Your English-language website is a magnet. But does it attract or repel your clients?
If the English copy was not created by a writing expert or an English native speaker, then it will almost certainly drive your potential customers away.
- There will be language errors – typos, grammatical slips, punctuation bloopers, gauche phrases, words that rub awkwardly against each other (“Italy – maybe you dreaming about”, as a former Minister for Tourism unmemorably said…). And everyone knows that bad writing turns off potential buyers. For they naturally assume that it reflects the quality of your products and services and your way of doing business.
- It won’t persuade – to get your target customers to take that vital next step in your sales funnel, you need to be convincing and engaging. That demands sophisticated language skills that are beyond any non-native speaker (that’s why I don’t write my Italian posts on my own). Psychological insight, wordplay, rhythmical and musical use of language, knowing what sounds good and what doesn’t – they’re all vital factors. Ignore them at your peril.
- It won’t have the right keywords – you’ve slaved over a hot computer to find the keywords that your Italian customers search for most. Well, finding the best English keywords takes more than just looking the Italian ones up in a dictionary. Fail to choose wisely, and English speakers simply won’t know you exist. Opportunity lost.
- It won’t be localized – English readers expect a different tone. So if you address them in the same way you approach your Italian customers, your words won’t work. Start a direct mailing with “Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to present to you our company’s offering”, and your reader will probably bin it there and then. You need someone with the ingrained cultural knowledge to localize your copy properly to make it effective, to make it resonate with the people that you’re trying to reach.
27% of internet users have English as their first language (compared to less than 2% for Italian). If you’re trying to sell a high-quality product or service to them, an essential ingredient in your marketing mix is incisive, effective English copywriting.
It can turn your website into a real client attractor.