Off topic: How to be creative when writing the same emails day after day
Thread poster: Remy Comte

Remy Comte  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
Member (2011)
English to French
Apr 13, 2015

I started working as a full time freelance translator 8 years ago. I mostly work on small projects, most of them being between 200 and 2K words so I receive and accept multiple job offers from my clients on a daily basis. I also have been working with the same PMs for years so I don't have much questions to ask or answer when they send me a job, basically I simply have to confirm my availability. This means I had to write "yes I want this job thanks" and "hello please find attached" at least 40.000 times in my life. This is getting extremely boring and some of my most loyal clients may think I am a machine since I basically write the very same words over and over and over again every day.

This is why I had this idea of opening a threat asking translators how they phrase those very standard emails, so I could change a bit the ones I am sending by grabbing some inspiration from yours. Mine are :

Hi/Dear XXX

Thank you for your email. I would be glad to help with this job! Deadline/subject matter/fee etc. are fine.

Best regards,

Remy


and a few hours/days later:

Hi/Dear XXX

Please find attached the document translated. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Remy



If your emails differ, don't hesitate to share!

I can't tell if this post is "off-topic" or not...


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:40
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Why do you want to be creative in the first place? Apr 13, 2015

Simple, standard message that repeats itself everyday is better for everybody involved than something creative.

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Remy Comte  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
Member (2011)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
because human contact and personnalized services matter a lot in busines relationships Apr 13, 2015

I don't wan't to sound like a machine to my clients. I want them to feel I am actually talking to them, not sending them a pre-filled email.

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cvmagalhaes  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:40
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
gmail user? Apr 13, 2015

Hi Remy,

are you a gmail user? If so, ever heard about the Canned Responses feature @ glabs?
I have several pre-saved models for diff. situations and just change a bit or other for a personal touch.

It's helps a lot =)

Best wishes.


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:40
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Canned responses Apr 13, 2015

cvmagalhaes wrote:

... ever heard about the Canned Responses feature @ glabs?

Fantastic! Thanks so much, that's a pretty nifty little tool:-)

johanna


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:40
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Look out for opportunities to add a personal touch Apr 14, 2015

To be quite honest, my emails tend to be even shorter for standard project acceptance and delivery.
"Yes, thanks."; "That will be fine."; "I can do it for XXX"; "I attach."
Some agencies have platforms, where you simply click a button to accept or reject projects and upload your translation, so interaction really is at a minimum.

But then, I do chat to most PMs/direct clients on other occasions. For instance, when either of us announces a holiday, we will have a brief chat about it. When we had the big (failed) referendum about Scotland's independence, most of my clients contacted me to ask about it.
If a PM/client always acts very formal, I reciprocate. Most don't. I try to be open and unassuming.

In a recent thread, several colleagues were moaning about PMs using phrases like "have a nice day". I always smile when they add that. I don't consider it an empty phrase. The PM is making an effort to add something, however small. I appreciate that. You wonder how to reduce repetitiveness in your email load. How many more similar emails does a PM send out? I will answer those questions about the weather or the weekend.


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:40
French to English
+ ...
Doesn't hurt! Apr 14, 2015

Having been on both ends of the agency/freelancer relationship, it never hurts to drop in an "I hope you're well/had a good Easter" etc from time to time to switch up the boring e-mails. At my last job there was one freelancer who used to sign off with "Have a blessed day" which was rather lovely to receive (especially when my day had been less than blessed).

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David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
Member (2009)
French to English
Why not just... Apr 14, 2015

forget about being creative in your emails. Instead, ring the people who send you your work and speak to them! This will provide some human contact. If necessary, you could confirm your acceptance of a job/ availability for future work or whatever with a quick email afterwards.

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Remy Comte  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
Member (2011)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Great insight Apr 14, 2015

from everyone, thanks! It does make much more sense to add from time to time something unique about the weather, Easter holidays, my cat walking on the keyboard or anything personnal than just replace hi with hey or best regards with kind regards.

I work from time to time with a big agency that runs such a platform. It is probably useful for effective project management but terrible in terms of human relationships, which are in my opinion not only precious but also key to quality work.

[Edited at 2015-04-14 09:45 GMT]


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:40
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Personal touches are great! Apr 14, 2015

I once had a translator tell me when I reached out to him with a job request after quite a while of being out of touch, "Of course I remember you. And remember, I'm the nice one, I never made any jokes about your last name!"

It was bizarre and made me laugh!

[Edited at 2015-04-14 10:20 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:40
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
PMs are humans too. Apr 14, 2015

Aside from starting out the first email of the day with "hope you're doing well today", I always add a heart-felt "Have a great day/evening/weekend" at the end of the last email of the day.

Sometimes a couple of personal sentences are added by both my clients and myself. Although we are "only" business partners, there's nothing wrong with adding a little sign of appreciation and a smile.

[Edited at 2015-04-14 13:17 GMT]


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:40
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That's wise from you Remy Apr 15, 2015

Remy Comte wro

I started working as a full time freelance translator 8 years ago. I mostly work on small projects, most of them being between 200 and 2K words so I receive and accept multiple job offers from my clients on a daily basis. I also have been working with the same PMs for years so I don't have much questions to ask or answer when they send me a job, basically I simply have to confirm my availability. This means I had to write "yes I want this job thanks" and "hello please find attached" at least 40.000 times in my life. This is getting extremely boring and some of my most loyal clients may think I am a machine since I basically write the very same words over and over and over again every day.

This is why I had this idea of opening a threat asking translators how they phrase those very standard emails, so I could change a bit the ones I am sending by grabbing some inspiration from yours. Mine are :

Hi/Dear XXX

Thank you for your email. I would be glad to help with this job! Deadline/subject matter/fee etc. are fine.

Best regards,

Remy


and a few hours/days later:

Hi/Dear XXX

Please find attached the document translated. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Remy



If your emails differ, don't hesitate to share!

I can't tell if this post is "off-topic" or not...




Well done in sharing your thoughts. Yes, we do need a personal touch which makes us human and more professional when dealing with each other. When sending my emails, confirming availability or not, I keep thinking I could at least change a bit.



[Edited at 2015-04-15 00:30 GMT]


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