Folks have been migrating their paper-based activities online for a while now, and then the pandemic really sped things up. Goodbye, graduation parties. Nice try, office birthday party. Instead, we were home and looking for ways to mark the special occasions in our lives when we could no longer pass around that grocery store greeting card.
Ecards have come a long way to allow us the full expression of our thoughts and feelings on those special days. Whether it’s a sympathy card, group birthday ecard, or a simple “Thinking of You,” sending an electronic greeting card is easier than ever—and you have options.
We’re breaking down the 12 most popular and useful ecard options out there (in no particular order), including their pros and cons, so you can determine which will best meet your needs.
Unique Modern Offerings
These go beyond the static ecards of the early internet. Today's best ecards allow for fun media creation, group signing capability, and a more personal touch—all in just a few clicks.
Price: Varies (Send a mini-board for free, one-off for $5.99, or purchase a subscription)
Pros: Streamlined for groups; popular for workplace appreciation
Cons: Not made for 1-to-1 eCards
Best For: Assembling group appreciation
Kudoboard was designed to replace the card that's passed around & signed. It’s perfect for remote teams (or families!) to use for birthdays, work anniversaries, retirements, get wells, farewells, and more. Unlike other offerings, Kudoboard's group eCards allow for your own videos, photos, GIFS, and other customizations. Admittedly, we are biased since we are writing this article. But nevertheless, we are going to put it out there: if you are looking for the best group card on the internet - look no further!
A Kudoboard business plan makes birthdays, shout-outs, and retirements SO much easier. Check out our business plans.
Pros: Topical and memorable cards
Cons: Poor organization
Best For: Outrageous video cards
JibJab is an entirely different type of ecard. Each card allows you to upload a face which will then animate within the video. For example, you might upload the Birthday Boy’s face into an animation of MC Hammer and it will dance while singing “Can’t Touch This.” See what we mean? You don't get that with a regular birthday card.
Price: From $25/Tribute
Pros: Personalized videos
Cons: Price and technology barrier
Best For: Making videos for particularly special occasions
Even better than a generic message in an ecard is seeing their face and hearing their voice as they speak to you. Tribute allows groups to submit a quick video message to the recipient and then gathers it together in a touching video. We’d recommend this service for very special occasions.
The Old Guard
Let's start with a few options that have been around for several years. What they may lack in innovation, they make up for in brand recognition. You're not going to turn any heads with these selections, but hey -- they work.
Price: From $5/month
Pros: Celebrity options
Cons: Limited customization
Best For: When you send lots of ecards for a variety of occasions
You already know American Greeting, so the American Greeting ecard option is a familiar one. Their monthly subscriptions allow you access to a huge selection of online greeting cards. You can personalize the name and a brief message, but you won’t be able to do much more than that. You will, however, have access to celebrity videos—consider it Cameo on the cheap!
Pros: Designer cards at an affordable yearly rate
Cons: Limited customization, dated website
Best For: Sending unique ecards all year
This is the first ecard service started by an illustrator, and it shows. The cards are beautiful and unique, and some even feature custom music (now you can serenade them with birthday ecards!). At $20/year, it’s less than half the price of the big-name yearly subscriptions, but with much better taste and gift card options.
Pros: Great free option
Cons: Requires upgrades for ad-free and video options
Best For: Free cards
Punchbowl was one of the first electronic greeting cards on the scene, and they’re still a viable product today. Their site will reel you in with a free ecard maker, but it’s very limited and designed to push you to the more interesting paid tiers.
The Invitation Crossovers
There are several companies whose bread and butter is digital invitations. They've more recently begun to add eCard offerings to the mix.
Price: Varies (free options or memberships)
Pros: Adding Amazon gifts and egift cards
Cons: Few free options
Best For: When Happy Birthday is sung remotely
Like Punchbowl, Evite has been around for a long time. They made their name with electronic invitations, but they have since expanded into a nice range of birthday and other occasion ecards. We especially like the ability to add an Amazon gift or egift card directly to your birthday ecard (especially handy for a belated birthday).
Price: From $10
Pros: Gorgeous designs
Cons: Less customization
Best For: Your fanciest friend
Paperless Post sets itself apart by creating beautiful designs and co-branded lines (Rifle Paper Co.—swoon!). These cards are much nicer than your cheesy, animated ecards. The onsite currency can be confusing, and you don’t get to customize very much, but it’s worth it for the luxury feel.
Price: from $19
Pros: Customization, print or e-delivery, gift cards
Cons: Expensive, emphasis on invitations
Best For: Businesses or weddings that want to go green
Greenvelope is an ecard maker that focuses on sustainability. They feature beautiful designs and high levels of customization for your cards or invitations (including the envelope, postage, and more). Their focus is on weddings and event invitations, and they feature business packages, but when it comes to greeting cards your options will be limited.
The Specialty Offerings
Here's where things get interesting. If you are no longer searching for a generic eCard or online invitation but rather want to find something a bit more bespoke -- look no further than these specialty offerings.
Price: From $4
Pros: Paper cards delivered for you
Cons: Delivery dates can vary
Best For: When you want them to get a “real” card
Some of us just aren’t that good at remembering birthdays. Some of us want (or need) to send our old school family actual cards for their birthdays or special occasions. If either of these is you—Postable is your best bet. You can create the card virtually, then Postable will print and mail it. Just be careful you send it with plenty of time for delivery.
Pros: Black-owned, diverse cards, gift card available
Cons: Delivery dates can vary
Best For: Supporting small and black-owned businesses
CultureGreeting is a Black-owned greeting card maker that provides a more diverse set of images and options. You can personalize a card and have it mailed to your recipient, but even better than Postable you can add a gift card to sweeten the deal.
Pros: Beautiful, free religious cards (or pay $5.99/card for a paper card)
Cons: No customization
Best For: Religious groups or individuals
Dayspring offers a wide range of free ecards with religion in mind. You can select any type of card and then download or email it to add a personalized message. While the cards can’t be edited, they are well-designed and usually feature faith-filled images and quotes.
An Ecard for Every Day of the Year
There you have it. Now you never have another excuse not to acknowledge a special day, because in just a few clicks you can send off a fun and thoughtful ecard direct to your recipient. When in doubt, take the opportunity to say something nice. You won’t regret it.