gratitude, earn goodwill, and encourage more referrals.

Save time by using a template—just make sure your thank you note is as personal as possible. Be specific about which referral you’re thanking them for, and consider including a small gift as a token of appreciation. Finally, encourage even more referrals by implementing a customer referral program that tracks referrals and rewards both the referring customer and the new potential customer. 

Once your referral program is running smoothly, learn more ways to promote your business locally with 10 simple tactics so you’re always attracting new clients.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.