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Tips when emailing prospective hosts for the first time...

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Castlepook Tom ...
Tips when emailing prospective hosts for the first time...

Hi dear wwoofers,
I thought I'd write a notice on the forum as I am sick of replying the same emails over and over.
PLEASE read hosts profiles entirely before sending hosts an email. For example I have it written on my profile that we are full until the end of July, and that we only accomodate one wwoofer at a time. All week, all requests I have received except for one was either two people applying, or wanting to come on a date before the end of July. What's worse, I even received one from two people, for the end of May, all written in French!
Please apply to hosts in English so that we understand your email, and read hosts profiles. Not reading them and sending group emails to random hosts who you know nothing about is not good.

Much appreciated and thank you! :)

Kaela Schaefer (not verified)
Hey, just wanted to add this

Hey, just wanted to add this as well:

Writing a host for the first time can feel awkward, I know it did for me! I found a really great article about what you should have in mind when you write to hosts. http://www.goingwithmygut.com/going_with_my_gut/2010/10/10-tips-for-
getting-your-first-wwoof-gig.html

Here's the section on letter writing:

Customise your email to each WWOOF host. WWOOF hosts are rightfully picky about who they take into their home, and popular farms get plenty of applications. A well written letter will help the host notice you above the other applicants. Your letter should contain the following components, preferably in the following order:
You are inquiring about the possibility for the farm to host x volunteers for x days, from x date to y date.
A short paragraph on who you are (e.g., backpacker / young couple on honeymoon etc), and why you are interested in WWOOFing at all.
A short paragraph on why you are interested in that host's farm in particular, and what projects / tasks you are particularly keen on getting involved with.
What immediately relevant skills you can contribute, if you can match it to their published list of tasks and projects
List any farming, gardening or building experience if any, even if they weren't WWOOFing experiences. After your first WWOOF gig, be sure to list your previous WWOOFing experiences.
What additional skills you offer (couch this with "if it turns out to be helpful". Stress that you are happy to help out with whatever is needed on the farm.)

Send out your emails well in advance. On average we sent out emails about 2 months before arriving in the country. The more lead time you set up for yourself, the better the odds are for your top target host having availability for you. WWOOF organisations say you should contact WWOOF hosts one at a time, and write to the next one only after you hear back from the previous one. I confess I don't follow this rule, because many hosts don't actually reply at all, for whatever reason. Instead, I rank my list by my level of interest in them. On Day 1 I'll send off emails to the top 3 or 4, then after 3 days (if I don't hear anything) I'll email the next 3 or 4, and so on. In exchange, I try my best to reply on the same day if I hear back from anyone. And once I commit to one host, I'll send a quick note to subsequent hosts that reply saying thank you, but I've already secured and committed to another WWOOF opportunity. This way they're not left hanging.

There are similar articles all over the interwebs, the amount of info available to wwoofers is astounding.

Sylvia
I also feel that the request

I also feel that the request for hosts should be well in advance.
I have had so many requests for July and August, which have been filled weeks ago. I also object to a wwhoofer who tells me, he or she is looking forward to staying in my home, and then telling me thier dates for arriving, take it or leave it approach.
I am aware there are language problems but I feel that they have to be more personal in thier first approach to a host.I have been lucky in three years I have only had one bad wwhoofer. but we communicate by e.mail prior to decision and to whether they would fit into our lifestyle.
So many just send out emails, and expect the hosts to jump for joy.

Peafield
Another tip aswell . I

Another tip aswell . I usually reply to all e mails from woofers looking for a place and just let them know if I don't have a place for them . However I often don't reply to an obviously generic type e mail where the woofer hasn't even bothered to address me by name .
Mike

Marina Pessarrodona
Thank you for your tips! :)

Thank you for your tips! :)

Ed Harper
I think most importantly for

I think most importantly for Livestock farmers that a woofer has a genuine interest in learning about working with animals. There are plenty of farms that focus soley on crops and other such things. When it comes to livestock, we need to know that a woofer wants to learn and is going to get the most out of the experience. It is also very unfair to turn away genuine enthusiasts. My tip therefore is; research the farm you're approaching so that both parties get the most out of your time there.