People may forgive. They won’t forget

February 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

Have just had a debate with someone who was telling me that he writes his own website copy because he believes that customers will forgive the ‘odd spelling mistake’. After all, he pointed out, he’s not in the ‘words’ business. He’s a life coach.

I don’t get it. Here’s a man who wants us to trust him with our lives and he can’t be bothered to make sure his site’s spelt properly! Or that it’s grammatically correct, for that matter.

“Also, they know what I mean even if I’ve got an apostrophe in the wrong place,” James said. “You’re just being picky because it’s your business.”

I think that’s true – people will understand what his copy is saying. But the same people, in their search for a life coach, without question will be looking at several sites and because James thinks it’s acceptable to present his services complete with spelling and grammatical mistakes, he’s given them the impression that he’s a bit sloppy and not very professional.

They won’t forget that when they come across a site offering a similar level of life-coaching expertise, finished off properly with all apostrophes in the correct places!

“Of course you’d say that – you’re a copywriter,” he said.

No. Come on. Think about it.

There are two messages we (and I’m counting myself as a consumer here) usually get when we come across a badly written piece of marketing copy:

  1. The company is careless – and if it’s careless when it’s trying to sell itself what’s the rest of the service going to be like?
  2. The company couldn’t afford to get it right – that doesn’t bode well.

This is how my discussion with James ended: I’ve got a rough idea of what it takes to be a life coach but I wouldn’t attempt to do the job – he, on the other hand, has had serious training and can offer solid skills. I’ve had serious training as a copywriter and offer solid skills.

Your website is your online shop window, people judge you on how you present yourself and a copywriter can help you make the most of your presence. It’s not good enough just to have a website…the content is key.

And it’s corporate suicide if your (sic) getting you’re (sic) message messed up!!!!!

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§ One Response to People may forgive. They won’t forget

  • Sue Fenton says:

    I totally agree! Your point, “Here’s a man who wants us to trust him with our lives and he can’t be bothered to make sure his site’s spelt properly!”, is the very point I made on my blog recently after receiving badly punctuated emails from a company that provides eye surgery. If they’re sloppy about their letters, how can I be sure they won’t be sloppy about cutting my eyes open?
    I was telling a friend about this and she didn’t get it; she said ‘yes, but the person writing the email isn’t going to be the same person who does the surgery’. I suppose this would be the attitude of a lot of people who don’t think like we do. My view is that a corporate ‘attitude’ is pervasive across a company, from the top down. If the company allows a lack of attention to detail in one area of its activities, it might well overlook a lack of attention to detail in more important areas.

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