Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work

Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby oldhousejunkie » 08 Jun 2011, 13:12

I'm about to take the plunge and begin querying, and I was wondering if you all have any recommendations for an e-mail service? I'm fearful of my query e-mail getting stuck in an agent's filter. I have gmail, but also rocketmail (a subsidy of yahoo). Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby HillaryJ » 08 Jun 2011, 16:41

I used gmail both times I queried agents, and I never had a problem with emails getting through or responses coming back (except for a few agents who, as a matter of policy, don't respond if uninterested). However, I have heard in turn of each major free email service having different issues at different times. I think many of those send failures were actually the result of not including things like "query" in the subject, since many agencies filter them that way upon receipt.

Good luck!
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby taylormillgirl » 09 Jun 2011, 04:49

I used gmail, too, and I had a few queries "disappear" into cyberspace. (Doing everything right: query in subject line, etc.) I re-queried agents with a response policy, and they requested from me the second time around. No idea what happened the first time.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby oldhousejunkie » 09 Jun 2011, 08:49

Thanks for the suggestions.

I have decided on gmail just because it is more professional looking. Out of curiosity, how did you format requested pages in the email? I just pasted in my first five pages as requested, and I lost the double space as well as the indents. It's a mess!
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby taylormillgirl » 09 Jun 2011, 08:52

I suggest copying & pasting your first five (or however many) pages into notepad, then copying & pasting that into the body of your email. It removes some of the wonky Word formatting.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby Watcher55 » 09 Jun 2011, 09:07

I understand the convenience of having an email service, but I use MS Outlook, and I only use it on one computer - the only time I even want to think about email is when I'm at my desk.

Advantages:
A place for everything
I don't worry about what's going to happen between "send" and "why won't they answer?" (no middleman)
MS Word to MS Outlook - what formatting problems?

My suggestion (it's free, just like those flyers people stick on your door, so do with it as you will): Maybe install/use similar software on your computer and dedicate the address your isp issued to communication with agents.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby HillaryJ » 09 Jun 2011, 10:40

taylormillgirl wrote:I suggest copying & pasting your first five (or however many) pages into notepad, then copying & pasting that into the body of your email. It removes some of the wonky Word formatting.


I've heard that works well. I think I went through my email submissions and entered a space between paragraphs. But I have some issues with making things as difficult as possible for myself.

Whatever you do, don't forward emails. If you send to one agent, don't open that sent item, change the names and forward to another agent. It will likely something like:

>
>
>
>

to the body of the email. You might not be able to see it, but it can come out looking odd on the other end.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby oldhousejunkie » 10 Jun 2011, 07:55

HillaryJ wrote:
taylormillgirl wrote:I suggest copying & pasting your first five (or however many) pages into notepad, then copying & pasting that into the body of your email. It removes some of the wonky Word formatting.


I've heard that works well. I think I went through my email submissions and entered a space between paragraphs. But I have some issues with making things as difficult as possible for myself.

Whatever you do, don't forward emails. If you send to one agent, don't open that sent item, change the names and forward to another agent. It will likely something like:

>
>
>
>

to the body of the email. You might not be able to see it, but it can come out looking odd on the other end.



I got my first five queries out yesterday, and fortunately there was no forwarding! Although I was more afraid that agents are equipped with psychic abilities that can somehow discern that I forwarded the e-mail! :-)

I ended up sending a test query to another one of my e-mail accounts and made edits based on that. The one thing that kept throwing me off was the handful of instances I used italics. For some reason the e-mail kept switching back and forth between plain formatting and rich formatting. I think I may have sent one query without checking to make sure the italics transferred. Hopefully that agent won't hold it against me if they are interested.

Watcher--I'm currently homeless so Outlook won't work. :-) OK, not technically homeless but I bounce back and forth between the place that I stay during the week (that has wireless), and the place I stay on the weekend (that doesn't have wireless). I guess it doesn't matter in any case--I should just go ahead and set it up on my laptop since it follows me around. Outlook does come through a lot better than the other free services.

Thanks for all the advice, folks!
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby ZoeG » 17 Jun 2011, 06:28

I use gmail as it is most common and it looks neat, and by default it's a kinda official one



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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby OliviaWilson » 19 Sep 2011, 06:26

I use Yahoo and love it:)
I also have Gmail for personal use, and Yahoo is my main email for working purposes, and it works good.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby maybegenius » 19 Sep 2011, 22:04

You sound like you're doing everything right :) You're copying into Notepad to remove the funky formatting and you've sent yourself a test email to see how it looks. You should be good. And completely honestly, I don't think agents will hold it against you if the email is almost perfect except for one or two weird rich/plain text formatting errors. As long as the whole thing doesn't look wonky, they'll roll with it.

For the record, I use Gmail and (so far) I haven't had any issues.
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby CharleeVale » 20 Sep 2011, 23:00

I know I'm late to the party on this, but I use a purely online e-mail service. Mail.com. NOT gmail, just MAIL.

One of the cool advantages is that you can have almost any 'ending' you want. My e-mail is @post.com, and there are many others to choose from.

Plus, I've been using the service for years, and I've never had an e-mail disappear!

CV
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby Rachel Ventura » 02 Oct 2011, 16:06

CharleeVale wrote:I know I'm late to the party on this, but I use a purely online e-mail service. Mail.com. NOT gmail, just MAIL.

One of the cool advantages is that you can have almost any 'ending' you want. My e-mail is @post.com, and there are many others to choose from.

Plus, I've been using the service for years, and I've never had an e-mail disappear!

CV

Hi Charlee et. al.,

I just wanted to add a couple things about Mail.com (and some other points).
1) It used to be owned by AOL but is now part of United Internet, which also operates the GMX German mail service, but for GMX/Mail.com in the U.S.
2) You can also access Mail.com (and its various 'endings') with Outlook or any mail program. (I normally use Mozilla Thunderbird.) I hope I'm not confusing anyone with the technical terms, but this is called POPing (pronounced either phonetically or "popping") your email.
3) Outlook itself is not technically "free" unless you pay for M$ Office. Windows has its own "mini-Outlook" called Outlook Express (called Windows Mail in Vista/7). Megabucks Microsoft also offers a set of programs called Windows Live Essentials that has with it Windows Live Mail (the "new version" of Outlook Express), a revamped MSN Messenger and Windows Movie Maker, a basic photo organizer and even an offline blog tool. WL Essentials is officially free; of course, there are other ways of getting Outlook/M$ Office or even Windows itself for free, but to go into further detail is probably against the rules... :P
4) One of the domains ('endings' in ubergeeksprache) that you can choose from is actually writeme.com! :D I bet this'd be a great thing to use when querying, as it implicitly suggests what you want the agent to do! (Of course, you want them to "write-you" with a positive response...) 8-)
5) I believe et. al. is Latin for "with Al." Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I don't remember there being an Al posting in this thread. :lol:
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Re: Best E-mail Service to Use for Querying Agents?

Postby AliciaKing » 14 Oct 2011, 05:28

I personally vote for gmail. It's fast, works fine and quite comfortable in use.
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