How Freelance Translators Should Write a Business Email

  • Greater than 2 minutes, my friend!

    You write emails every day. You either reply to a quote, present your language services to a new client, prepare an invoice, send an update about a project or deliver one.

    Texting and emails are a part and parcel of our lives now, so we should master them as much as we can.

    I have been writing emails since 2004; when I worked as an in-house translator. When I started my own translation business in 2007 I have sent 100s of emails to current and potential clients and now I teach my team at TranslationPartner how to write emails to our customers.

    So, let me mention here some of bits of advice.

    Keep it short as much as you can.

    Most of the recipients of your email are busy people. So, when you send an email you need to people to read it. Just ask yourself, when the last time did you read a long email if it is not an important one? We write short texts every day in Whatsapp, FB messenger and other applications. So, this is the same people are looking for. Write your email as a small paragraph or in 5-6 lines to increase the probability the recipient will read it. If you need to write longer, do that in short paragraphs.

    Keep it to the point

    You need to state the purpose of your email at the very beginning. People need to know what you need to decide what reply they can give. You might be writing about something important, but state that in the end where the recipient will not go as you did not state your purpose in the beginning. Say what the email about in the beginning. For example, “I write to inquire if your company offers XYZ into XYZ translations”, I sometimes use this for our presentation emails or calls to let the recipient know the exact purpose of my email or call, to decide if he likes to proceed or not.

    Use the power of lists

     If you have to write a long email, use lists to make certain points clear. Using lists enable your email reader to scan the email quickly to decide if it is worth it or not. This is better than just discarding a long email with many paragraphs. If you did not decide to read this post, you may have just scanned its titles. For example, if you are writing an email to present your services, indicate your strengths in a form of a list where the reader can scan quickly and see what you can do for them.

    Ask for action

    Try to use your email to move forward in a next step. End the email with a call to action. For example, ask “when can I expect a reply about my quote?” , “when shall you send me the files?”, “what is the next step in your onboarding process?”. Asking for an action keeps your email recipient engaged with which increases the possibility of work in the future. Even if you are delivering a project, as for a confirmation email so you are sure the client got the delivery.

    I have been writing emails in different formats for more than 10 years and still testing some. But these are my key concerns when I write an email. I like to keep it short, to the point, use lists and ask for next actions.

    I have written an actionable guide that shows the power of email to win new translation clients. You can get it from here NOW!

    Did I miss some key points? maybe! let’s hear them from you.

    Sherif Abuzid

    About Sherif Abuzid

    Arabic translator I design websites for translators.

    6 thoughts on “How Freelance Translators Should Write a Business Email

    1. Hi Sherif, I really loved your article and I am definitely going to take some of these tips to improve my emails. I really loved the idea of lists and I will start using it from now on. Looking forward to reading more of your articles.

      1. Thanks Fadwa for reading the post. I can it the power of lists :). It helps you provide clear information and enables the email reader to find the information they are looking for. More articles to come soon, stay tuned and follow me in the Open Mic 🙂

    2. Well said, Sherif! The more blank spaces you put in, the shorter it will look! This helps readers scan the text faster and also makes their approach to reading easier 🙂

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