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Poll: How do you feel when a client doesn't address you by your name in the head of emails?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 09:22
May 19, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you feel when a client doesn't address you by your name in the head of emails?".

This poll was originally submitted by Cecilia Alves. View the poll results »


Teresa Borges
Local time: 17:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 19, 2017

It depends! If it is a mass mail from a “potential” client, I might get slightly annoyed, I’ll read the 1st paragraph just to get a sense of what is going on and then 99% of the time I’ll delete it. If it is from a client (my client base is international with one exception) and he/she just happened to write it wrongly (some of my clients spell my name with “Th” and others with “z” instead of “s”), I don’t care at all!


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - not necessarily "annoyed" May 19, 2017

I think it's a bit rude, but rude people don't rise to the level of annoying me.


Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:22
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends... May 19, 2017

If the email starts with something like "Apologies for the mass email", I understand... Otherwise, I think it is really annoying.

[Edited at 2017-05-19 08:49 GMT]


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other May 19, 2017

It depends very much on the client.
I have never been good at formalities myself, so if the rest of the mail is reasonable, it doesn't worry me.
Group e-mails are sometimes necessary when deadlines are tight, and I appreciate 'Dear translators' to save time, as long as I basically know the client.

I often exchange brief mails with PMs and we don't always write names at the top of the fifth one-liner.

What I hate is a badly-spelled message from a total stranger with a commanding tone, starting with a bare 'Hi,' and demanding my fastest attention and 'best rate'.
If they cannot even write 'please', and shorten it to pls. my blood boils! icon_mad.gif
However, that sort never become clients!

I had, and potentially still have, a client who is a master of super-short e-mails.

He would typically start a string of mails with:
Hi, Christine
Can you translate the attached by Friday. Price?

He doesn't always include my name at the top, and the final mail would simply be:
OK, thanks

He is a pleasure to work with - we talk on the phone.


Laura Pascual  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends... :) May 19, 2017

If it is a mass mail or someone who contacts me for the first time, I don't find it exactly annoying but I get suspicious about the client. My business name is my name (contained in my email) and Laura is quite a recognisable name in Europe (if it's for example an Asian client not used to European names I understand that they don't want to make a mistake so they just don't write the name, but my clients are not usually Asian).

If it is a client I am already working with, I expect them to address me by my name on the first contact for a specific project, although it is not a big deal and I would just think they forgot. For the following emails it is not so necessary all the time, like if you're discussing something and write three emails in an hour, you can relax the formalities a bit I think.

So in short, I don't get annoyed or angry, but I judgeicon_biggrin.gif.


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
It makes me feel like hitting delete May 19, 2017

Fortunately some clients lean the other way, and I want to give a shout out to Slovakia here.

I don't know if it's typical or not, but I've recently started getting a bit of work from a Slovakian agency for some bizarre reason, and their staff always send the most incredibly polite, detailed and personal emails.

Is this some clever vendor-management ploy or a national trait? Either way, I like it.


EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Not annoyed May 19, 2017

I understand they need to send out mass mails sometimes for the sake of efficiency. The only difference is, if I am not interested, I will ignore it - if it were addressed to me personally, I would reply with "sorry, I am busy", "sorry, not my field of expertise" etc.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't care May 19, 2017

Especially when you already have an informal relationship established and emails are to-ing and fro-ing like ping-pong balls...


matt robinson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
It depends May 19, 2017

If the email is specifically for me, or is a general email for all those working on a project or for a client/agency, then I don't mind at all. If is is a translation request from someone I have never had previous contact with, then it does not annoy me, but it will not necessarily be replied to. Unsolicited requests using my name have a far greater chance of getting a response.
I also go out of my way to find the name of the person I am writing to, if I have to write unsolicited emails. To me, it seems more professional.


English to Russian
+ ...
Business =busy +ness May 19, 2017

I don't care much; if it's a decent project/reliable client, then something like:
A provisional translation by 19:30.

Warm regards,
. . .

would do, not to mention that I got SMS from my bank about the payment)


Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
Member (2004)
English to French
I don't reply May 19, 2017

If it's a mass email, I simply don't reply. If it's addressed to me, I do.


Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:22
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Doesn't bother me May 19, 2017

Do you have work for me? Yes?
Does the phrase "best rate" appear anywhere in the email? No?
Then I don't have a problem.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:22
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
this May 19, 2017

If it is indeed a client not a potential client, I don't mind.

neilmac wrote:

Especially when you already have an informal relationship established and emails are to-ing and fro-ing like ping-pong balls...

Working in-house, I got told off for not starting with "Bonjour Mr X" after the second quick email in a ping-pong exchange. The client much preferred working on the phone and tended not to read my carefully crafted emails, so I just wrote to ask for his number having got his secretary refusing to give it to me. He answered with just the number, not even signing, and once on the phone with him we sorted everything and he was delighted with my solutions, so I just walked out on the boss and slammed the door.

Oh the delights of not having someone on my back any more!


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's either a client OR one who doesn't use my name, not both May 19, 2017

A potential client may perhaps send me an e-mail without mentioning my name. The traditional "Dear Translator" or "Hello" in the first line is the type of e-mail that will deserve no reply, and goes straight to the garbage can.

But I never had an actual Client who sent me e-mails without mentioning my name. If they became an actual client, it means they behaved professionally until then, otherwise they'd fit in the category mentioned above.

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Poll: How do you feel when a client doesn't address you by your name in the head of emails?

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