I recently arrived in Germany for a training session an hour earlier than necessary. Why? Because of a simple typing error! No big deal (although an extra hour in bed would have been nice) only an hour, and luckily I was early not late.
This must be happening all the time. With results that could be far more serious than just being early. That’s why it’s so important to proofread your emails before you press the ‘send’ button.
Check you have your spelling right – don’t just rely on spell-check; that won’t find mistakes in numbers, or when to use ‘there’ instead of ‘their’.
Make sure your punctuation is in the right place – apostrophes to indicate a missing letter or letters, commas, full stops and semi-colons. These will change the way your reader understands your correspondence. They also make it more readable. Try saying it out loud to yourself, to make sure it reads the way you want it to sound – you don’t want your reader to get the hump unnecessarily just because of your lack of punctuation.
Your emails should be conversations on paper – just remember though, they’re not that private and can hang around for years. They also represent you and your company in the same way as a formal letter on company headed notepaper. Make sure the judgements your reader makes about you when they read your emails are what you want. You don’t want to put a potential client off just because your writing is poor.
We’re getting used to having to proofread our texts; now make proofreading your business writing a priority – every single time.