Even with a killer list and great creative, your direct marketing doesn’t stand a chance if its it’s riddled with more glaring grammar errors then than you’re your kid’s 2nd grade English lesson. Grammar errors effect affect your credibility, which is bad for integrated marketers’ brands…and their bottom lines, too. Here are four common snafus and their easy fixes.
- Random Quotation Marks “Around” a Word. See what just happened there? Quotation marks should be used to indicate a quote, or convey irony, inauthenticity, or slang. Take a look at how unintentionally hilarious misused quotation marks can be.
The fix: only use quotation marks when you are actually quoting speech.
- Run-On Sentences. You, as an integrated marketer, probably have a lot to say: so much so that, as a seasoned professional—who wants to get more bang for the buck—you may find yourself writing sentences that go on for as long as paragraph. STOP. Simple is better and long sentences fatigue your readers’ eyes.
The fix: Break long, complex sentences down. Usually, you can break one longer sentence in two by simply replacing semi-colons (;) or em dashes (–) with periods.
- Overreliance on Spellcheck. Spellcheck is essential, but it won’t catch common errors, like improper use of its/it’s or there/their/they’re; it can’t save you from autocorrect fails; and spellcheck won’t know if you transpose a number or miss a decimal on a price.
The fix: get another set of eyes on your project.
- Random Capitalization. Even though Many People do it, random Capitalization is Not a thing. At least, not a thing that is appropriate for business and marketing communications. Capitalization is used at the beginning of a sentence or to indicate a proper noun/name, or title—e.g., it would be Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion, but if you’re not talking about a specific brand name or product, it’s “our lotion” not “our Lotion.”
The fix: Get a subscription to the AP Stylebook for as little as $25 a year. It’s the go-to resource for grammar, punctuation and usage issues, including correct capitalization.
Make Your Direct Marketing Efforts Air-Tight
Now that you know how to say it, integrated marketers should think about what you’re saying to your customers, when and how. Read more articles on direct marketing best practices.