The emails I receive from time to time from freelancers looking for new clients inspired me to write this series of articles on several topics, all aiming on how to present yourself in the correct light and win some really good jobs and clients. Let’s call it… A Successful Step-By-Step Business and Marketing Guide for Freelance Translators.Today I’m focusing on the Presentation Email and I’ll give you the basic steps on how to introduce yourselves in a professional manner.
Let’s get digital
In our digital demanding world consumers keep on seeking new quality content in order to establish a relationship of trust and credibility before making a purchase.
Almost every B2B or B2C company is doing marketing in one form or another. And us, translators, are no exception. We invest time and money (you actually should do that!) to learn new exciting and effective skills to attract new clients.
I definitely agree that we have to keep up with the latest trends of the industry and make drastic changes to our marketing strategies as most companies turned to digital channels for information.
But are you sure that you’re not forgetting something important?
Do you know how to “Hello”?
Are you absolutely sure that before you dive into new business worlds you have conquered the basics?
I mean, what’s the point of applying all these marketing tips and tricks on your business strategies if you don’t know how to introduce yourself properly on a new client.
How to Introduce Yourself in an Email
To me, this is the first project that you should apply all the new marketing knowledge you gained in order to turn the sales game to your favour.
As easy as it sounds, how to introduce yourself in a professional email can be quite a complex story as you need to think very carefully about the impression that you give.
It’s crucial to make a positive impression with your email because this will determine if you are able to establish fruitful working relationships. And a negative impression can cost you a lot of potential jobs.
Let’s have a look at the most important steps that will make your presentation email an eye-catching magnet.
Step 1: Use a professional email address
An email address is your most important tool for your business communication, so you need to choose it very carefully in order to make a good impression from step 1.
This is why you should invest on a professional and credible domain for your email. I know that there are a lot of free email providers out there and it can be very tempting to choose one, or maybe it’s even easier to use your current personal email address, but, trust me, you could end up with almost none to absolutely none responses.
From time to time I receive quite a few emails from colleagues asking for a potential cooperation and to be honest, the first thing I look for is to see if their email address comes from a professional domain. If not, you know how it goes.
To cut it short, a professional email address provides:
• A proof of a good marketing strategy
• A professional image
• Security from getting your email address flagged as spam
If you are building your professional career, then a professional email address is the best option for you.
Step 2: Edit your email’s “From” field
The “From” field of your email is super important, especially when your recipient doesn’t know who you are. You should edit your name in such a way that the addressee will be able to trust you.
So, apart from your full name you could also include:
• Full Name + Profession
• Full Name + Profession + Name of Company
• Full Name + Name of Company
• Full Name + Profession + Academic Titles
This is my “From” field:
There are many combinations to use, you just have to find the one that describes you the best.
Bonus Tip: You can edit your “From” field once or you can change it according to your recipient and the purpose of your email. It’s up to you; remember that you should always be polite and formal in your writing.
Step 3: Find a creative and clear email subject
Your email subject line most of the times determines whether your email will be read or not.
We live in the Information era and the astounding technological transformation is the new norm. Emailing is the most common way of business communication these days and since companies daily receive dozens of emails, you need to make sure that your email subject line stands out from the rest.
A few tips you should have in mind is that you need to be clear, creative, precise and professional.
How you can write a great email subject line:
• Always include a subject line (no subject line, no reading)
• Keep it simple (no need for peculiar words in your subject line)
• Keep it short and personalized
• Be clear and specific
• Eliminate “filler” words (e.g. thank you, hello, etc.)
• Don’t write your subject line in ALL CAPS (people will think YOU’RE YELLING at them!)
• Give all information needed (if your email is a response to a job offer)
• Always proofread your subject line (no one wants to see a typo there!)
Bonus tip: Write a few email subject lines before ending up with the one you’ll actually use.
Step 4: Always address a certain individual
By experience, I can tell you that almost no recruiter likes getting cold, impersonal emails.
Generic salutations make your presentation email look like a fake one, or you probably give the impression that you are one of these people that keep on sending copy/paste indifferent emails that almost no one likes to read.
Avoid “To Whom This May Concern” openings and give your email a chance.
Pay special attention to these tips:
• Always do your research to get a hiring manager’s name
• LinkedIn is a great place to find all the information you need
• Carefully decide the greeting you’re going to use (e.g. “Hello X,” is not a good option for a medical company, but it could be for a transcreation boutique agency)
I know it sounds kind of boring but research is your keyword if you want your prospect to read past your email subject line. Embrace that keyword and you shall get the results that you want.
Step 5: Refer to your reader and not to yourself
Imagine you’re a recruiter and you receive perfect written emails from people that they keep on talking about… themselves! Not your company, not even about the job you’re offering. What would you do? Well, I most probably wouldn’t read the entire email. And this is pretty sad because you could be the ideal candidate for the job and you could miss your only chance to make a good first impression.
There is only one way to solve this:
• Keep reminding your reader that the email is about them
• Keep stressing that what you have to offer is what they actually need
• Say a few nice things about the company, their website, publications, etc. (shows you’re a pro and you’re willing to do that extra mile)
• Don’t make your presentation email egocentric
In a few words, don’t just list your qualifications; tie them actively to the position at hand and tie yourself to the company’s needs. This can be a clever way to highlight your strong points and assets, you show that you invest on your business and you intrigue your prospect to learn more about your services.
Bonus tip: Again, the magic word is “research”. Do your research about the company and make sure you read very carefully the job offer (if there is one). You need to show your prospect that you are serious and you actually know your business.
Step 6: Help your reader scan your email and save time
Recruiters spend many working hours scanning CVs, presentation emails, portfolios, etc. so they definitely don’t want a candidate with a presentation email full of information that are irrelevant to their company. By helping them save time, you show professionalism and respect.
Remember that you have only a few seconds to show your skills and competence at the very beginning and increase the chances that the recruiter will get to read your CV as well.
What you should do to help the recruiter save time:
• Give all the basic information needed right at the beginning
• Highlight all the important points you need them to know
• Be simple and specific
A carefully crafted presentation email is super important because it reveals your work ethic and attention to detail. It provides glimpses of your personality that a list of achievements can't.
Step 7: Keep your writing formal
I’m sure you all understand why you have to keep your writing formal. Imagine the reaction of a busy recruiter reading at the very first line of an email: “Hey, dude,”.
As funny as this may sound, the result wouldn’t be so funny for your email (spam folder, for sure).
How you can keep your presentation email formal:
• Be polite
• Avoid being too friendly
• Avoid jargon
• Avoid informalities and lazy writing (e.g. Tnx instead of Thank you, etc.)
Even if you are addressing an agency about a transcreation or a marketing project and you want to be more creative on your content, still you have to make sure your tone is formal and polite. When you respect your reader, you automatically respect their work too, and yours.
Step 8: Keep your content positive and action-oriented
It’s very important to keep a positive tone in your presentation email.
Research shows that choosing positive language improves the way we think and helps our brain ability to receive messages in a more active way.
How you can use positive language in your email:
• Change negative words and phrases to positive ones (e.g. say what you can do instead of can’t do)
• Use power and/or action verbs (introduce your assets in a more powerful and appealing way, but be careful not to exaggerate)
• Avoid emotional content (positive and action-oriented language is closely connected to feelings. Try to keep it low.)
Bonus Example: You will surely benefit from my extensive experience in marketing translation as I translate for X since 2015.
You will be so happy from my unbelievable work in marketing translation as I translate for X since 2015.
You need to show that you’re full of energy, you’re willing to work, you’re ready to take the next step, to find the solution to your client’s needs. What a great way to do that by using positive meaning and action-oriented words. Not too much though! Don’t put your professionalism and credibility at risk.
Step 9: End on a Call To Action phrase
The main purpose of copy is to persuade the reader for a certain action. End your presentation email in a way that will motivate your reader to want to learn more about your work.
A Call To Action phrase is active, it motivates to proceed to a next step. You just need to decide what step you want your reader to take.
How you can craft an effective CTA:
• Give specific instructions to the reader
• Be simple, be clear
The Call to Action is a simple, explicit instruction to buy your services, read your blog, subscribe to a newsletter, and more, you name it. The reader needs to know specifically what to do next. Give direction. Be clear. A simple See my Portfolio now with a link to your portfolio could actually do the trick.
Bonus tip: Indifferent, lifeless endings show you don’t care as much as you supposed to.
Step 10: ALWAYS proofread before sending your email
No need to say that having typos and spelling mistakes in your presentation email means you just forget about your prospect.
There are no bullet points here, just one phrase:
ALWAYS proofread your content before hitting the send button.
No matter how well you craft your content, if there are typos, your chances of getting your CV read goes down the drain!
General Bonus Tips:
• Check very carefully your recipients before sending your email (you don’t want to send your email to everybody, do you?)
• Always add your recipient at the end (pay special attention to this one as you may end up sending an incomplete email!)
• Polish your email signature (provide in your signature all necessary information, e.g. working languages, specializations, contact info, etc.)
This is how my email signature looks like:
Your job is to make your presentation email look professional, as easy as possible for the recipient to read and attractive enough in order to read your CV too. So in your next email marketing campaign, try using all the above steps in a positive and action-oriented framing to help stimulate the reader and get your messages through.
Trust me, it works.
I hope you found my step-by-step guide for a successful presentation email useful.
If you have any questions or comments on this article, Ι’d love to receive them!
You can always follow me on my Social Media accounts to make sure you receive more step-by-step guides for a successful business and marketing strategy as a freelance translator.
Anastasia – InGreek Translations