We, at WhiteHat Copy, get a lot of email and text blasts that often prompt us to think “They need to hire a writer!” So, we thought of coming up with real-life examples of cues that your text needs professional help.
1. You send out SMS advertisements like this:
Good Day! (Business Name Withheld) offer an DELECTABLE fresh cream cake for only P900 (9 inch diameter, 2.7 inch height, 16 slices). NOW with almost 15 different fresh cream cake flavor to choose from. BUY whole cakes will get BIG rewards with the whole care reward card. We also accept RESERVATION for this coming FATHER’S DAY!. For more information. Please call (###).
This is an example of mobile marketing copy that is painful to read. They sure love their periods! What’s even sadder is the cost of getting this done was probably overpriced, too.
Marketing tip: It’s a text ad so don’t make it the length of a Bible! Your message gets cut off and people lose interest immediately.
2. Your e-newsletter reads:
Look out this Friday for (Business Name Withheld) Friday Fare Frenzy from 11am to 6pm today for seriously reduced fares.
How many times did you read that sentence before you got what it meant? This may not be as bad as the previous one but it’s poorly written and confusing.
3. When you post this on your Facebook Page:
Go Doe’s Rants and Raves: Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy, but gets you nowhere. — Problems piling up? Chill! Everything’s gonna be alright. Better yet, unwind and invigorate yourself by sipping some (Business Name Withheld) Summer Koolers.
This one is just plain annoying.
4. Or you tweet this:
“Hi! Should your flight gets cancelled, you would be informed via SMS, email and a phone call 3 hours before your flight. Thank you.”
Could have been a typographical error, but then we saw this:
“Hi! Your flight is on schedule. Should your flight gets cancelled, you will be notified 3 hours before your flight. Thank you.”
Most people believe hiring a writer is an expense they can’t afford but what they don’t realize is awfully written collateral is damaging their brand or their objective — and that’s one cost they simply cannot bear.
Now, if you still subscribe to the notion that grammar and punctuation are just excesses, you need to rethink your goals. In today’s connected world, companies should understand that the Internet is a great leveler and your material has the potential to tap into new audiences and opportunities. With professional copy, you take advantage of the exposure and present yourself as the better alternative.