IBM conducted a study in which they measured the difference in response rates to an unedited and an edited version of a web page. Measured by clicks on the desired links, the edited version drew 30 percent more clicks.
Yes, 30 percent more clicks!
When those clicks represent actions by potential customers, each one has a dollar value, especially in our pay-per-click marketplace. In the IBM case, that value can be attributed directly and solely to the editor.
Read the article at digitalbookworld.com. It gives a historical example of the value of editing, explaining that in early drafts of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson used the word subjects. Perhaps supported by editors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson later changed subjects to citizens. Mathewson suggests that the change may have altered the course of U.S. history.
Editors, I hope you can use IBM's data to support your contribution to your company's bottom line. Perhaps the article will inspire you to measure your own dollar value.
If you have suggestions in support of hard-working editors, please share them.
Note: Mr. Mathewson's article was originally published online at Writing for Digital.