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Bad Grammar Costs More than Money

By Snap Agency April 20, 2016

Part of my job is to make sure things are polished like a new penny for our clients. Along with making sure I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, I’m also charged with the job of making sure they’re in the right spot in the first place. First I’d like everyone to note that this article may come across a bit biased. After all, I am a proofreader by trade. Like a fine cabinetmaker prides themself on perfectly executed dovetail joints, I pride myself on making sure 99% of the copy that leaves Snap’s hatches is grammatically correct (only 99% because, let’s face it, I’m not a robot). But who cares, right? Words shmords! When you dig into grammar, though, knowing how to do it well pays off and not knowing, well, will cost ya.

Snap Agency is a digital agency. While we speak in a slurry of acronyms like SEO and CRO, we actually spend a great deal of time stringing together coherent sentences using long-form words. When we do so, we realize the importance of doing it correctly. Typos, misplaced punctuation and egregious misuse of the English language will not only chip away at your brand, but it’ll cost you credibility and, potentially, business.

How Marketing Errors Lose Money and Clients

While proofreading for grammatical correctness isn’t nearly the focus of efforts within any agency, it is certainly a crucial facet. Think of it like this: Would you hire a roofer who provides the shingles but adheres them with chewing gum instead of nails? No. That would be insane.

That comparison may be a bit extreme, but it is a scenario that runs parallel to paying for digital services that are composed of mostly gibberish. While it may look fantastic, the detail work is shoddy at best. Don’t settle for shoddy. If you want to advance your website or e-commerce business to the next level, don’t invest in something that hasn’t had proper attention paid to it. When you partner with a digital agency, you’re investing in intuitive and alluring design, search engine optimization keywords to draw traffic, paid ads, and copy to inform users and urge them to convert. All of that effort can be vanquished, though, if you have, say, one typo in a prominent spot on your site. One little misspelling could cost you one big client.

This study done by K Creative dug into how people felt about a company when confronted with its sloppy grammar. Some responses included, “Typos and poor grammar are a big red flag for me,” and, “Bad grammar or bad spelling is an indication of carelessness.” Another study conducted by Global Lingo of the U.K. “found that 74 percent of consumers pay attention to correctness of the prose on company websites, and 59 percent of respondents said they would avoid doing business with a company that’s made obvious errors.”

Not only can typos and grammar errors cost you mega bucks in the case of having to redo entire projects—think reprinting entire books or, in Old Navy’s case, T-shirts—but it can cost you business for appearing careless and negligent. No one wants to work with an online consulting service if the button you click to purchase services reads “Stert Now” instead of “Start Now.” I mean, no one wanted to hire Mitt Romney after his campaign’s phone app misspelled “America.” That’s why he lost the presidential race, right?




There are instances where grammar errors are acceptable. For example, I’ve worked with my fair share of clients who have preferred grammar errors purposefully written into their brand guidelines, and the best I can do is grin and bear it while withholding the wrath of my red ballpoint. Other times I may let errors go are if they are socially acceptable. I know, I know. Linguistic purists cringe. I may be contributing to the decline of words, and it may be possible that my softening will contribute to grammatical disasters like the elimination of vowels or only writing in T9. But while I believe in displaying a basic grasp of correct grammar and spelling, I also believe in starting sentences with conjunctions or ending them with prepositions if it doesn’t muck up the clarity of what is being said.


A Sumry of Y U Shud Spel Gud.

Credibility. You’ll maintain your educational and professional credibility if you don’t let typos flock to the front page of your site.

Professionalism. People will think you’re an actual professional taking the time to ensure a job well-done. Terrible spelling and grammar could lead potential clients to think you’re rushed, sloppy or careless—none of which are sexy selling points for new business.

Money. Avoiding typos and grammar errors can save you from reprinting inventory, fixing print ads, or even repairing headlines and copy all over your website.

Search. It’ll be hard for Google to find your company if the name and meta descriptions are misspelled.

Grammar is something you should care about. You don’t have to develop a burning passion for it or craft a shrine to the AP Stylebook hidden in your crawl space or anything, but a wise businessperson should be able to understand the implications of egregious spelling errors.


Not the spelling whiz you once were? Don’t have time for thorough proofreading? Need great copywriting for your site or services? Snap’s wordsmiths are waiting. 


In the end, just don’t look silly like these guys.





Old Navy