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Contacting agencies by e-mail vs. filling out online forms
Thread poster: Ron Stelter
Ron Stelter  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:54
Partial member (2003)
German to English
Aug 9, 2003

I would appreciate some feedback about how other translators achieve effective results in obtaining new clients. Many people, myself included, have purchased a list like Transmail and e-mailed a cover letter to a large number of agencies. I've wondered sometimes if it would be better to search the web site and fill out an online form if available. Which is most effective and why? I guess I always assumed that agencies would write you back (as many do) and tell you to fill out the online form or attachment if that's what they want. But I'm come to wonder if agencies just assume you should know they prefer this and just delete any unsolicited cover letter application.

I would appreciate your suggestions, particularly as many of you are also agency owners. What is best? What is preferred?


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:24
English to Tamil
+ ...
Your uneasiness is well founded Aug 10, 2003

In my more than 25 years of translation activity, I have used different methods of writing to prospective clients. Of them the best bet is with the the letter sent to a potential client by snailmail. Address a nicely written presentation to the chief executive of the recipient company.

Emails have a tendency of being deleted at the whim of a keystroke. The next best bet will be using the online forms in the client's website. At least these submissions do not come under unsolicited mail.
If you have to send email do so individually and never a group despatch to many people simultaneously.

Wishing you all the best

Raghvan

Ron Stelter wrote:

I would appreciate some feedback about how other translators achieve effective results in obtaining new clients. Many people, myself included, have purchased a list like Transmail and e-mailed a cover letter to a large number of agencies. I've wondered sometimes if it would be better to search the web site and fill out an online form if available. Which is most effective and why? I guess I always assumed that agencies would write you back (as many do) and tell you to fill out the online form or attachment if that's what they want. But I'm come to wonder if agencies just assume you should know they prefer this and just delete any unsolicited cover letter application.

I would appreciate your suggestions, particularly as many of you are also agency owners. What is best? What is preferred?


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TTilch  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:54
English to German
+ ...
Better fill out forms Aug 10, 2003

Dear Ron,

Ron Stelter wrote:

Many people, myself included, have purchased a list like Transmail and e-mailed a cover letter to a large number of agencies. I've wondered sometimes if it would be better to search the web site and fill out an online form if available.


I think that it is probably better to fill out forms than just sending out mass e-mails. Put yourself into the position of the agency and imagine receiving up to 20 application mails per day - it is very likely that they will feed flooded with mails they didn't ask for, especially if the senders did not bother at all to find out if they do any translations e.g. from Thai into Vietnamese or in the subject area you can offer. Better check out websites, find out whether you fit their profile with regard to languages and subject areas and provide the information they want from you.

Best regards,

Tanja


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Jeremy Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:54
French to English
+ ...
Follow their instructions Aug 10, 2003

Hi,

I am about to embark on the life of a freelance translator, so as somebody without experience of searching for clients, I may not be the highest qualified to respond to your questions.

However, my research and common sense tells me that if there is an online form on the agency's website, it's there for a purpose. I've built myself up a database of 1000+ agencies (believe me, you don't want to know how long this took), swiftly browsing through each website to look for application instructions. Many agencies request that you use their online form, many others stipulate a résumé via e-mail. A lot of them also stipulate that if you don't follow their application instructions to the letter, your application will be filed in the bin. So basically, it's worth taking the time out to glance at the agency's website.


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Yubing YANG
English to Chinese
+ ...
Follow suggestion Aug 11, 2003



[Edited at 2003-08-11 18:36]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:54
German to English
+ ...
E-mail or snail mail Aug 11, 2003

I have had good luck with e-mails, but only to companies that I have carefully researched to ensure that I would be a match.
I have had no responses at all from filling in forms on Web sites - except periodic requests to update my information.


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