email marketing best practices

How to Kill an Email Marketing Campaign: Typos and Grammatical Errors

We talk a lot about killer content, well, making your email marketing campaign killer. But while uninteresting, generic, too-long or too-technical content can hurt your email campaign, there’s nothing that will kill your email marketing campaign faster than an email with spelling errors.

I’ve always suspected that typos, spelling errors, and to a lesser degree, punctuation and grammatical errors hurt the sender’s reputation, and ultimately, the bottom line. A single error in an email looks sloppy and unprofessional, and can even be a red flag to ISPs that the email might be spam. But the ramifications of a typo can indeed be worse than making a bad impression to your subscribers.

In a recent study conducted across the pond and reported via BBC news, “an analysis of [sales] figures (from an online retail website) shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half… Sales figures suggest that  misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility.”

The decreased sales figures are unquestionably attributable to shoppers wary of fraud. When a consumer is wary of fraud or phishing efforts, as they are when glancing through their emails, misspellings could be a make-or-break issue.

Although this UK study was conducted on the effect of misspellings on a retail website, the results have even greater impact on email marketing campaigns. Typos in emails are widely associated with phishers and spammers. If your subscribers believe an email may be fraudulent, or even if they are unimpressed by seeing unprofessional errors and typos, they will report those emails as spam, which teaches the ISPs to start blocking emails from those senders. This equals a plummeting sender reputation, and before you can say “oops!”  there goes your email deliverability.

It’s simply part of your email best practices toolbox to proofread, edit, and proofread again. Make sure that any copy destined for your email campaigns is spell-checked and proofread by at least two or three pairs of eyes. You don’t want to kill your killer content with a simple typo. Moreover, your email deliverability rates and ultimately, your bottom line, will thank you.

Published On: September 9th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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