You spent a lot of time and money creating a brochure, flyer, website, or blogging initiative.  Yet, you are not not getting a good rate of conversions, that is, the action you want the target markets or constituencies to take.  That might be calling you for a complimentary consultation, ordering your product, redeeming a 15% off coupon for dinner at your restaurant, or contacting their elected officials about a bill proposed in the legislature.

There could be a number of reasons for disappointing results.  One overlooked one is that the tone, organization, and content of the marketing materials undercut your credibility.  Let’s cut to the chase.  Your credibility consists of two entities.  One is evidence that you are competent in your field. The other is that you are to be trusted.

So, how might you be presenting yourself in your marketing communications as less-than-credible?  Here are some practices that could be working against your message and you:

* Bad timing.  Folks are enjoying the last of the lazy days of summer and you are pitching snow removal.  They roll their eyes and resent that you’re intruding on their relaxation.  Get into the head, heart, and mood of the recipient before you create a campaign, including the timing.

* Not citing sources.  If you state that X number of people are obese along the Northeast Corridor and don’t provide the source – for example, the American Medical Association – you come across as sloppy in providing information and/or an amateur.  Always back up your information with a source.  Better yet, provide the link (and check if the link works before pressing “publish.”)

* Too much or too little information.  This is the era of Twitter or short form. Too much makes you appear out of touch.  Since this is also the age of mistrust, too little can position you as not respecting the recipient enough to take the time to tell the whole story.

* Typos, grammatical mistakes, missing words.  Proofreading copy and doing that twice or even three times are prerequisites to maintaining the right image.  If you can’t afford a full-time or contract proofreader on staff, barter for this service.  For instance, the work-at-home proofreader in your condo complex might trade off services for a membership at your gym or discount food-purchasing club.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations for Marketing, Partnerships, Advertising, Public Relations, Social Media, and Special Events, 203-404-4868