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Find a mistake, win a prize

tabletAfter many years of using an iPhone, I recently added an Android-based tablet to my technology suite. Much to my surprise, one of the first things I noticed on the screen was a typo — instead of “Touch to launch,” the instruction says “Touch to lunch.”

It’s a little error, to be sure, but what it implies is big. If there are errors in the interface, are there errors in the software? Is my data safe? Can I trust this company?

The same questions apply to your organization’s website. Does it have small errors, broken links, or out of date information? These small mistakes may be eroding visitors’ confidence in you.

Your best line of defense

Websites can be large and cumbersome, so going back and checking every page is a lot of work. Your best line of defense is the members of your organization — make sure that when they see an error, they know who to contact, and they take steps to get it fixed.

Here’s a creative solution to encourage members of your organization to catch and report mistakes: Offer fun incentives. For every five typos submitted in an email, give the finder a gourmet chocolate bar. Or run a contest, with a prize for the person who catches the most errors. Your website will be flawless, especially if chocolate is the incentive.

Margaret Meps Schulte helps nonprofits and small businesses communicate effectively on the web, in print, and in the media. She is the principal at 3 Choices Creative Communications.