Yesterday I received an email with a link to a sales page touting a copywriting product launch. Reading that sales page got me back up on one of my soap boxes.
Now I have no knowledge of the content of this product, good or bad, but I do know one thing – the grammar on the sales page was so poor that I never got past the third paragraph. I spent most of my time reading the headline with morbid fascination. I never really did make sense of it.
The only reason I gave the sales page as much attention as I did was because I am interested in copywriting and like to get as much information on the subject as I can. But I can tell you it would be a cold day in Hell before I would ever consider spending my money with someone who wrote as poorly as this. The actual structuring of the argument in the copy may have been good, I don’t know. I never got engaged enough find out.
Which brings me to my point. If you are selling stuff on the internet, physical or digital, for the forseeable future the biggest market for your products will likely be the English speaking market. If your English skills aren’t at least adequate, you will be leaving money on the table.
That’s not to say that you need to have a degree in composition, lord knows I don’t, but that your writing needs to be at least good enough to communicate effectively. You want to engage your readers, and that is impossible if they have to spend any amount of time trying to figure out what you are saying. Even if they stick around, and they probably won’t, their reading will become less about what you are trying to say and more about the exercise of deciphering.
Facility with the English language is even more vital when it comes to sales copy. Sales pages are by their very nature designed to “suck” people in and drag them down the page. Anything that interrupts this process reduces it’s effectiveness, and stopping to figure out what a word or sentence means is guaranteed to interrupt your potential customer’s journey to the Buy button.
I could go on and on, but it comes down to this. If you are marketing to the English language market and your skills are lacking, don’t ignore it. Even if you are doing OK, you could be doing much better. Trust me. I have seen examples where I am positive that fixing this one thing could have put thousands of dollars in a marketer’s pocket.
Why take all the time and effort required to have a presence on the internet and then waste it? Somehow, some way, find someone who can look over your stuff and make it scan. If you can afford it, pay someone. It’ll be worth it.