Proofreading Matters: 5 Realistic Examples of How Errors Can Cost You Credibility

Posted by Laura Germann on September 27, 2022 at 9:01 AM     Content
Proofreading Matters: 5 Realistic Examples of How Errors Can Cost You Credibility

By Laura Germann, Content Editor

You may have seen memes or social media posts that say “Grammar Matters” or marquee boards with silly errors. While these give us a good laugh, there is a deeper underlying message here: Grammar errors make you look bad – period.

While making sure that your print and digital marketing materials are grammatically correct may seem like an afterthought, in reality, it’s actually very important. Anything associated with your brand is representative of your organization, and this includes everything from:

  • Social media posts/graphics
  • Emails
  • Brochures, flyers and other print materials
  • Blogs
  • Website

The correctness and consistency of your marketing materials are directly linked to your credibility as an organization. Therefore, if there are errors or typos in your marketing, your customers are less likely to trust you or take you seriously.

To demonstrate how this can play out, here are five realistic examples of how errors can cost you credibility.

1. Tradeshow Fiasco

A tradeshow banner with a grammatical error

You’re a regional manufacturing company and have decided to attend a national tradeshow to gain some new leads. You have a new product to promote, so you have your booth decked out with some eye-catching graphics. There’s just one problem.

In big white letters, your banner was supposed to say “BE YOUR OWN ENGINEER.” Instead, it says: 

Since your new product hinges on that statement and the banner was printed weeks ago, there’s not much you can do to correct it now. Potential leads will likely notice the mistake and skip your booth altogether, costing you prospective leads, plus the time and money you invested in creating your booth graphics.

Here’s Why Manufacturing Clients Come to Marketing Essentials >>

2. Social Media Post Gone Wrong

A social media post with a grammatical error

You’re a mid-sized business specializing in technology products for Gen X and millennials. You know your customers spend a lot of time on social media, so you invest lots of resources into daily social media posts, videos and more to engage your audience.

Since you have a lot going through your social media channel pipeline, it’s easy to overlook an error here and there. Unfortunately, your Facebook page has a prominent post promoting a new product that you put out a few days ago, and the image for the post was supposed to say “See The Future Through Their Eyes.” Instead, it says:

Ouch! While the error may not jump out to everyone, your most qualified leads will certainly notice, and they will likely go with one of your competitors over you because they don’t take you seriously.

3. Unprofessional Job Description 

You’re a regional small business in desperate need of qualified candidates for multiple positions. You’re advertising job descriptions on sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, in addition to having the positions on your website’s Careers page.

You’re not getting many candidates applying for your positions, so you take a look at the job descriptions you’re advertising. You notice several obvious grammar errors throughout the job description details, and your call to action for applicants is misspelled. Jobseekers who viewed the job description likely thought of you as unprofessional, so they decided to look and apply for other openings elsewhere.

Thinking About Recruitment Marketing? Here’s Why You Should >>

4. Less-Than-Perfect Website Launch

A website with a grammatical error

You’re a local real estate company looking to branch out, and you’ve recently launched a new, updated website. You’re especially stoked about the new company name you’ve settled on – Virtual Realty (yes, pun intended 😉).

However, the web developer who built your website failed to proofread the copy before the launch, and now the homepage of your website looks like this:

Yikes! You’re not sure how to fix the issue, so you reach out to the web developer to see if they can correct it for you. In the process, you’ve already shared the site on your social media channels and with area real estate agents, so to an extent, the damage to your reputation has already been done.

5. Mistakes In Email Marketing = Impromptu Grammar Lesson

You’re a senior living organization trying to fill upscale independent living apartments in a suburban area. Most of your prospective residents are highly educated professionals, including former college professors and retired physicians.

You have a solid list of contacts for various leads and send out regular promotional emails, newsletters and direct mail print pieces. You didn’t realize there have been occasional errors in your marketing … until a former English professor, one of your leads, reaches out to you directly to point out that he’s seen several grammar errors in his email inbox.

He suggests you take a second look at your emails before you hit send. If the errors were enough to spur this professor to bring them to your attention, you can be sure other similar leads have noticed as well. Perhaps some of them have even opted out of receiving your emails.

See Our Senior Living Marketing Offerings >>

High Quality and Error-Free Copy at Marketing Essentials

At Marketing Essentials, we make sure that every bit of work we do for our clients is high quality and error-free. That’s why every project is carefully vetted through a multiple-step review process.

All copy produced at Marketing Essentials is double-checked by at least two or three people before it’s delivered to the client. We even have a dedicated Content Editor whose primary role is to proofread and edit copy for projects with a high level of investment, such as website launches and redesigns, whitepapers and other print materials.

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