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e-mail campaign: any tips?
Thread poster: Débora D'Eramo

Débora D'Eramo
United States
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
May 22, 2007

Hi everybody,
I'm about to start with a "massive" e-mail campaign in order to offer my services to different outsources.
I was wondering if you could share with me some tips which help me do it more effectively. For example, should or should I not mention my rates right from the start? Do I send my resume or just attach a link to my profile in proz? That kind of stuff.
Anyway, I'd appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
English to Arabic
+ ...
Short and sweet... May 22, 2007

Put yourself in the place of an outsourcer who receives dozens of applications from freelancers every day. I am sure most of them are not happy to receive - let alone read - tons of CVs every day.

1. Keep the emails concise and to the point, concentrating on the most relevant parts of your resume.
2. Select a meaningful subject line for your email which will attract the outsourcers attention, and which states the languages you work in.

If that captures the outsourcers' interest, they will get back to you and ask for your CV or ask you to fill out an application.

I'm sure you'll get some more useful tips from other colleagues.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2007-05-22 20:48]

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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:56
English to Czech
"carpet bombing" is inefficient by itself ... May 22, 2007

... so no matter how many effective tips you put in this "massive" e-mail campaign the results will be very poor, if any at all.

so let me add to nesrin's points above:

0. research each outsourcer individually (their specific needs, fields, etc.), find the right contact person, and tailor your _personalised_ e-mail accordingly.

good luck!

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
English to Spanish
Agree with Pavel May 22, 2007

I'm not sure what of you mean exactly by "massive"... do you man sending tons of individual e-mails, or sending an e-mail with multiple recipients? In the latter case, your e-mail will most probably end up in the Spam folder.

So, building on what Pavel and Nesrin said:

- E-mail each outsourcer/potential client individually. If possible, find out the name of the person in charge of recruiting translators and mail them directly.

- Find out as much as you can about the agency you're contacting. Some of them cater only to specific markets and, if you unknowingly e-mail an agency that works in Biotechnology only and you have no experience nor interest in the field, it will be a waste of their and your time and shows that you didn't even bother to do minimun research.

- If their website explicitly states "we are not currently looking for translators", respect that. Do not e-mail them anyway "just in case".

- Regarding rates, I don't instantly mention them. If they are interested and contact me back, I enter that stage, but do not know what is the opinion of more experienced colleagues on this particular subject.

- Be prepared: being from Argentina (as it happens to me because I'm in Chile), you will most probably be offered rock bottom rates several times... it's up to you to decide whether to accept them or not, but bear in mind that said assignments will probably be priced at 4 times that rate for the end client.

- Do not send your attached CV unless it is explicitly stated in their website that they wish you to do so. It is highly likely that mails containing unrequested attachments from an unknown sender (unknown to them, I mean) will be automatically marked as Spam. Stick to what Nesrin said and outline your strong points in the e-mail's body. If they are interested, they will contact you back.

- I strongly suggest that you include a standard professional signature to all your (business) outgoing mail, which should ideally include: your name / your occupation / phone number / Skype or other IM software / Proz profile and/or website

Mine is:
Andrea Riffo
Professional English > Spanish Translator
Phone: blablabla
Skype ID: blablablabla
Website: blablabla

Hope those tips help. The last one is, don't despair; you will probably receive very few -if any- answers at first, but I have been recently contacted by agencies I e-mailed 8+ months ago...

Good luck!

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Rather register May 23, 2007

I discard automatically all email from non-solicited persons. If I need a freelancer I post a job.
Nobody has the time to put your data into any data-base. You have to do it yourself. Most agencies offer online registration, where you do the work yourself.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two issues May 23, 2007

Débora Costa de D'Eramo wrote:
I'm about to start with a "massive" e-mail campaign in order to offer my services to different outsources.

1. Make sure you comply with your country's laws. For example, in my country, spam is legal, as long as certain records are kept, certain information is included in the spam, and certain actions are guaranteed by the spammer. Other countries have other laws.

And even if your country is a spam-friendly country, it may be that your internet service provider's terms of usage policy prohibits it.

And even if your ISP permits it, it may be that your domain gets added to some or other blacklist. So be prepared.

2. What if your campaign is hugely successful... will you be able to handle all that work? Probably not, and you'll have to say "no" to many people to whom you've advertised your services. Those people are lost to you forever, because you can't really expect them to respond positively to another spam round.

Sending your details to several agencies, is a different thing, though. Those agencies collect such information as a matter of course. If you send your details to a potential non-agency client once a month, he'd get annoyed. If you do the same to a potential agency client, odds are they will not get annoyed, because gathering that very information is part of their business.

For example, should or should I not mention my rates right from the start?

If you send it to agencies, I favour an approach that includes as much relevant information as possible. The ideal situation is that the recipient can add your information to his database without having to contact you again to clarify any issues. So think about what information an agency would need most, and list those in the e-mail, in a way that the recipient will quickly recognise (a bullet list perhaps).

If your language combination is very common or very uncommon, it may be better to ensure that each e-mail you send is customised for the requirements of the particular agency, because if your mail isn't the highlight of they day in some other way, they'll delete it. People will still delete mails that have been customised per client, but you'll "catch" more clients that may be interested in your specific offering.

Do I send my resume or just attach a link to my profile in proz?

I would not send attachments if not specifically requested. And I would not paste my résumé in the e-mail either, because that would increase the length of the e-mail and it may cause the e-mail to look disorganised and difficult to read on the client's side (even if you use nice fonts).

I always include a link to my web site (not my Proz profile, though), and I specifically mention that I can send my résumé or that they can download it from my web site. On my web site, the résumé download link is prominently on the front page of it.

But... I say again, customise your posts according to what agencies want to receive. Visit each agency's web site and check what they require. Some of them want you to attach a résumé, and some don't. Some of them have webforms that you must fill in, and an e-mail to them will be ignored. Some of them have different addresses for freelancers and for end-clients, so make sure you don't send your mail to the wrong person.

Another thing I do, is to see if the procurement officer's name is on the web site, so that I can address the e-mail personally to him/her. Even if he's not the one opening it, the e-mail may get a millisecond more attention because it addresses the relevant person and not just Sir/Madam. I have no idea how effective this is, though. Just make your use of the name is 'natural' and that it doesn't sound/look like it was harvested.

Other things you can get from an agency's web site, are any bits of details that you can use to make your e-mail more relevant to them. I also mention my time zone in the e-mail, as well as how many hours I am ahead/behind the client.

[Edited at 2007-05-23 06:22]

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Madeleine van Zanten
Local time: 21:56
French to English
+ ...
try direct snail mail May 23, 2007

a direct snail mail campaign with a nice little brochure is more expensive but also more effective, I get each time several new customers with it. Also, email campaigns risk to have you qualified as a spammer depending on your provider.

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Débora D'Eramo
United States
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
Thank you all for your ideas... May 23, 2007

Let me clarify, though, that with "massive" I meant "intensive". Your tips will surely be of help to me.
Thanks again!
Have a nice day,

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emanuela sias
Local time: 21:56
English to Italian
rephrase your website May 23, 2007

this is crucial, in order to be better found by search engines. make sure that the key words are visibile and clear and that they are on your homepage. have a trial with any other service... check who is first with Google... and see why

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