How Improper Use of Language In Your Sales Copy Can Hurt Your Bottom line

It isn’t, perhaps, entirely fair, but it is a fact of human nature that a person’s ability with language is the first thing that others will use, even subconsciously, to judge someone else’s intelligence. You could be a world renowned, Nobel prize winning, particle physicist, holding multiple PhDs, and if you use very poor grammar, when first meeting someone, their initial impression will be that you are a person of limited intellect. And, first impressions are important! That’s just the way it is.

This is why the use of proper grammar and good spelling is of immense importance when writing your sales copy. When a potential customer is reading your copy they are forming an opinion of the person supplying the product that the copy is selling. If your grammar and spelling are poor, the image they form is going to be of a person of meager intelligence. And, if they think you’re not intelligent, they aren’t going to trust what you have to say.

If you happened upon a web page that was selling a product which had to do with how to make money with some sort of business system, would you be more likely to buy from the first, or second example:

“Our preliminary research has shown that a full seventy percent of people who followed through with this system were able to achieve dramatic results within their first six weeks.”

Or, this example:

“ok like we cheked it out and like a hole bunch of peeple ar making some real good cash with this really pretty fast so you should buy it cuz it works!!!!”

If I told you that the above two examples were written by two different people, which of them would you honestly guess was the more intelligent of the two? The person who wrote the first example, or the second?

Now, try to picture in your mind, if you haven’t already, what the person who wrote the first example looks like. Now, try to picture the person who wrote the second example.

If you met each of them in person, which of the two would you be more likely to buy from?

Even though you’ve never met either person, and you really have no idea what sort of person either of them actually is. You’ve still formed an opinion of them. Just based on a few short lines of written text, you’ve conjured up a preliminary opinion of what both people are likely to be like in real life. You might even have a sense of their age, gender, style of clothing, etc.,

Did you picture the first speaker in a shirt and tie? Perhaps a clean-cut, professional looking man in his mid to late thirties? Did you picture the second speaker as an adolescent? Perhaps wearing jeans and a t-shirt? Most people get an image similar to these from the above examples.

Just a few words of written text can cause a reader to form very strong and lasting associations!

Proper grammar and spelling is important! Without it, your customers will form a negative impression and it will hurt sales. So, always proof read your copy! Check and re-check. Use your spell-checker! You don’t have to come off sounding like an English scholar – in fact, your copy should be somewhat informal in order to make it seem more personal. It should appear more as speech than formal writing. But, you want to make sure that it isn’t so loose and informal that it carries an impression of limited intellect.

I commonly see ad copy, all over the internet, written with atrocious grammar and terrible spelling. And, it makes me wince every time I see it when I think about the sales that are being lost. Recently, I saw this as an opening headline in an actual sales page for a product:

“If You Have Never Made Even A Single Penny On Internet, Then By Following My Step-by-Step Program, You Can Have Your First $50 In Next 30 Minutes. …That’s all my system can give you!!”

Do you see the problems? It’s an example of very poor English. Not to mention that the writer even seemed to point out a limitation to his system, apparently as a selling feature!

I believe the writer’s intent was to say something more along the lines of:

“Even If You Have Never Made Even A Single Penny On The Internet, By Following My Step-by-Step Program, You Can make Your First $50 In The Next 30 Minutes! …My system can give you all of that!!”

The writer then goes one to write:
“Warning: Before you start knowing basics of my system. I want following kind of people to CLOSE this page immediately!!!”

Again, atrocious!

Ok, I suspect you’re thinking that whomever wrote the above was likely¬†not a native speaker of the English language. I suspect the same thing. And, as such, he or she can hardly be blamed for their poor use of language. I’m sure they can read and write English much better than I can read or write their native language. But, that matters little. He, or she, is still attempting to sell a product to English speaking people. And, with English like that, I’ll guarantee they’re losing sales. So, if you happen to be a non-native speaker of English, it’s essential that you get someone who is to proof read your copy before you publish!

There’s also another reason why basic rules of grammar are important to follow: The rules of grammar are rules for a reason! By observing those rules, your true meaning will most precisely come across in your writing. If your grammar is poor, it runs the risk of also being confusing. And, the last thing you want to do is to leave your customers confused as to why they should give you money for a product!

More examples taken from the same sales page:

“This is not MLM, as you need to have huge downline for this.”

This statement is confusing! The statement seems to be saying that you do indeed need to have a huge down-line for the system that the writer is attempting to sell to you. This, of course, can turn off customers. Everyone has had problem with trying to grow substantial down-lines in the past. Who’s going to fork over their hard earned dollars for a system that requires them to have a “huge” down-line? The statement is confusing because the use of language is poor.

Another example:

“you don’t have to invest use the system right now and have cash in 15 minutes!!”

I don’t have to have cash in fifteen minutes? How long will it take before I have to have cash? How long does it take to buy this thing anyway? And, what exactly does “invest use” mean? “Invest use” is an unfamiliar term to me. This system might be too complicated for me. I don’t think I’ll buy.

And, one more example:

“I HATE selling and i am sure you too.”

Whoah! He’s sure he hates me too? Why would I buy something from someone who comes right out and says that he’s sure he hates me?

In all of these examples, confusion arises in the mind of the reader because the use of grammar is poor. If you follow just the most basic rules of grammar it will help to make sure that your real intent is carried through to the reader, and that they don’t take any meaning from what you’ve written except for the meaning you intended them to take.

Again, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Look at this article! My use of grammar throughout this article has been far from perfect. If I submitted this article to an English professor, it would come back covered in red marks! Of course, your writing doesn’t have to be up to the standards of a college English professor. But, you do need to keep your writing clean, and use basic, proper grammar. Ideally, your use of written language should be at least at a passing high-school level.

If it’s rusty, devote some time to brushing up your grammar just a little. Check out a couple of basic grammar books and perhaps a “style manual” from your local library. Or, search the internet for some basic primer courses, and spend just a little bit of time sharpening your skills.

It’s just one small thing you can do to ensure that you ad copy is effective, and you’re not losing sales.


About the author:
Dustin Ward has over twelve years of marketing and product development experience, with almost 10 years of internet marketing experience. He has authored a number of E-Books and has published hundreds of articles. He is currently a featured contributor at: Http://Blog.EarningInternetIncome.Com which features daily insider marketing and money-making tips and a host of valuable resources for anyone who’s interested in earning income from the internet. He is also a featured author at EII E-Books http://ebooks.earninginternetincome.com


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