We have a short amount of time to make an impression, and if your business card, website or advert is riddled with spelling mistakes it won’t place you in a favourable light.
While some spelling mistakes may be harmless and even amusing, many aren’t. The humble typo can have the power to make us appear less intelligent than we are, may create confusion and, in extreme cases, can cost millions in missed sales and job opportunities.
In fact, a statistic used by entrepreneur Charles Duncombe is that a single spelling mistake on a website can slash online sales in half.
Consider these reasons why spelling really does matter:
Comprehension. Good spelling reduces the chances that your message will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. If you write with intent and proper, correct spelling, the receiver of those words will understand it.
Trust. Most scam emails are littered with spelling errors, which is a good indicator that something isn’t right. What’s more, research shows that as soon as people spot a spelling mistake on a website they’ll leave because they fear it’s fraudulent. You don’t want your writing to give this kind of impression, do you?
Reputation. If you can’t get your spelling right, how will anyone have confidence in you? They may well conclude that if you don’t check your spelling, you’re careless or in a rush, which won’t bode well for your professional credibility, intelligence and reliability.
Distraction. It’s hard to read text when it’s full of spelling errors. Your reader is more likely to become distracted and lose focus on the key messages that you’re trying to convey.
Now, we’re all human and bound to make mistakes on occasion but clearly, we should care about the fundamental importance of good spelling and the role it plays with reputation and, ultimately, your bottom line.
There are a few things you can do to minimise the risk.
- Re-read it, especially if it’s a quick text or tweet.
- If it’s a longer piece of work take a break for at least 30 minutes then revisit your words to double check everything before you send that email or hit the publish button.
- If possible, have someone else read it over your work before it’s published.
- Don’t rely purely on your spellchecker.
- Always try to be as accurate as possible with names and other facts when corresponding with clients, customers and colleagues.
- Read it out loud and repeat as needed.