No matter what kind of creative business you run, your written communication is an important part of your overall success. And I don’t just mean a good strategy – I mean good spelling and grammar, too. Yes, I may be biased, but I believe that if you don’t consider your spelling and grammar in your email marketing, you could seriously hinder the rest of your project. There’s one simple reason for that.
Your emails reflect on your professionalism and detail
I don’t mean the occasional mistake here and there (“Occasional” is one word I personally always mess up on the first go). I mean emails littered with spelling errors and grammatical mixups. Imagine you’re the customer and you’re in the market for a unique piece of artwork to hang in your living room. After scouring the internet, you finally find an artist whose work is perfect. You fill out a form on the artist’s website, telling them about the kind of piece you have in mind and why you love their work.
The email you get back from the artist is full of so many spelling mistakes and poorly-constructed sentences that you have to read it twice to understand. How would your opinion of the artist change? How much time will both of you waste trying to understand what’s going on?
I know what you might be thinking, “But nobody expects all creatives to be Shakespeare!” And I agree. To put it another way, which looks more professional to you?
A) Thanks for getting in touch. I’m happy to hear you like my work! The piece you have in mind is something I can definitely do for you. For the size of your space, I’d recommend an 40″x30″ canvas size.
B) Awwww, thx lovely! Not a prolbem and i think 40×30 may be not any bigger!
Yes, some customers would shrug off the second email and perhaps ask for a phone call to talk it out in a clearer way. But I believe that the professional tone of the first email is more appealing to customers*, and makes the whole process easier for them. Your email “voice” should reflect your level of professionalism and attention to detail.
Take your time with every email
Emails and DMs are immediate forms of communication, but take a couple of minutes to review every message before you hit Send. I’ve found that most poorly-constructed messages are a result of the writer rushing through it (and that definitely includes me sometimes!). Make sure that all the client’s questions are answered and your relevant points have been made. Read it out loud to make sure it flows well. Look for obvious errors, but also watch out for spelling mistakes that spell-checker programs might not catch because, technically, they’re not spelled wrong. Examples of these are: they’re/their/there and you’re/your mixups – and my personal favourite: it’s/its. Someone I know reads each word backwards – she says that it helps misspellings jump out at her.
Resist the urge to rely on your phone’s autosuggest and autocorrect features, too. At best, they look sloppy, and at worst, well, they can be incredibly embarrassing! I don’t love sending work messages on my phone, but if I have to do it, I’m extra picky when reading it over.
Nobody’s expecting perfection
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that your business will fail because of a few spelling errors! Everyone a few mistakes, and your client will understand that. And keep in mind I’m not talking about unique phrasing, or one or two spelling mistakes. But the main thing is to take care with your emails, and create a message that won’t be impossible for the reader to get through. It’s one of the most important things you can do to improve your reputation. With a nice clean email, you’ll project an image that’s just as professional as you are!
Of course, I know that spelling and grammar is simply a pain in the butt for some people. If you want help with your email marketing and other writing projects for your creative business, well, that’s my specialty! I take spelling and grammar maybe too seriously – and my clients love that. Send me a message, and let’s talk!
*Does the second email example still look fine to you? If your brand voice is super casual, that’s fine! I’m experienced in creating professional content for my clients that still captures their unique voice – just a bit more polished.