Mistakes are as prevalent as the common cold.
Typos and mistakes in copy are spreading as fast as the common cold.
One business marketing expert says she's seeing an unprecedented number of mistakes, particularly in business e-mail that often doesn't go through the same rigorous proofing that applies to other marketing communication.
Experts say they're seeing mistakes in headlines and subject lines that make savvy companies look sloppy. To avoid these errors:
- Develop a proofreading checklist.
Sometimes the most crucial information like the date of a briefing for customers is omitted. So prepare a checklist of everything that needs to be included. Is the address right? Is everyone's name spelled correctly?
- Look for mistakes in headlines and subject lines.
The most difficult errors to spot are often the most obvious the ones in big headlines or subject lines that prospects often see first. One way to avoid these mistakes: Proofread all the headlines and other headings, then go back and read the rest.
- Pretend you're the prospect.
Next, read your piece as if you were a prospect. Try to respond using the info provided. Are the instructions clear? If you require prospects to complete a survey, do it yourself.
- Look at it in a new light.
It's amazing how a change in scenery can reveal mistakes. Try to read copy away from your desk. Some companies have "quiet rooms," without computers or phones, where people can read without distractions.
- Use a ruler.
Most people these days are skim readers, but that means we skip words. Professional proofers force themselves to read every word these ways: Some put a ruler under every line, others read the copy out loud and some read sentences from right to left.
Reprinted with permission from
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