Your website and email marketing *will* be read by pedants.

And nothing annoys the pedant more (...beginning a sentence with 'And...' aside...) than obvious and avoidable errors in grammar and spelling, especially if combined with messages that are either out of date and/or totally inappropriate.
Your website and marketing emails may look beautiful, with great images that highlight your products, but you can guarantee that if the words that accompany your stunning images are grammatically inaccurate, misspelled (...now there's a 'can of worms' if ever there was one...), totally out of date or ill thought through, then "those inaccuracies" are all that the more pedantic of your clients and prospects will remember.
Whilst you'll never outwit the pedant there are, however, a few basic principles you can follow to limit the pedant's opportunities to criticise.
The most obvious, yet often overlooked, principle is always to use a spell-checker. Almost all spell-checkers check both spelling and grammar, but remember that you need to tell a spell-checker which version of English/Spanish/Portuguese and so on you want it to check. Leave it in 'default' (which for English usually means American English) and whilst blue may well be the 'favorite color' for your product, every English pedant will now be incandescent!
Somewhat perversely, the next principle is to NEVER trust a spell-checker, alone! You must read through your message; a spell-checker (even if it has been told your text is in UK English) will not know whether you mean "their", "there" or "they're" - all of which are correct as far as the spell-checker is concerned. A machine does not recognise the context, it only knows if the word is correctly spelled and 'fits'.
The third principle is to make sure that your message is appropriate to the time that it is being sent. Obviously, you will not be sending a Valentine's message in March - will you? However, you also need to think about how your message fits within current events - nothing delights the pedant more than receiving a message that is so obviously out-of-touch with reality.
You might have an amazing strap-line, that you have worked on for months, but, if it says... "I'm dreaming of a flight this Christmas" - actually sent by a major European airline to promote a voucher scheme - it's something of a hostage to fortune. This email landed in their customers' inboxes in the third week of December 2010, just as almost all European airspace closed down due to snow!
Or ...
"Just for you - Our best ever holiday offer's to Egypt" (and, on this occasion, let's just ignore the grocer's apostrophe) - featured on the home page of a specialist tour operator in the middle of the uprising that ousted President Mubarak! - you have fallen foul of current events.
Remember "once a pedant, always a pedant" and that pedant might, potentially, be your biggest client!
Peter from ExtraMile Communications Ltd

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