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E.g. here is an email I just sent:

Hello X,

Okay I see - thanks very much for all the code! I'll definitely have to take some time to study it before I can ask any questions. :)

Also - thanks for your explanation on X [insert how X's explanation on X has helped me with something]

Thanks very much! Y

One thing I've thought of doing: merging the "thanks" into "thanks very much for the code and explanation!" But the issue is that I want to make separate comments for the code and then for the explanation, and it's easier to do that when I separate out the "thanks" (and then repeat it more, which then sounds even more repetitive)

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The third "thanks" at the end is a bit too much IMHO. Why don't you use some standard closing phrase like "Best regards"? –  Lukas Stejskal Jul 24 '11 at 9:57
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or "Much obliged." –  Lauren Ipsum Jul 24 '11 at 14:07
    
Although not related to your question, all those exclamation marks are too exuberant, in my opinion. The cliche is that exclamation marks should only be used where absolutely necessary, about every one hundred pages. –  Richard A Jul 31 '11 at 12:28
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Emails saying "thank you" for something are generally informal; style is less of an issue than simple gratitude and sincerity. So there's really no problem with your email, unless you've got a particular reason to be concerned about eloquence.

If you do want to work in more variety, some good alternatives include:

  • "I really appreciate [X]" or "Your [X] is much appreciated".
  • Mentioning how helpful the help was (as you've done) - if this is in the context of "thanks," you don't even need to mention "thanks" for every detail. Just mention that various parts of the help were helpful or put to good use, and use "thanks" only once or twice - it's clear you're thanking the recipient for the whole thing.
  • Complimenting the recipient on what he's done: "Your explanation was very clear," "your example code looks like exactly what I need," "you painted my birdhouse so beautifully," "I would never have thought of such an ingenious place to hide the body," etc. Again, you're expressing appreciation - and demonstrating that you've paid a lot of attention and are able to appreciate his work, and generally that he's done a good job (assuming, of course, that he has).
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Another option would be to use different words to express your gratitude. For example, you could start out with "Thank you for the code you sent . . . ", and then in your second paragragh use something like "Also, I appreciate your explanation of . . . ". If there is a third item to mention, then you could do like Standback suggested and compliment the person on how well that item contributed to what you were trying to do.

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