There was an interesting report on the BBC website a few weeks ago that backed up what I’ve been saying for ages – typos and spelling errors really can cost you money, and using a proofreader can increase your sales.
Online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe wanted see if spelling errors had any effect on website sales. He monitored the revenue on an e-commerce website that had a spelling mistake and compared it with the same time period after the error was corrected – and found that sales doubled once the site was typo-free.
The fact is that while many people were oblivious to the error, many more would have spotted it and felt unsure about whether the site was safe to use. After all, if the company’s approach to their website is so slapdash, who’s to say they will be any better handling money, or sending out orders?
As a proofreader I’m never really off duty (much to the horror of my children!) and I spot spelling mistakes wherever I go. I’ve just returned from a holiday in Cromer and during the annual carnival I was handed a flyer for a festival happening next month. In big bold yellow lettering on a red background, the flyer proclaimed: “Tickets only £25. When their gone, their gone!” OK, so perhaps that error won’t stop too many people going along to the event, but I find it hard to believe that nobody noticed the incorrect spelling during the design process. Someone must have drafted the text and had that flyer designed, printed and distributed – but they never thought to proofread it? Unbelievable!
I’m going to be streamlining some of my services over the next few months, and I am keen to work with web designers, copywriters, creatives and printers who need an extra pair of eyes to check the material they produce. Accuracy and attention to detail really do matter, and if mistakes go unchecked, it will cost your business money. Conversely, as Charles Duncombe demonstrated, the small expense of using a proofreader can increase your sales. If only the organisers of that festival had contacted me, I might have made them a few more ticket sales!