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Using Blind Carbon Copies (Bcc) to Contact Translation Agencies
Thread poster: Nelson Yemeli

Nelson Yemeli  Identity Verified
France
Member (2016)
English to French
May 9, 2017

Dearest Colleagues,
I contact many translation agencies weekly to offer my services, sending the very same e-mail to different companies. I am now considering using blind carbon copies to contact as many agencies as possible with a single e-mail.
Please, kindly share your thoughts and ideas about this.
Thanks and regards,
Nelson


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Bcc May 9, 2017

Hi Nelson,

well, if the agencies' PM's are anything like me, then they simply delete your email. Whenever I receive such an email, I send it straight to File 13 because if someone wants my services (or offers any type of collaboration), then they should contact me...and only me. If the email starts with a general "hello", well, then I know that I'm not the only recipient. And since I won't participate in any type of "rat race", I'll just delete it. Sorry.

Sending the same email to numerous potential customers might work. However, each agency is a little different, and should, therefore, receive a little more tailor-made email. But that's just my 2 cents.

Best,
Thayenga

[Edited at 2017-05-09 07:43 GMT]


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Spam May 9, 2017

Dear Nelson,

Sorry to be blunt, but what you're intending to do is just spamming. Most PMs will just delete your mail without reading it (and rightly so). You may get a slightly better success rate than the 1 in 12.5 million that generic spam mail is purported to have, but still...

My advice: Just don't do it. Try to contact selected agencies individually instead.

My 2 cents.
Best regards,
Erik


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Is this business model working for you? May 9, 2017

I see you aren't a beginner translator, Nelson, so I'm wondering whether you're finding that contacting so many agencies is working for you. Cold calling using personalised emails normally gives a low return on the time invested. Spamming (which is how many see it) agencies with identical emails must have virtually a nil response, surely.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bcc May 9, 2017

My very small “translation agency” [we are only two: one front-office (me) and one back-office (my associate)] deals only with European Portuguese, but the fact is that every week (sometimes every day) I’m flooded with this kind of emails from translators who don’t translate neither from nor into European Portuguese. In the beginning, I answered each and every mail but now all these messages are deleted without being read. This being said, if my experience is anything to go by, it’s far better to do a little search and check in Proz (http://www.proz.com/blueboard/?sp_mode=applications) what agencies are looking for new translators…

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Rather learn how to use mail merge May 9, 2017

Nelson Yemeli wrote:
I am now considering using blind carbon copies to contact as many agencies as possible with a single e-mail.


BCC, also known as "the poor man's mail merge", can help you achieve your goal of sending more mails with less effort, but when contacting agencies, your aim should be to maximise efficiency, not volume. People respond better to e-mails addressed to them specifically. You have no way of knowing what mail program the client is using, but he might well use a program that shows him clearly that he is not the "recipient".

Instead, learn how to use mail merge, so that you can plug a database into your mail program (or however the mail merge system that you choose, works), so that you can send mails to many agencies all at once (or as many as your SMTP service can handle) that look like they've been written especially for each person.


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:41
Member
Italian to English
No, no and no! May 10, 2017

Thayenga wrote:

each agency is a little different, and should, therefore, receive a little more tailor-made email


Precisely!! Instead of firing off a load of emails and hoping they will hit your target, you should be researching each agency, seeing what they can do for you, and what you can do for them - for example, do you both work in the same language combinations and areas of specialisation? Do you meet all their criteria? And do they meet yours? Are they large or small? What are their payment terms?

Don't forget too, that each agency has a preferred way of being contacted. Some like to receive emails, while others prefer being contacted via the form on their site.

This strategy obviously takes longer, but it pays off in the long run. "You reap what you sow" is the old adage; since you obviously want to save time using the method you suggest, don't be surprised if the agency decides to save time by moving your mail straight to the trash.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:41
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Try this May 10, 2017

Most of those unsolicited emails go straight into the trash. I used to spend a lot of time sending my CV to agencies, but none of them ever replied.

Nelson, I suggest it might be better to spend time on completing your profile.

[Edited at 2017-05-10 14:30 GMT]


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:41
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sure do that, but make sure to use the salutation "Dear Sir or Madam", or... May 10, 2017

For the salutation, make sure to use one of the following:

  • Dear Sirs,
  • Dear Sir or Madam,
  • Dear Vendor Manager,


Using such a salutation has an important advantage: my e-mail filter can delete your message without me having to do it.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
I am not sure..... May 10, 2017

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

For the salutation, make sure to use one of the following:

  • Dear Sirs,
  • Dear Sir or Madam,
  • Dear Vendor Manager,


Using such a salutation has an important advantage: my e-mail filter can delete your message without me having to do it.


.... this is the help Nelson is looking for!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never! May 10, 2017

I cannot tell about other countries, but using Bcc to send the same email to a set of people is illegal under our Data Protection Act. You would be the subject of hefty fines over here for that.

As for my personal opinion, what you plan to do is simple and plain spam. I would report such email as spam to blacklist services.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Spam? May 11, 2017

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I cannot tell about other countries, but using Bcc to send the same email to a set of people is illegal under our Data Protection Act. You would be the subject of hefty fines over here for that.

As for my personal opinion, what you plan to do is simple and plain spam. I would report such email as spam to blacklist services.


Lets turn this around. What about all those agencies that send bulkmails, starting with "Hi everybody" instead of "Hi Robert, are you available for...."?

Is that spam too?

[Edited at 2017-05-11 08:02 GMT]


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
It depends May 11, 2017

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

Lets turn this around. What about all those agencies that send bulkmails, starting with "Hi everybody" instead of "Hi Robert, are you available for...."?

Is that spam too?


I'd say it depends, but generally: yes.

If the agency is sending this email to a group of selected translators (not more than a handful), the impersonal salutation may be considered a deplorable but forgivable lack of politeness. If they use the impersonal form of address to send that same email to as many recipients as possible (which is what the OP seems to intend), that's certainly spam in my book.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Am I not allowed to send emails? May 11, 2017

Erik Freitag wrote:

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

Lets turn this around. What about all those agencies that send bulkmails, starting with "Hi everybody" instead of "Hi Robert, are you available for...."?

Is that spam too?


I'd say it depends, but generally: yes.

If the agency is sending this email to a group of selected translators (not more than a handful), the impersonal salutation may be considered a deplorable but forgivable lack of politeness. If they use the impersonal form of address to send that same email to as many recipients as possible (which is what the OP seems to intend), that's certainly spam in my book.



So, what is actually the difference HERE between mails and spam?


 

Michal Fabian  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:41
Member (2012)
Dutch to Slovak
+ ...
Easy: May 11, 2017

If the recipient thinks it's spam, it's spam. Nothing to do with the sender at all.

 
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