The Importance of Grammar in Business Communication


Photo credit: Caleb Roenigk

We’ve all received that heart-stopping email message. You know, the one that looks as if it’s from PayPal, iTunes, or some other important organization we love to rely on.

Its subject line reads, “Your account is about to be suspended.”

Your heart sinks. What will you do without your iTunes account?

Only, when you read the first line of the email, your faith in iTunes/PayPal/whatever is restored because this email couldn’t have been from them because of the error in first line: “You’re account will be suspended if you don’t…”

Well-established companies such as Apple or PayPal do what they can to avoid grammar mistakes like this, and so should your business.

Grammar in Business Communication

Grammar is more important than even your high school English teacher led you to believe.

Proper grammar establishes credibility like the above-mentioned email phishing scam failed to do.

If you send out an email with poor grammar, you appear to be an amateur, not an expert. And when you’re marketing communications are sloppy, prospective and current customers will probably question what other mistakes you’ll make.

Sloppy grammar aside, the real impact of poor grammar is that prospects may not understand what you’re saying to them. If people don’t understand what you’re trying to communicate, they will go somewhere else for the answer.

Why Most of the Grammar Online Sucks

Grammar is often overlooked in business communications. Some businesses even consider hiring on-staff proofreaders an unnecessary expense.

Because it’s not considered important, a lot of digital content is awful and hard to understand.

Fortunately, this makes proper grammar stand out.

You’ll look more credible.
Prospective customers will appreciate your attention to detail.

And proper grammar converts more buyers because the message is clear.

Grammar and Spelling Mistakes Can Be Costly

Even the largest, most successful companies are susceptible to typos and grammatical mistakes.

In this recent example, Disney produced tons of the pin lanyard set for their $19.99 merchandise special. The photo below shows the typo.

I won’t spoil it for you (HINT: it’s in #3). However, this error cost Disney money, as they pulled this lanyard off the shelves, and the set now sells for a few hundred dollars on eBay.

Picture of Disney Pin Trading card

Improve Your Grammar Today

So, now that you know grammar’s important in your marketing message, you should aim for good grammar in all of your business communication. Here are a few tips to help you avoid those small, yet costly, mistakes.

First, read what you write aloud. Often, you catch a lot of errors this way.

Next, learn what constitutes effective communication and good writing.

Specifically, take some time to brush up on your grammar.

If neither option above appeals to you, hire a proofreader or editor to review your marketing materials.


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