Thursday, November 13, 2008

Umm, You forgot a comma...

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I receive an email that has blatant grammatical errors and has utilized the English language in a manner unacceptable even of 12 year old. It really is too easy to proof read an email before sending it, running it through spell and grammar check or even asking a buddy to proof it for coherence. What makes sense to you does not always make sense to the consuming population. Further, the improper use of the apostrophe drives me crazy. I am not an English major and do not try to impersonate one, but seriously Consumers is plural and Consumer’s implies possession. However, this will have to wait for another discussion.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one who feels this way. In a study or review of over 70,000 emails, formatting errors took the number one slot. Mistakes such as bad URLs, bad links and placing two @ symbols in the sender’s address bring discredit upon the originating company / brand. Consumers stand to get annoyed rather quickly when they click on a link and are routed to a “404 page not found.” Simply checking the workability of those links would save the guilty company much embarrassment. Perhaps even worse than formatting errors is when a company publishes wrong or inaccurate information and has to issue a correction. Not only does this make the company lose credibility, but creates more work, thus costing the company more, thus making for unhappy CEOs and other heads of corporations.

So, last on my soap box here perhaps happens deals more in the professional realm of sending emails, but if you intend on attaching something then make sure it gets attached. I have done this and have been so embarrassed. I mean, I looked unprofessional as I sent out a second email stating, “forgot the attachment.” In fact, a business that shall remain unnamed has done this to me several times. It’s a running club that sends monthly schedules of group runs, training and race information. On several occasions, the emails have come with no attachment with the inevitable second email arriving a few minutes and on a few occasion a few days later. Now, that’s unprofessional.

Now, that I have said my piece, I want to know what irks you. What email practices have you found to be unbefitting of a strong brand?

Deleted email image (n.d.) Retrieved November 15, 2008 from

McCloskey, B. (2004, June 3). Email worst practices: a must read primer on bad email practices. Email Insider: MediaPost.

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