Is Proofreading & Editing Expensive?

The cost of getting it right vs. getting it wrong.
Here’s why we’ll always need editing and proofreading.


Imagine–paying for printing, mailing, etc. only to discover that a single misplaced punctuation mark completely changed the intent of your message! Or an embarrassing spelling error wasn’t caught and makes it to your entire client list! Or your ad reads, “5% off” instead of 50%! A proofreader could have saved you. But more importantly…

Will your clients be hesitant to trust you with their work, time, money–their business–in the future? Will you make enough profit from this campaign to cover the next?

Take the following scenario:

Say you’ve invested $2,500 on your first large-scale marketing campaign. It’s a big risk, but the investment is worth it. You project sales of $6000 or more. Your ad has been written, designed, and printer ready. You click the send button to your printer, who forwards you a final proof and direct mails your postcard, brochure, or other mailing to your entire client base. (To be fair, the printer’s staff performed a quick review and ran spell-check.) It’s time to sit back in your chair and wait for the phone calls to start rolling in.

To your dismay, the first day only nets a few phone calls, but no sales—the same on the second and third days. The trend continues for several days; you do close a few sales, though not as much as you had anticipated. Out of frustration, you grab a postcard and start reading.

You find an embarrassing typo within the ad, plus an incorrect digit in the area code.

How could this happen? You trusted two office staff members to proofread the campaign material in addition to yourself. How did three sets of eyes miss both of these glaring errors?

The sad truth is, it happens all the time. We are all too close to our own work, our own business, our own industry to proofread or edit what we create and send on to our clients, staff, or investors. In fact, even proofreaders need proofreaders—it’s true.

In the end, our company president spends $2500 and earns $2250 in business, resulting in a $250 financial loss. But remember the sales projections? In addition to the $250 loss in funding, tack on $3750 in lost sales revenues for a total loss of a whopping $4000!

What would it have cost to have an outside source review the campaign material? Less than $250? Surely, a worthwhile investment.

Remember, once it’s in print you can’t edit those mistakes—they’re permanent.

If you liked this, you might also like…

Proofreading & Editing: What’s the Difference?

4 Little-Known Proofreading Tricks that Work Every Time

What Everybody Ought to Know About Proofreaders

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4 Responses to Is Proofreading & Editing Expensive?

  1. Kristina Stanley says:

    Thanks for the link to my blog! I love to find sites about proofreading!

  2. Karen says:

    Proofreading is a convenient way to avoid expensive reprinting of materials. If your works are printed error-free then that saves you from a lot of works and hassles. Proofreading is affordable.

    • Precise Proofing says:

      Hi, Karen. Yes, it is certainly less expensive to have your printed copy reviewed up front to avoid those costly reprints…or the embarrassment when an error is produced and makes it into the hands of your customers.

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