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Spammy emails are like Brexit. Bad for everyone involved.

Spammy emails are like Brexit. Bad for everyone involved.

Finding your USP

Urgh…spammy emails. Just reading that is enough to annoy you. As much as we’d love to sugar coat it, we’re so sick of the number of spammy emails we’ve been getting lately that we’ve decided to tackle the issue head on. Let’s put it this way – translators are grammar Nazis, and us digital marketers are email Nazis. So spammy emails – it’s time to feck off. You need to be finding your USP, and we’re gonna show you how.

Is the language industry really that bad for spammy emails?

Just to make sure we’re not overreacting, we compiled a number of sales emails from the translation industry (as they’re the ones who seem to love selling to us at the moment) to see just how bad things were. The emails came from both small agencies and more well-known ones. What we’re trying to say is that you probably know the culprits.

What really took us back was just how samey the emails were. Literally no-one had any luck finding their USP. OK, we understand that translation isn’t all that exciting and it’s not that easy to spice things up a bit – but really, if you’re trying to sell, you need to up your game. After all, only 1.8% of translation companies and translation buyers buy translation services after receiving a cold email. Anyway, on with the results…and why they’re so bad…

  • Only 20% of companies actually researched the company they were emailing

If you’re looking to sell, you need to know who you’re selling to to make sure they have a need for your service otherwise you’re flogging a dead horse. Using us as an example, by looking at our homepage you’ll see we’re a marketing agency – we don’t need medical translation. 

  • Only 30% of emails had a greeting, and only 20% had some sort of pleasantry

Come on now…where’s your manners? How can you expect someone to buy if you don’t even say Dear xxx, Hello xxx etc.? We do have names you know…and a little search on LinkedIn will find them! And pleasantries? No. 1 rule of sales and customer service is showing you care.

  • 87% of emails had mistakes

We understand that not everyone is a native speaker, but you’re translation agencies! If you can’t even translate your own sales email, how the hell can we trust you translating our marketing texts?

  • 74% of agencies offered exactly the same services

Translation, localization, editing, proofreading, DTP…blablabla we get it.

  • 80% of companies offered exactly the same specializations

Correct us if we’re wrong, but if you’re all doing it, you’re really not that specialized.

  • 80% offered every single language the world has to offer

OK, we know you want to do it all, but did you know that only 6% of companies in a position to buy language services would actually buy from a translation agency who offers all languages? So actually specialize a little!!!

  • 100% were “top-quality”

Quality in translation is a must. When a buyer orders a service they expect it to be top-quality. It’s something that’s a given when you’re providing a professional service people are paying for. It should certainly never be a USP, so stop selling it.

  • Only 6% actually mentioned doing 1 single service

Right, if from your emails you’re all experts, how come only 6% offered something different? Something doesn’t quite add up!

OK…rant over…here’s some help with finding your USP

If you’re a sales person reading this or you’re a company owner who knows their team is guilty of sending out these awful emails, here’s what you gotta do. Finding your USP is easy if you’re willing to put in the time to find it. And if you don’t have a USP, then you’ve got a serious problem.

  • Warm is the new cold

As we already mentioned, only 1.8% of companies in the language industry actually buy after a cold email. Cold emailing is dead. So stop. Don’t do it. Don’t even give it a funeral and bury it already. You need to be warm emailing. This means building relationships with people so they know who you are when you try to sell. Yes it takes a bit more time, but it actually works. And it actually ensures you’re speaking to a decision maker rather than annoying someone who has more important things to do with their lives than receive your emails.

  • Sex sells…………..haa got ya! We mean story’s sell

The problem is with the language industry that you’re all so stuck in your ways. All you want to sell is ISO, CAT tools, quality, experts, all languages. Sorry if it’s harsh, but it’s time someone told you the truth. Sales has moved on, and consumers want to buy from people – not a boring old company with the same old sales spiel. You started your company for a reason, so tell your story. People want to buy the people behind the service, not your bloody fecking CAT tools. If you love CAT tools that much go buy a cat and become a cat lady.

  • Find your USP

Until you read this you probably thought you were something special. We’re so sorry to have broken your bubble but if you’re sending emails like those above, you’re really not. You need to specialize and do something different, and by different we mean really different. Sell something the others really aren’t doing. Being boutique is great. Remember size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it that counts.

  • Have fun

While we’re being honest, it’s time to break it to you that translation is not very exciting. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. Have fun with your brand, let your personalities shine through – cut all the sales shite on social media, take pictures of cute doggies in your office and take selfies with your tongues out. Personality sells much more than boring business crap does.


We’re leaving the best til last. Value! Anyone heard of inbound marketing? If you haven’t, you need to read up on it. Unless you’re selling your souls and giving away know-how, how is anyone meant to know you know your shit? We know the language industry is super paranoid and obsessed with NDAs, but if you want leads coming to you rather than you chasing them around like a desperate heart-broken loser kid ex, this is what you have to do. It’s simple – create value and people will come to you.

And finally…if you’re stuck, hit us up 😉


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