According to the BBC article Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales,
bad spelling leads customers to question a company’s credibility. What does this mean
for your bottom line?
Unfortunately it goes down: no trust, no sale.
Common writing errors
Poor spelling is not the only type of linguistic mishap that a company can be guilty of.
Many companies produce material, even marketing tools like websites, press releases
and brochures, that contain the following types of errors:
• grammar, spelling and typographical mistakes
• disorganised and unfocused writing
• long-winded and lifeless writing
• use of buzzwords and industry-specific jargon
So when you write ‘recieve’ instead of ‘receive’, talk about your ‘innovative solutions’
and put many different ideas in a single paragraph, this has a negative impact on your
The consequences of bad writing
Poorly written marketing copy could result in a reaction like this:
1. Customers do not trust you.
You lose credibility. There are spelling mistakes on your brochure that draw attention
to themselves. Suddenly your customer can no longer concentrate on your lovely visual.
He’s busy rereading your sentence, trying to comprehend your message.
He is now wondering why you can‘t spell. You are unprofessional in writing. Are you
unprofessional in customer service too?
2. Customers get bored or annoyed.
Any ‘welcome to my website’ message is unnecessary and dull. Buzzwords make their
eyes roll; people are sick of hearing about ‘leveraging’ or being ‘cutting-edge’ and
People want simple and clear words that they can understand.
3. Customers become confused.
Your writing is unfocused and contains too many messages. Within a few seconds
of reading your text, do customers understand what your company does? Must they wade
through useless text before they get to the part that matters?
Be clear about your ‘call-to-action‘ – the move that customers are supposed to make.
Should they sign up for your newsletter, ring you to make a reservation or take advantage
of your special offer? If customers feel frustrated, it will be hard to get them to do anything.
4. Customers do not buy your product or service.
As mentioned in the above BBC article, incorrect spelling leads to lost sales: “[A]n analysis
of website figures shows a single spelling mistakes can cut online sales in half.”
When you lack writing skills and cannot spell or make your ideas clear, you lose authority
and credibility. Your customer trusts you less and becomes reluctant to buy anything from
The way you write makes an impact on your brand
Lost sales are not the only outcome – your brand will suffer too. Your marketing materials
must be well written if you want your brand to be associated with quality.
If your writing is sloppy, your brand will be perceived as something that a careless beginner
just threw together. On the other hand, if it’s polished, your brand will be seen as professional
Getting your writing translated
So now you’ve revised and proofread your English-language copy several times. It’s right on
target – organised, lively, clear, focused and free of mistakes.
You’re ready to go international. Your product is going to be launched in other countries, in
other languages. It’s time for translation!
The quality of your translations must be on par with the original. In the next blog post, we’ll
talk about writing for translation and more. You’ll find 13 tips on:
• writing for translation (type of language, sentence structure, cultural references and so on)
• choosing a translator (training, background and skills)
• briefing the translator (goals, format, audience and so on)
Stay tuned for these 13 practical tips on writing copy for translation and helping your translator
create something that makes a positive impact on customers.
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