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Poor spelling and grammar are costing firms sales

A new study commissioned by Royal Mail tlls the bad grammar, spelling mistakes and poor design have caused about £41 Billion worth of lost sales! Spelling mistakes and poor grammar will lose you sales even if you have a great offer. A mailshot, promotional flyer or even web copy with mistakes can deter customers. 74% of people said mistakes and bad design did not instill trust the business is legitimate, or professional, 30% said they would never buy anything from such a store. 26% declined to buy a product if their own name was spelled incorrectly.

Sales copy is needed regardless of the business you are in. Eventually you will need to write something people will see in order to sell your product, even if it's a short description on a label. If you can't get your own product description right how can you possibly get the product right? Business cards use sales copy, and if you have 2000 cards printed up with Brain instead or Brian, especially if it is your own name, it won't look good. Sure people may get a giggle out of it, but that won't make them buy.

Practical tips on writing effective sales copy:
  • Short snappy headline that sums up the product or product feature.
  • Good, short press releases, around 300-400wds in short paragraphs.
  • The hook should be in the first paragraph, nobody cares how long it takes to make one yet, and they never will if you don't grab attention immediately. Cover the five W's who, what, when, where, and why. Keep it to no more than 40 wds.
  • If you are writing for online reading make it scannable, this means short sections with bold headline with the theme of the section. Someone might just want to skip to a certain section and not read the whole thing. Internet readers scan a page and pick up on what subject or picture takes their eye. So break it up.
  • Give further information in links they can click through to should they wish. Large amounts of information on one page means scrolling down which can turn off consumers as well.
  • Information needs to be clear, tight, and informative. Think of a web page as brochure of flyer, it you printed it out with copious amounts of writing would you want to sit and read it?
  • Have an angle for news releases where possible, a seasonal celebration, an end of year clearance sale, a company birthday.
  • If sending to a publication make sure appropriates dates are on it. If they don't use it right away it might not be valid when they do. On the other hand, if it is an open ended promotion don't put specific dates e.g.
  • DON'T forget contact information, and yes, it does happen.
  • Spell check, grammar check, proofread, and then get it proofed by at least two other people. Electronic spellcheck will not pick up a difference with some thing if it should be something, there/their.
  • Keep sentences short. read aloud and see that it makes sense, and that the flow is natural.
Tips for writing a press release or marketing mailshot PR Web.
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