You’ve spent valuable time working with the creative team crafting the perfect message for your mailing or blog post. But when you take a look at the final product, you notice you’re suddenly promoting something to the “pubic” instead of the “public” or the word “not” is missing from the disclaimer and now your business is practically giving away your goods and services. How can you avoid this unfortunate turn of events?
That’s where careful proofreading and editing come in. For consumers, trust and credibility are built on the small things such as good customer service and attention to detail. Nothing ruins credibility faster than a misspelling or an error in an advertisement. Don’t believe me? Just ask any airline that’s accidentally published an incredibly low international fare online and then been forced (or shamed) into honoring it.
So before you hit “post,” “send,” or “print,” here are some helpful things to keep in mind:
- Read the large type. You’d be surprised how many errors appear in gigantic type. It’s the kind of error that makes you wonder, “How’d they miss this?” but they’re surprisingly easy to overlook. The same is true for any words that appear in ALL CAPS.
- Sweat the details. You know that disclaimer you’re including? Make sure it’s including – and excluding – exactly what it needs to; otherwise you could be left with some (expensive) obligations to fulfill. Giving a free trial? Make sure there’s an expiration date. Offering a percentage off? Be sure you’re excluding any items that don’t apply.
- Read it out loud. Sometimes you’ll catch more errors by hearing how a sentence or phrase sounds than if you read it silently to yourself. Did you need to read a sentence more than twice to understand its meaning? Edit it until it makes sense the first time around. Your customers won’t spend the time to parse out your message.
Got any other useful, must-do tips? I’ve got my best reading glasses at the ready.