Mind Your Language!
A couple of weeks ago I received a promotional email from a company I’ve spoken with in the past. The email directed me to their latest blog post.
The title sounded interesting. I thought this could be useful content, so I clicked through.
What greeted me was shocking.
The blog post was littered with poor grammar, spelling mistakes and typos; the tone was hectoring, telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing and treating me like an imbecile.
My immediate impression was “Whoa! Don’t talk to me like that. I’m not going to trust you, or your advice”. The company concerned has lost a potential client.
That’s really not a good start when you’re trying to win over undecided prospects. When your readers reach the conclusion not to trust you, you’re dead in the water. You’ve lost the relationship. And even if your prospects don’t unsubscribe, you’re very unlikely to ever convert someone once they’ve decided they don’t trust you.
Are you alienating your readers?
Content marketing is a useful way of staying in touch with your prospects. It can establish you as an authority in your marketplace, and helps your SEO ranking with the search engines. However, it won’t work if you shoot yourself in the foot as this company did.
There are three types of people reading your posts and emails:
- Grammar Nazis (well-educated with an abhorrence for errors),
- Normally educated people who will notice the errors, and
- Those who don’t care or don’t recognise grammar and spelling mistakes.
If your posts are full of grammar and spelling errors, the grammar Nazis may send you critical emails pointing out all your errors – they’ll never do business with you; the educated prospects will be put off, they may unsubscribe and they are very unlikely to ever become clients; and the ones who don’t care won’t notice – they may become clients despite your poor spelling and grammar.
How many of your prospects fall into either of the first two camps? If your communications are poor, you could be alienating a huge percentage of your prospect database.
Not taking care over the little things like grammar and spelling gives the impression you are slapdash; that you can’t be bothered to take care over your own communications. If you don’t care about your own work, how can anyone trust you to take care when working with them?
I’m guessing that’s not the impression you want to give!
What can you do?
If you are confident your own communications are perfect, then you need do nothing. However, if you have any doubts, there are three possible ways to tackle the potential problems of poor language in your emails and blog posts:
- Hire a writer to create your blog posts and emails for you. A good copywriter will be able to take your spoken words and explanations, along with additional research, and create engaging, persuasive copy.
- Hire a copy editor. These are people who can take your draft and fine tune it to iron out poor grammar and catch the spelling errors and rewrite sections where necessary. Again, the end result should be engaging, persuasive copy.
- If you want to improve your writing without seeking external help, read it aloud. In reading aloud, you have to slow down. You will trip up over areas that are not clear; you’ll hear when your words don’t make sense. This will highlight the areas which need looking at and possibly rewriting – you can then rework the piece so it becomes an engaging, persuasive piece of copy.
Make sure you are not alienating your readers through sloppy use of language. It’s a problem which is easy to address but, unchecked, will be losing you prospects and clients without you ever knowing why.
If you recognise writing is not one of your strengths, give us a call, our in-house copywriter will delight in making sure your communications are conveying the messages you want and not undermining you. Contact us today.