Written by Mimi Werdegar
One of the most important attributes that leads someone to purchase a greeting card is the quality of the message. Thankfully, anyone can be a good copywriter and improve their writing skills. At Minted, we seek fresh and unique greeting card copy in all sentiment styles. To help guide you in creating new copy, we sourced greeting card writing tips from our greeting cards team and Minted writers. These tips were originally shared at Camp Minted 2019.
Begin the writing process with an open mind.
- Listen to everything around you. Greeting card copy ideas can come from anywhere: conversations at work or on the subway, or even graffiti in a bathroom.
- Anytime an idea pops into your head, write it down as soon as possible. The worst feeling is forgetting a brilliant idea.
- Spend time reading as many greeting cards as you can.
- Get out of your comfort zone — practice writing in different voices and in different tones.
- Take advice from Minted writer Shauna Younge: “Be authentic. I’m sarcastic and silly, and my cards reflect that. Even when I write for romantic or sentimental categories, I try to bring my unique personality to the project.”
Rethink your approach to interior copy.
Include interior copy that relates to the front of the card. The interior copy completes the ‘thought’ and ties together the entire design.
Alternatively, try putting the majority of your copy on the front of the card. Customers will understand the sentiment of the card without needing to reference the interior. “Succulent Surround” by Susan Moyal and Lara Endreszl brings the message of the card front and center.
If the front is copy-heavy, the interior can be more brief. However, it’s great to add something a bit extra beyond the expected greeting as with Hannah William’s type-driven greeting card, “Greatest Guy” below.
“Greatest Guy” Design and Copywriting by Hannah Williams
Adjust your front and interior word length.
Categories like Wedding, Anniversary, and Sympathy & Get Well tend to be more sentimental categories where longer copy works well, while categories like Kid’s Birthday, Thank You, and Congrats can have broader appeal and be a bit shorter. When writing longer copy, remember to still value quality over quantity.
Make the “recipient” broad.
Avoid copy that limits the recipient unless it’s the focal point of the card. For example, changing the copy, “Happy birthday Mom” to “Happy birthday” makes the card apply to a wider audience.
“Sweetest Birthday” Design and Copywriting by Susan Moyal
Make the card “giver” broad too.
Adding subtle tweaks to your copy makes your card usable by more people. For instance, you could say, “Thinking of you” instead of “I’m thinking of you” or “We’re thinking of you.”
Additionally, think about who buys and sends each type of card. For example, many Mother’s Day cards are purchased by sisters, mothers, aunts, daughters, etc. Therefore, it may work to your benefit to create a Mother’s Day card with a broad card “giver.”
Make the card work for multiple occasions.
Sometimes, a card could be purchased for more categories than it was originally intended for. Certain cards, like a card featuring a onesie, are obviously new baby cards. However, if the design of the card is non-specific, you can make your copy non-specific as well.
This wedding card could also be used as a general congrats card. Instead of saying “Congratulations on your wedding,” “Prosecco” by Chryssi Tsoupanarias uses a shortened version, “Congratulations.”
“Prosecco” Design and Copywriting by Chryssi Tsoupanarias
Use a punchline.
Funny copy is always popular, and interior punchlines can help win over the customer. For example, humorous copy that is an unexpected twist to the front of the card is sure to get some laughs.
The front of this card leads you to believe the message is going in one direction, and then it comically flip-flops with the interior copy.
Play with phrasing and wording.
Customers like having a variety of sentiments to choose from. For example, when building Thank You Cards, try words beyond “thank you.” Consider submitting cards with a variety of phrases, such as “Thank you so much,” “Thanks a bunch,” “Thankful and grateful,” etc.
Make sure your message is always clear. Don’t get lost trying to force a joke; make sure your message can be clearly understood. If you want to use puns, make them creative and original. As Minted writer Elke Mermis said, “Talk like real people talk. No one wants to give a card that doesn’t sound anything like what they’d say in real life!”
Make your copy the main event.
Sometimes, copy can speak for itself. A simple, type-based card featuring a special touch like hand-lettering or letterpress can make your copy sing!
If you want to learn more about copywriting, read our 7 Tips for Writing Compelling Greeting Cards.
The above advice was originally shared during a session at Camp Minted 2019.
About Camp Minted
Camp Minted is the physical manifestation of Minted’s amazing online community — a space for Minted artists to develop long-lasting relationships with like-minded creatives, be creatively inspired, develop their technical craft, and seek creative and physical refueling and rejuvenation. Learn more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mimi Werdegar is a Marketing and Artist Relations intern this summer at Minted. As an English major, avid writer, and advocate for Humanities, she’s passionate about working with artist and writer communities. In her free time, she listens to podcasts about Shakespeare and bakes desserts.No comments