When you send emails to your suppliers in China, you want to email them something they are able to:

1-  Read.

2- Efficiently find and understand the key points.

3-  Action the key points.

4-  Give you proper response.

You are not writing them a transcendental poem…

Far too many emails from importers, buyers, purchasers, mom and pop, to their Chinese vendor are this blobby, wordy, paragraph monster of an email.

The paragraph has many points and questions tucked inside of filler words, slang and pointless phrases.

It is as if before the buyer sent the email, they spent ZERO minutes organizing their thoughts. The buyer sat down at their computer and casually opened their brain and let the thoughts flow like a jumbled river.

Emails to suppliers SHOULD NOT be a stream of consciousness.

This is will lead to inefficiencies in your China sourcing and buying.

1-  Read:

The supplier should be able to read the email. The email should be sent in a professional and succinct manner.

Use bullet points.

Break up your sentences when it’s time for a new thought.

2-  Suppliers should be able to efficiently find and understand the key points:

Keep in mind that you are emailing people who are reading in a 2nd language. The supplier should not have to wade through slang and jargon. Get rid of meaningless words like “absolutely, definitely, awesome”.

Do not weight the email down with worthless background noise. The supplier does not know the brand manager, the supplier was not in the corporate meeting, the supplier is not up-to-speed on latest trends and fads. TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW.

Ask yourself, before you send the email, “What exactly do I want them to know, after they read my email?”

Side point: when efficiently emailing suppliers it’s almost as if you are sending sentences you would write in grade school. This has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s intelligence, it is about how to adapt to the landscape. Avoid compound and run-on sentences.

3-Action the key points:

You do not want the supplier finishing up with the email and wondering:

“What is this client talking about?”

“So what’s next?”

I’ve seen buyers think they sent the confirmation to start production, all the while, the supplier is waiting for the confirmation to start production. Avoid causing your supplier to deduce your intentions. Make your intentions and requests clear. Give your supplier a call-to-action.

Organize emails to your supplier in China

Keep in simple in your emails. Let the supplier spend their time controlling production, not having to decipher your email.

Ask yourself before you hit send:  “Is my supplier going to read this email and then know exactly what to tell the production line and exactly what to look for?”

4- Give proper response:

Lead the supplier in a path where they know how to respond to your email. Many suppliers will walk away from an email and know what to do in the production facility, but not have the slightest clue how to respond.

Instead of saying:

“I’m concerned about the delivery time”.

Try saying:

“You confirmed the goods depart from factory on June 30.

Is June 30 still the departure date?

Be sure to carefully check with the production line then let me know.

Update me how you are controlling the departure date with the production line”

The first statement is general and emotionally-charged. The other is specific, has proof of what was confirmed and leads them to give you a response.

This is not exhaustive and may not fool-proof control the departure date, but it leaves a framework for the supplier to: 1-Read 2- Find the key point 3- Action 4- Respond