An e-commerce site dedicated to just one clothing item managed to spell “tights” as “tihgts.” After fixing the typo, conversions on TightsPlease.co.uk increased by 80 percent. Spelling and grammar matter in emails and on e-commerce sites, says business2community.com.
Consumers are concerned about their safety, and putting financial information on a site that can’t spell its main product name right is a red flag, writes Alex Birkett in the Friday post.
“Usability.gov wrote an article outlining credibility factors, and one of their main points was avoiding poor grammar,” Birkett says. “They mentioned that most credibility factors were judged quickly, based on first impressions.”
For consumers, a website is often their first impression of a brand.
Many marketers use emails to retain consumers, but poor spelling or grammar could look like fraud attempts that consumers will instantly delete or mark as spam.
Worse yet, if consumers see constant problems coming from the brand, it’ll influence their thoughts about the brand’s products and services, according to the post.
Here’s what Birkett says marketers can do to prevent typos and poor grammar from reaching consumers’ eyes:
- Read Backward. Proofing copy can be time-consuming and cause marketers to expect to see messages worded properly. Reading the words backward can trick the brain into seeing campaigns anew. Readers need to have an extra layer of comprehension in order to read backward, Birkett explains.
- Find New Eyes. In the publishing realm, editors read each other’s copy. Now that marketers are creating so much more content on their own, Birkett suggests they have editors, friends or co-workers proof their writing before it goes public.
- Read Aloud. Ears may hear grammatical errors the eyes missed. “Not only will you catch grammar errors, you’ll also write more like you talk (a good thing),” Birkett says.
- Actually Use Spell Check, Etc. Marketers can let software they already have actually help them. If a word is underlined, there may be a typo. If an entire sentence is highlighted, it may not contain all of the necessary verbs and nouns. Birkett highlights free software from Grammarly. [Editor’s note: Read copy even after using software, because Birkett missed this: “If you download something like Grammarly, you can catch grammar errors all over the Internet, whether you’re writing in WordPress or posting a LinkedIn updated.” Ouch.]
Finally, marketers get a little bit of a break with this thought:
“Context seems to matter a lot,” Birkett writes. “It’s more forgivable in blog posts, but unacceptable on your homepage, product pages and other more static pages. People have estimated spelling errors to be causing millions of dollars/pounds in lost profits.”
So sometimes, typos and sentence fragments are OK. What would Facebook be without them?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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