Have you ever watched an ad or seen a billboard and thought to yourself, “who approved that?” You aren’t alone. One misplaced comma or misspelled word can change a message’s meaning and leave your company looking foolish or worse. Here’s a look at three common copywriting mistakes all business owners should avoid:
1.) Neglecting the use of commas. I like cooking my family and pets. The previous sentence could use a few commas, right? Commas, or the lack thereof, can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Check and double check all ads, press releases, and emails for punctuation errors. Doing so can avoid embarrassment or angry customers.
2.) Spontaneous capitalization or jumping between title and Sentence Case. We see a lot of random words being capitalized in advertisements that shouldn’t be capitalized. Remember, only proper nouns should be capitalized in sentences. Also, make sure you pick either title or sentence case and stick to it. If you don’t know the difference, here’s a breakdown:
Title Case: You capitalize the first letter of the sentence, the first letter of any “major” words and all words with four letters or more.
Sentence case: Sentence case is the standard format for most communications. With this method, only the first letter of the sentence is capitalized (along with any proper nouns).
3.) Not spell checking. We don’t just mean using spell check in Word. Make sure you have multiple rounds of edits and someone who isn’t involved in the project looking your advertising and communications over. As a rule of thumb, you’ll never find all of your own mistakes. Also, if you are familiar with what the person is trying to say, you can often fill in words in your head which is why it’s important to have a new set of eyes look at things.
We’ve all made copywriting errors from time-to-time, but it’s important to crack down on them as much as possible. One misspelled word or misplaced punctuation mark has the power to damage your businesses’ reputation. Check, check, and check again!