What greeting cards can teach us about communicationsIf you’re ever in a rut about creating messaging, head to the greeting card aisle in your favourite pharmacy or department store. There’s inspiration galore. And plenty of humour too.

Here are five communications lessons to be learned from greeting cards:

1. Plain language rocks. When was the last time a greeting card forced you to pull out a dictionary or look up the meaning of a word online? Never. Greeting cards are famous for using plain language.

2. Don’t get long-winded with your writing. Greeting cards are superb for delivering a message in as few words as possible. They only get that way after multiple revisions and editing. Make every word count. Get rid of the ones that are clutter.

3. Make it memorable. We can all remember some memorable greeting cards over the years. Maybe it was a birthday card about farting (P.S. I’m not condoning the inclusion of farting in your communications!). Or maybe it was one that included a rubber creepy crawler that scared the heebie jeebies out of you. Either way, you remembered these cards. And, at the time of the celebration or gathering, the card got passed around and read by friend and family. Try to have messaging that is memorable. You want people to talk about the message. And share your message.

4. White space increases readability. Greeting cards are white space specialists, especially on the inside. Stop trying to create massive paragraphs that turn pages and space into grey obstacles.

5. Bring your audience into your messaging. Greeting cards work so well because they immediately bring you into a theme or setting. (Of course, this is often because someone has laboured over finding the perfect card that fits you!) There’s instant thirst for what’s ahead. You WANT to open the card to read more.  What are you doing that ensures your readers want to read more? Hint: Know your readers and you’ll be able to find the perfect message too.