If I had a Euro for every time I found spelling mistakes on a website, in a brochure or on a leaflet I wouldn’t be a millionaire, but I would certainly be a lot more comfortable. Unfortunately until the government creates the ‘Department of Literacy & Spelling’ I will have to make do with tutting.
However on a serious note, bad spelling is a real turn-off for many potential clients. Perhaps you don’t think it’s important, but according to research conducted in the UK by The Royal Mail (in 2005) an estimated £41Bn in sales was lost to businesses due to poor spelling, punctuation and grammar. It further showed that nearly three-quarters of all customers (74 per cent) said they wouldn’t trust businesses that used poor spelling or grammar, whilst almost a third (30 per cent) said they wouldn’t buy any product or service from them.
Anecdotally I hear the same message time and again from people I speak to; if they see serious spelling mistakes in company websites they leave. So if you don’t think good spelling and grammar is important, you are most definitely in the minority.
So why do so many mistakes end up in text? Well we all learn to read and write in school, so many people think that qualifies them to write their own content. A typical business owner has never had any graphic design tuition and would therefore not design his/her own brochure and is happy to pay a premium to someone who can deliver a quality design. However, since we all learned to read and write early in life we all somehow feel qualified to deliver content.
By the way, I am not suggesting that you should hire a copywriter for everything, most people can handle simple enough product/service descriptions, but if you know that writing is not your strong point, or you are contemplating a major web or print project, get a professional - or it could cost you more in lost sales.
Read the full article here and see examples of typical spelling and grammatical errors made on websites and in brochures every day!