book cover of Me Talk Pretty One DayA little while ago someone posted an article in a LinkedIn social marketing group saying something to the effect that he could show you how to be successful at online article marketing (producing articles that can get published on different websites to boost your recognition and search engine rankings). The title of the post tweaked my interest enough to get me to click on it, but I wasn’t expecting much. I’d seen too many such claims.

What I got was less than I expected. As I expected, the writer gave very little useful information about article marketing. What made the post less than expected was that it was very badly written, full of spelling and grammatical errors. After reading it my thought was that not only wouldn’t I take article marketing advice from this author, I wouldn’t hire this author to provide any services.

My personal reaction doesn’t seem to be eccentric.

  • A study in the UK found that 59% of Britons wouldn’t use a company with obvious grammatical mistakes on its website or marketing materials.
  • One brand marketer did his own survey of people from various backgrounds and countries asking them whether or not spelling and grammar errors in promotional materials would affect the likelihood of their using, buying, or endorsing a product or service. Almost everyone answered yes.

Good English grammar and spelling is certainly important if you are planning to have your materials translated. Mistakes can make materials ambiguous and even misleading, causing problems for translators and mistakes in translations.

But are other countries with other languages and cultures put off as much by spelling and grammar mistakes? I don’t know of studies, but it’s safe to assume that such mistakes would suggest sloppy business practices in any language. That’s why we advise clients to get translation by professional translators followed by independent proofreading for any materials that are aimed at marketing your products and services to potential customers.