For some people, the elimination of the birthday party was a welcome respite. Introverts around the world were secretly relieved to avoid the forced small talk and singing around a person blowing on a slab of cake you’re all going to share.
Thanks to the pandemic and many businesses shifting to more remote-friendly schedules now that restrictions are relaxing—you might never have to attend an office birthday party ever again. In related good news, we’ve learned how to make a birthday celebration more meaningful, even if you’re not in the same place.
No more passing around a cheesy dollar store card to scribble a quick and partially sincere message and signature. Modern eCards are the way to celebrate birthdays, and we’ll show you how to do it right.
6 tips for creating great group eCards
Is it time for you to start figuring out the retirement party details for your boss? You’re the queen of the party planning committee, and you’re getting card-sign-coaching fatigue? Your best friend lives across the country and you’re unable to travel and celebrate in person?
Fear not. We’ve got you. Here’s six tips for creating a unique and meaningful eCard that will mark this special occasion—without the stress.
1. Start earlier
Sending out a link the day-of and asking all of your coworkers, neighbors, or team members to sign is never going to yield good results. You’ll get those go-getters who always respond to emails right away… and no one else. Poking and prodding people with a very tight timeline will lead to short and less-than-sweet messages, as opposed to the thoughtful appreciation you were hoping for.
Instead, we recommend discussing it in person or over Zoom so everyone understands what the special occasion is, who the eCard is for, and the type of messages they’d appreciate. Ideally you’ll introduce your eCard 2-3 weeks in advance. Send a follow up reminder 3 days before it’s due, and a final push the morning-of to get those stragglers.
2. Customize the eCard
A boring, generic grocery store card is the opposite of appreciation. They’re all variations of the same tired themes and color schemes. There’s never a perfect card for that reality-TV obsessed coworker… or is there?
An eCard is so much better for personalization. Choose a fun background and color scheme. Kudoboard allows you to upload personal photos or attach a hilarious GIF representing your team’s inside joke. Trust us, an eCard full of curated GIFs and real photos is so much more fun!
3. Start off strong
With a collaborative eCard, it’s important to set the tone. When you create or delegate the group eCard, be sure that the first few posts are a good representation of what you expect and what you can do with the card. As new contributors log in, they’ll be inspired (or bored) by what’s already there, so set the bar high.
We recommend adding:
- A heartfelt message. Yes, more than just “Happy Birthday!” or “Congratulations! Love, Bob.” Try referencing a great memory, inside joke, or citing a specific thing you love or appreciate about the person.
- A photo of the recipient.
- 1-2 GIFs
When contributors see all of the different options, they’ll choose one that meets their personality and they’ll put forth more than the baseline effort. It’s magic.
4. Brainstorm contributors beforehand
Sometimes you’re just sending an eCard around the office for team members to complete. But other times you’re going to need to get creative when sending out the invitations to contribute.
For example, if you're marking a work anniversary or retirement, the current employees are such a small piece of the pie. Consider reaching out to other retirees, past bosses, former coworkers, influential customers or clients, and other work relationships like the lunch delivery guy or vendor contacts. With an eCard, it’s easy to quickly add and share access to the eCard so you don’t have to limit it to the real estate of a kitschy greeting card, or the people you personally know. Shoot the link to the recipient’s spouse or family members, and have them forward it along so you’re getting contributions from all the important people in their life.
5. Deliver thoughtfully
It’s tempting to just shoot off your group eCard, but we urge you to spend a moment to consider what will have the most impact for your recipient. For an introvert working remotely, an automated email containing the eCard might work just fine. But for someone who loves to connect with their team, you might want to show the card as a slideshow or walk through it together on a team Zoom.
The delivery date can matter, too. What if their birthday is over the weekend? What if they’re taking the day off for their anniversary? What if they never check their work email? Delivering the eCard via Slack can work, or simply sending it a day or two before their birthday can ensure that they get to fully enjoy it. Use Kudoboard to schedule your card’s delivery method and date to streamline the entire process.
6. Preserve it forever
One of the drawbacks of the eCard is that you can’t tuck it into your diary or onto a corkboard of memories (if you’re that kind of sentimental, I am). That is, unless you get a Kudoboard that can be printed, shipped, and otherwise preserved. Just because it’s an eCard doesn’t mean it will disappear into the void.
With a Kudoboard eCard, you can keep your eCards open for ongoing contributions (such as a memorial board for a deceased loved one) that can be preserved online forever. You can also print a poster of your group eCard, which makes a great backdrop or decoration for a party. We’d also recommend a book for the very large eCards, which are fantastic for anniversaries and retirements.
Ah we just love celebrating! eCards make it much, MUCH easier (and cooler, let’s be honest) to share thoughts and appreciation on those special days. With these tips, we hope it’s even more effective. Here’s to celebrating together, even when we can’t be together.