Messaging American Factories to Get a Response

Liz has been producing products for over 12 years and now works with businesses 1-1 to help them source the right factories. You can book a 1-1 session with her here.

True, factories are busy.  But, what is the real reason they don’t respond to inquiries from potential clients? More often than not, the way new entrepreneurs message factories conveys that they are “green” and uninformed about the process of getting a product or garment made. Since most factories are in the business of making –  not teaching – they may choose to delay or avoid responding, leaving the sender in the lurch.

Don’t let this happen to you! Here are some messaging tips to help you sound like a seasoned professional.

  1. Always include a visual reference of your product

This can be a photo of a sample, a sketch, or a link to a similar competitor’s product. Providing visuals give the factory a clear idea of what you are making, instead of asking them to decipher a written description that may be clearer in your mind than on paper.

Fashion designer.

  1. Keep it short

Emails should be 1-2 paragraphs in length and include only key information: what you’re making, your desired production quantity (if you have one), your budget (if you have one), and any deadlines. You can also mention ‘must have’ requirements, such as special machinery needed to produce your line.

  1. Put the ball back in their court

Instead of trying to provide every last detail, ask the factory what information they need from you in order to move forward. Most suppliers have a specific list of questions/items they request from each potential client in order to provide pricing and lead times.

Here’s a sample email:

Hi Factory Name,

My name is Liz and I’m creating a line of picture frames in custom shapes. A photo of a sample frame is attached to this email. I plan on using acrylic as the main frame material, and will be launching with 3 styles, each available in 4” x 6” and 5” x 7”.

Does this item fall within your capabilities? If so, what information do you need from me in order to provide pricing and minimums?

Thanks so much!
Liz

BONUS: Create an email template for each item you are searching for and simply tweak it for different suppliers. This will allow you to contact a large number of prospects without wasting unnecessary time writing and rewriting correspondence.


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  • Emmaly Knecht

    Great article. I found that as i developed my product i did become more informed with the process, and reading the Makers Row blog helped me develop the lingo i needed to understand what i expected from manufacturers and vice versa. Made for a very successful first meeting with my manufacturer!!

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