The magic formula of address to an agency
Thread poster: Iulia Cosma

Iulia Cosma  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:46
English to Romanian
+ ...
Sep 2, 2008

Hello again. I'm trying to figure out how to address an agency I'm interested in, avoiding the "Dear Sir/Madam" formula.
I did e-mail them and asked for a NAME but I haven't received an answer so far and I hate speaking to...a concept instead of a real person.
Suggestions are more than welcome.
Thank you.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
If you're contacting blind without a name... Sep 2, 2008

... you may have no choice but to resort to the "Sir/Madam" or "To whom it may concern" form of address. Sometimes the web sites may yield contact names; perhaps some may be gleaned from old job posts in your language pair.

In the end, though, I think a proper presentation of qualities and qualifications the agency is looking for will matter much more than the salutation you use.

There is an alternative for the long-term: work on optimizing your profile so that the agencies come to you. Then you won't have to worry about the salutations. (You might start by asking contacts you trust to give you an honest opinion of the the information you present and whether it helps or hurts you in the attempt to attract business as a freelancer.)

[Edited at 2008-09-02 12:04]


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Maria Michelfelder  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:46
Member (2008)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Hallo Sep 2, 2008

Surely it depends on the country in which the agency is located and what the code of politeness is there. I am personally not fond of the phrase that you quoted or the wording "To whom it may concern". So, aware of the chance of being considered too straight-forward, I often use a simple Hi/Hello or in German the slightely more polite "Guten Tag". I hope that they will pay more attention to the contents of my letter than the address.

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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:46
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
The magic formula : know your audience Sep 2, 2008

Hi Iulia,

It is very simply, if they are not interested in English - Rumanian, they will not read it no matter what, and if they are they are almost sure to read it no matter what.
So, does the agency need your services?
"Errors on the Rumanian version of your website" should normally interest them...

If you are simply writing to several 100 agencies the contact persion is not really all that important.. If you want to establish a long term relation with a single agency, I'd just phone them up and set up a meeting..

Having a great letter could provide years of work (I know an agency that took 6 months to develop a single letter, and they continue to receive jobs based on this mailing - over 3 years ago!)

greetings
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:46
German to English
+ ...
Loudhailer? Sep 2, 2008

If there are short, fast questions to be discussed with my clients, I use the telephone or Skype.

Regular issues/files are communicated by E-mail.

So why not call them?

You do, after all, say an agency, rather than a multitude.

You might find someone who is pleased to talk to you and who gives you the information you require. Most of these people are human beings and are probably sick to death with 'e-bombardment' (especially from people who they do not yet know).

Good luck!


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Iulia Cosma  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:46
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hello/Guten Tag but no addressee name Sep 3, 2008

Maria Löfving wrote:

Surely it depends on the country in which the agency is located and what the code of politeness is there. I am personally not fond of the phrase that you quoted or the wording "To whom it may concern". So, aware of the chance of being considered too straight-forward, I often use a simple Hi/Hello or in German the slightely more polite "Guten Tag". I hope that they will pay more attention to the contents of my letter than the address.


Still...isn't it weird to say Hello/Guten Tag but no addressee name? And, of course, I also hope the content is more important! Thank you for your answer.


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Iulia Cosma  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:46
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I only contact agencies whose sites I've researched Sep 3, 2008

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

Hi Iulia,

It is very simply, if they are not interested in English - Rumanian, they will not read it no matter what, and if they are they are almost sure to read it no matter what.
So, does the agency need your services?
"Errors on the Rumanian version of your website" should normally interest them...

If you are simply writing to several 100 agencies the contact persion is not really all that important.. If you want to establish a long term relation with a single agency, I'd just phone them up and set up a meeting..

Having a great letter could provide years of work (I know an agency that took 6 months to develop a single letter, and they continue to receive jobs based on this mailing - over 3 years ago!)

greetings
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED


I'm not spamming agencies! First I find out if they need my combination of languages. Since I'm particularly interested in foreign agencies I can't really imagine what my phone bill will look like if I call them... Meeting is impossible for the same reason!
What a great letter is will probably be the subject of a new post...I've already read a lot on this here.


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Iulia Cosma  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:46
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Communication issues Sep 3, 2008

Textklick wrote:

If there are short, fast questions to be discussed with my clients, I use the telephone or Skype.

Regular issues/files are communicated by E-mail.

So why not call them?

You do, after all, say an agency, rather than a multitude.

You might find someone who is pleased to talk to you and who gives you the information you require. Most of these people are human beings and are probably sick to death with 'e-bombardment' (especially from people who they do not yet know).

Good luck!



Thank you for suggestions. I've already explained why I can't afford phoning but I'll consider the Skype option. I can understand the "sick to death with 'e-bombardment' (especially from people who they do not yet know)" part. However, no matter how much I hate bothering people, I believe it's not only unavoidable, but it's also necessary if they need translators and translators need them How else would all of us be able to work if we don't use each other's knowledge?!
Many thanks!


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:46
German to Spanish
+ ...
Voice over IP Sep 3, 2008

iuliacosma wrote:

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

Hi Iulia,

It is very simply, if they are not interested in English - Rumanian, they will not read it no matter what, and if they are they are almost sure to read it no matter what.
So, does the agency need your services?
"Errors on the Rumanian version of your website" should normally interest them...

If you are simply writing to several 100 agencies the contact persion is not really all that important.. If you want to establish a long term relation with a single agency, I'd just phone them up and set up a meeting..

Having a great letter could provide years of work (I know an agency that took 6 months to develop a single letter, and they continue to receive jobs based on this mailing - over 3 years ago!)

greetings
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED


I'm not spamming agencies! First I find out if they need my combination of languages. Since I'm particularly interested in foreign agencies I can't really imagine what my phone bill will look like if I call them... Meeting is impossible for the same reason!
What a great letter is will probably be the subject of a new post...I've already read a lot on this here.


Do Voice over IP and you pay 0, NOTHING to Europe, US and most countries in Asia.


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:46
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Dear team Sep 3, 2008

If there is no name given on their website, names might be not that important for the agency.
iuliacosma wrote:
Still...isn't it weird to say Hello/Guten Tag but no addressee name?
I feel uncomfortable too. Therefore I use "team" don't know if it works out in English.
But in German it's acceptable
Liebes Team von Linguabella OR Liebes Linguabella-Team
Guten Morgen, liebes Team von Linguabella,

If you have plenty of grey matter and if you can highlight the links between you and the agency they will soon forget the clumsy way of addressing them.

Good luck!:-)

[Edited at 2008-09-03 19:39]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:46
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Dear team Sep 3, 2008

Tuliparola wrote:
I use "team" don't know if it works out in English.


Nothing wrong with that; in fact, it has a friendly ring to it which I like. Of course that won't work for single person outsourcers, but it would for anything else.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:46
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Stick to Sir/Madam Sep 4, 2008

iuliacosma wrote:
Hello again. I'm trying to figure out how to address an agency I'm interested in, avoiding the "Dear Sir/Madam" formula.


If it is a new client, and their web site does not indicate the name of the person you're sending the mail to, then "Dear Sir/Madam" is your best bet. Besides, using that formula also helps to set the tone for the rest of your mail. Along with an appropriate subject line, the mail will instantly be recognised as "new business" and be treated accordingly.

One thing I did for a while was to address the mail to any of the real persons' names that I could find on the agency's web site, but this is a risky approach. If Joe is the accountant and you send an e-mail to newapplications@agency.com addressed to Joe, the PM might forward your mail to accounts@agency.com without even looking at the rest of the mail, and Joe may not notice that this mail was actually forwarded to him by one of his own colleagues, so he'll delete it after having read the first two lines.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:46
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Team is below you Sep 4, 2008

Tuliparola wrote:
I use "team" don't know if it works out in English.


I'm not a native Englisher but IMO the word "team" carries with it the emotion that the recipient is either a fellow or your junior. I would not use "team" because it would sound to my ears like I'm talking down to the client.


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Slighty more personalized Sep 10, 2008

I like to go a little more personalized but still on the general side if I can't find a specific name. For example, I would write something like "Dear Interpreter Recruiting Manager." I like to address people with a specific name as much as possible. When not possible, I use a slightly more general term.

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