A UK entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe, believes that poor spelling is costing online merchants millions of pounds in lost sales every week.
Mr Duncombe says ‘when you sell or communicate on the internet, 99% of the time it is done by the written word.’ Correct spelling, he says, is critical when it comes to establishing and maintaining a website’s credibility.
I have no idea if his estimate of millions of pounds lost every week is right or wrong. But I’m sure that his basic point is correct: misspelling leads to missed sales.
For most people, one of the things that helps to identify fake websites and dubious emails is poor spelling. Combine this with strange grammar and the alarm bells start ringing loud and clear.
‘Helo dear glorius friend I am Mr Bonjobi.’
Well, you may be Mr Bonjobi (although I have my doubts), but I’m pretty sure that I’m not your dear glorius friend. In fact, I’m almost certain that I am nobody’s ‘glorius friend’. I doubt if I am even a glorius acquaintance. Or a glorius anything else.
But that’s just the obvious tip of the rather disturbing iceberg.
According to people who study such things, online customers are slow to accept and quick to reject. Customers can take several minutes – or even several visits – to decide to do business with you. But they can decide not to do business with you in just five or six seconds.
Creating a good first impression is essential. And anything that gets in the way of creating a good first impression needs to be eliminated.
Maintaining a good impression is also essential. And, again, anything that prevents this needs to be eliminated.
Of all the things that might get in the way, a few misspellings and a bit of poor grammar are probably the simplest and least expensive to fix. And when you’ve spent serious money on everything else – concept, design, build, graphics, and more – it simply doesn’t make sense to skimp on copy editing.
Quality writing and quality editing really does help achieve quality business, both in the short term and in the longer term.
And sorry, Mr Bonjobi, my spam filter has got your number. – Jack Scrivano