A fair warning: I am a grammar nerd. (Well, grammar, punctuation and proper English, to be exact.) I don’t use text messaging shorthand; I always properly capitalize and punctuate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media posts; and I will correct your error if you use a homonym in its wrong form in a Skype message.
I’m a dying breed. As Brianne noted in a post this summer, “modern technology has all but ruined good grammar.” Some linguistics experts even insist there is no such thing as “proper” English, instead deeming grammar to be a “matter of fashion.”
Okay, so it’s not the end of the world if my Facebook friend constantly uses “lay” when she means “lie.” (Honestly, that one still confuses me.) Even Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty says informal status updates are acceptable, comparing them to notes people quickly jot down and leave for family members.
But that doesn’t mean grammar errors are permissible in lead nurturing. In fact, punctuation and grammar errors are downright unforgivable in lead nurturing. Here’s why:
They’re Disrespectful of Your Audience
Lead nurturing, a component of inbound marketing, is simple: Consumers who are tired of traditional, invasive forms of marketing opt-in to receive content they actually want. They eliminate all of the difficult audience segmentation and media buying work by coming to you.
This may just be the grammar nerd in me, but I get pretty peeved when I receive an email or document from a coworker or client who clearly didn’t proofread. To me, it’s a sign that the sender doesn’t respect my time (or just thinks I sit around twiddling my thumbs all day, waiting for his or her response). Lead nurturing emails with grammar or punctuation mistakes are the same. You don’t want your potential customers thinking you haphazardly dashed off some communication as an afterthought. You want them to know that you respect their time and would respect them even more as a customer.
They Shatter Credibility
We’re first taught basic grammar in elementary school, proficient grammar is expected by the time we reach high school and it should be commonplace throughout college and thereafter. When potential customers receive lead nurturing emails littered with grammar or punctuation mistakes, they begin to wonder if the people behind the emails are the type they really want to do business with.
Until you’re able to get potential customers to reach out and contact a sales rep, your company’s lead nurturing emails are your only form of contact. They’re a prediction of your company’s professionalism, so they need to be flawless.
They’re Downright Sloppy
For many companies today, a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) lead nurturing email is their first form of contact with potential customers. With the exception of customers who choose to reach out to a company sales rep early in the lead nurturing process, there is no human interaction for three, four, or maybe even five emails.
Therefore, you can think of a TOFU email as your first sales meeting with potential buyers. Your company’s sales rep would never attend a first meeting or any meeting in his sloppy weekend sweatpants. But sending TOFU emails with grammar or punctuation mistakes is exactly that. Ensuring your lead nurturing emails and other content are free of errors is dressing for success in inbound marketing.
As you can see, proficient grammar and punctuation are necessary for leading potential customers down the sales funnel. Kuno Creative has a dedicated team of grammar nerds (myself included) ready to create and edit content for your company’s inbound marketing needs. Contact us to discuss your marketing needs today.
Photo Credit: Grammarly
Lisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.