Proofreading is so important! How do you want to be perceived? As a professional? An intellectual? As the person everyone in your industry holds as the gold standard?
You can make or break your reputation in the emails you send, the advertisements you create, and the information you put out for the world to see. Yes, I must admit I enjoy seeing the Buzzfeed Autocorrect Fails and the comedy segments that highlight unintentionally hilarious misprints in ads, etc. But imagine being the owner of the ad in the newspaper that the comedian references. I’m sure it was never their intention for it to be presented for everyone to get a good laugh.
In fact, especially in the market you may be advertising in, those things can tarnish your reputation. Family and friends may overlook or forgive errors but in the business world, it is imperative that what you say, especially in print, is what you meant to say. There are so many other issues that may arise with print such as not being able to convey tone or demeanor. But one of the things that is within your control, is your ability to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors and to ensure that autocorrect has not mistakenly changed a word unnecessarily.
Many times email communication may be your first form of contact with someone. And in turn, how they form their first impression of you or your business. Do you really want that person’s first impression to be that you don’t have the ability to spell correctly or that you don’t care enough to proofread? They may then wonder why they should give you their business. A tip to help save time when it comes to proofreading is to utilize canned responses or templates. This way you only have to draft the meat of an email and proofread it once. After that, you can use the canned response. And then personalize the first couple sentences or salutation to the person you are emailing.
Now, in regards to hyperlinks specifically, let’s start with what we know. Each website has an individual web address that it takes you to. There may be a ca.com and a ca.gov but they are two separate websites. So just imagine you send out an email or post a link on that has an error in it. You’re not only directing traffic to the wrong website but you also run the risk of driving traffic to a competitor’s website.
There are companies out there that will buy miss-spelled domain names of their competition’s websites in hopes that someone will type it in incorrectly and will be directed to their own website. A competitor can buy miss-spelled versions of your domain name and direct traffic to their own website but all the consumer on the other side of the computer sees is the competitor’s normal domain name. So, the educated consumer may know what happened. But for others, they may not take a second look and may just buy products or services from your competitor. It is quite simple to prevent this. Copy and paste your hyperlink to prevent errors. And make sure you test your hyperlink before you send the email or make a post on social media.
Just remember what you put out in print does not easily go away. There is often a trail. You are building a reputation. Proofreading is one thing you can control as you put yourself and your reputation on the line. Keep these tips in mind when publishing your next piece, email or website and you should be just fine.