Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wholesale Part 4: Email Contact
Most people do not realize that there is a "First Contact" email etiquette to follow. It starts by asking the retailer if is is okay to send information to them. Unsolicited email is one thing that is hated by most people and businesses a like. Spam is spam no matter how you slice it. The less like actual spam that your initial contact email is the more likely hood that you'll get a positive response.
If you do not know the name of the person you are writing do not address it to "Dear Owner" or "Dear Purchasing Agent" it is best to leave no greeting than to provide a generic one. Just introduce yourself and ask them if you can send them some more information. This is not your sales pitch. Well, it is a sales pitch for you, not your product.
The initial contact letter should be very short and to the point. Here is an example:
"Hello. My name is Jane Doe and I have been making handmade jewelry for xx years. After looking at your shop I feel that my product would be an asset to your store. With your permission I would like to send you a little bit of information about me and the jewelry I create. If you would like to know more, simply reply to this email and I will get the information to you. If you are not interested in receiving more information, don't worry, this is a one time mailing and you won't receive anything else from me.
Jane Doe, Owner
ABC Jewelry company
Of course, your message can be different but it should not be much longer than this. Make it simple. Put the ball in their court. If they are interested, they may go to your website or your Etsy shop since you put the information in. They may or may not ask for more information. If they do, reply with a thank you and list the info in the email and attach a PDF of the same info for them to print. You might add a couple of pictures to the PDF but make the email simple.
After you send them the information wait to hear back from them. If you hear nothing in one week, send them a short note saying something like:
"Hi again. Last week I sent you some information about my company and my products for possible inclusion in your shop. I was wondering if you had time to look over it. I would like to know what you thought. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
If they do not email you back after that, they are not interested. File them away and don't contact them again. Move on to the next one. In my experience, if I send out 100 initial contact letters 10 to 12 shops reply for more information. Of those one or two will be interested in carrying my items and the others will not. So, I have about a 1% turn around on seeking out new shops for wholesale.
I have products that are in a very small niche. That makes it a little easier for me to target shops that are within my niche. You may want to consider targeting a smaller number of shops with a small number of products as well. It is up to you. That is all for today. Feel free to share your experiences. There will be more tomorrow.