greetings island: the best e-card site you've never heard of

Tl; dr: Greetings Island is the best e-greeting-card site. 

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I love greeting cards -- birthdays, anniversaries, thank yous, "glad you're my friend". I used to love spending time choosing unusual and relevant cards for family and friends. No Hallmark drivel, and no holidays that are meaningless to me -- but lots and lots of birthdays and thinking-of-yous. 

I also used to send winter-season cards to a lot of people. My partner and I would carefully choose what card would represent us that year, and every year the list got longer and longer... At some point our list was out of control, and card-sending became a huge chore. Time to cut back! Or maybe to end the practice?

When we moved to Canada, and I discovered that Papyrus products, my card of choice, were outrageously expensive here. On a month when I had a lot of birthdays on my calendar, the price of cards alone, without postage, could easily top $30! Of course the practice of sending cards is environmentally unfriendly, so this was a good excuse to drastically reduce. I decided to send paper cards only to elderly relatives who wouldn't see cards online.

But then... the e-card issue. Most sites are loaded with ads. That's a deal-breaker for me. So my quest for a great e-card site began. 

I used Jacqui Lawson cards for a while. The cards, based on Lawson's art, are animated and accompanied by music. At $24/year, it was a good deal, but the cards are all of a similar style, and I got tired of it.

I used Punchbowl for a while. Their selection is good, but their pricing model doesn't work for me. Punchbowl has three paid levels -- right now it's $3, $5, and $7 per month -- but only the highest level is ad-free. I think advertising-free cards should be the most basic paid benefit, even if it's the only benefit. And $7/month is more than I want to spend on cards. 

This year I did a big survey of e-card sites, and combed through many "best e-card sites of 2020" posts. Most sites were objectionable for various reasons. I thought about using a general design site like Canva, but for me, that's too wide a field -- too much work. I need something more specific.

This year's clear winner was Greetings Island. The site has everything I'm looking for -- great selection, excellent usability, a wide range of personalization options, and an ad-free experience for both sender and recipient. 

For me, $32/year -- $2.60/month -- is a very good deal. There is also a free (ad-supported) version with fewer options for personalization.

In addition to sending cards online -- either through the site, by email, or through social media -- Greetings Island lets you download and print your card. This is still a good option for a workplace or someone on your list who is not internet-friendly.

I hope Greetings Island keeps their card selection updated. It would be nice to continue using it for at least several years.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Im Ehud, the CEO of Greetings Island.
It was so lovely to read this review. We will surely add new designs and add new features.