Why You Shouldn’t Proofread Your Company Ecard

It’s easy to make a misstake.

Yes, we did that on purpose.

Over our busy festive period, we got quite a few emails from customers who, once they’d purchased their company Christmas ecard, realised that they made a bit of a boo-boo – missing an apostrophe here, a letter there and so on.

“No problem,” we said and helped them re-create and send their e-greeting again.

Luckily, in these cases, the corporate ecards were sent as links or scheduled for to be delivered at a future time and date, so no harm was done.

But what if they hadn’t? How can these errors be avoided?

When you’re the charged with the task of creating and sending out your next company mail-out it’s often hard to see the wood for the trees when it comes to those pesky typos, grammatical slip-ups and the like. Proofreading is one of those skills that you can be absolutely brilliant at, until it comes to reading your own work.

Thankfully, Wired magazine  recently confirmed that the reason these mistakes slip through the net is not because we’re careless but, rather, because we care. And they even got a scientist to back it up. With the help of a Psychologist (Tom Stafford from the University of Sheffield) the article, “What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos”, explains:

When you’re writing, you’re trying to convey meaning. It’s a very high level task… When we’re proofreading our own work, we know the meaning we want to convey. Because we expect that meaning to be there, it’s easier for us to miss when parts (or all) of it are absent.

So now we know the science behind it, how do we banish those embarrassing blunders from our business e-cards and email marketing campaigns once and for all? The answer’s quite simple: don’t proofread, get someone else to do it.

A fresh pair of eyes on your copy might sound cliché but can work a treat.

Obviously, we’re not suggesting that you make someone else correct a first draft – but when you think you’re ready to send your email out into the big wide world, don’t. Pass it on to the person sitting next to you instead.