Proofreading: Testing, Testing 1,2,3,(4)

So you’ve composed your email, you’re happy with the copy, certain that your grammar is spot on and you’ve cleaned up any rogue commas. Now you’ve just got to press send.

This is a moment that fills even the most seasoned marketers will dread.Nervous

If you’re nervous about hitting send then it’s likely that you’ve not run enough checks. Getting an email send ready should involve an awful lot more than getting a colleague to glance over your work for errors.

In order to make sure that your marketing material reaches your prospects mistake free, you should be following a strict well thought out proofreading process.

Remember that everything that you send out is a reflection of your brand. Spelling and/or grammatical errors can potentially destroy your credibility and professionalism.

Help is at hand:

We’ve devised a 4 step plan for achieving mistake free copy.

If you’ve carry out the below steps thoroughly (and religiously with every piece of correspondence) then it’s extremely unlikely that any mistakes will slip through the net:

Step 1

Copy and paste the text from your email into word. This will catch some of the most common spelling errors. However, under no circumstances should this be your only proof reading effort, spell check programs aren’t always spot on and they can often make some incorrect and inappropriate suggestions.

Step 2

Read your work out loud.  When we read out loud we’re more likely to read each word individually rather than skimming and skipping words and sentences.

You may feel a bit silly doing it at your desk, so why not print it out and find somewhere quiet to recite your composition? This brings me to my next point…proof

Step 3

I read somewhere that the human eye reads onscreen content much faster and less carefully than printed copy, so print your email, grab a coffee and take 5 minutes away from your screen.

Step 4

Once you’ve completed steps 1-3, ask someone else in your organisation to have a read.

I’ve often noticed that when I pass a document onto a colleague to proof, no matter how many times I’ve read it, they spot a rogue ‘a’ or a misplaced comma almost instantly. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes.

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