A recent study about on-line business has said that poor spelling could be costing businesses millions. It reported that a single spelling mistake on a webpage can cut online sales by up to 50 per cent.
One particular website showed that revenue doubled after a typo was corrected – revealing the extent to which poor spelling and grammar can put off customers.
However accurate spelling and grammar isn’t the be all and end all of good writing. It won’t make people warm to you or want to buy from you. That has more to do with the way you write.
When I was a student teacher many years ago the class teacher got her class of 10 year olds to write to me when I went back to college after my teaching practice with them. I had 26 letters – some were very stilted – “Miss Smith says we have to write and thank you for being our teacher…”; some were a little more chatty – “We have been using the weather station we built with you…” but one shone. One child told me about how he had bought himself an action (akshun) man and what he’d done at the weekend. Hardly any of the words were spelt correctly but it was a wonderfully interesting letter, engaged me, made me laugh and I still remember it. He wasn’t repressed by the fact that he couldn’t spell properly he just said what he wanted to say and tried his best.
We should remember this when we are writing sales letters, brochures, adverts, cvs – the purpose is to engage the audience, to persuade them to buy, or give us an interview. Tidy it up afterwards by all means but make sure that the reader knows that you really care, and understand what matters to customers.
If you’re not confident with your writing skills note down the points you would like to make and then talk to a copywriter who will be able to put your points across in the right way. It does pay to use an expert and if it can really improve your chances to sell then it has to be worth it!