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How To Cold Email Investors - Michael Seibel

Founders often ask me how to cold email an investor when they re interested in raising money and i receive tons of cold emails from founders and i try to actually reply to all of them here are some tips on some things you should and shouldn t do when cold emailing an investor first the do s make it short if.

Make it short, i.e. 60 seconds or less to read

You send me a wall of text if you send me an email that takes two to five minutes to read it s really hard for me to read it in the normal course of me doing my work and so oftentimes i l store it save it for later. And then it s not clear when i l get back to it if you can make your email something that i can read in seconds or less you can pretty much guarantee that i l read it and that s the most important thing you need you need not to sell me on writing a check and investment your company you need me to just read what you re working on and understand what s working on enough to want to reply back the second.

Interested in: the problem you're trying to solve, what your solution is, have you launched, do you have growth, how big you think the market could be, do you have cofounders, are you technical, and do you know something about the problem that you think is controversial.

Thing that s important is that in that short email there s some things that i m really interested in knowing the problem that you re trying to solve what your solution is have you launched or do you have any growth at all how big do you think the market could be do you have co founders and do you have the ability to write code and do you know something about the problem or the market or your opportunity that you feel like is controversial that other people don t know or wouldn t agree with those are the things that i m most interested in understanding i am not interested in a.

Not interested in: a long history of how you came up with the idea or jargon (see: customer pitch vs investor pitch

Long history of how you came up with the idea what i don t need is a story or a narrative in the beginning what i first need is just raw facts it s even more important that you don t use jargon one of the things we say. Oh i see all the time is there s a difference between a customer pitch and an investor pitch when talking to a customer or user they know the jargon of your industry we re talking to investor you have no idea whether they know so make sure using simple language that you can use with any friend that you have regardless of whether they re in your industry.

Send your email from a company email address with your name in it

Next thing is send your email from a company email address and an email address that has your name in it. You d be surprised at how many emails i get from often times really weirdly formatted personal email. So i can t tell what the person s name is or like an info at email address was just i don. T know what it is. But it s just kind of weird to like get an email from a person talking about their company not from their company email address it just it sets things off the wrong way also most investors are using some type of tool that gives them information about the person who s emailing them you know rapportive or superhuman or so and so forth and if you don t send email from your actual email address you use i don.

Decks aren't required but use a common format if including one

Next is that it s fine to attach a deck to your email but it is not required what i will tell you though is that there are extremely common formats for dax that investors in silicon valley are used to please do not attach a deck that lives outside of that format if you have any question what that format is just google search airbnb ease fundraising dec and that will give you a basic look of what a deck looks like what s interesting and what i ve learned is that in different industries decks look completely different so if you re from finance or from marketing or from any other number of industries there s a style of deck you might be used to that could be completely different from what startups normally pitch with so just copy the template from a successful startup stack don t roll with what you re used to in another industry the.

Track opens

Last thing is track opens if you re emailing investors track the open rate and make sure that people are actually seeing your email now here are the don ts some of the.

Don't make it long

Don ts are the opposite of the do s don t make it long i m saying this over and over again because the most important thing you want is a reply the most important thing you want is the beginning of an email back and forth oftentimes founders try to shoot for too much in that initial yuma exchange they want a meeting they want a phone call they want an investment and in a reality what you want is a conversation once we re in a back and forth that s when i can ask questions i can learn more about your business i can learn more about you we can kind of go back and forth and how to develop a relationship so make sure you re not making the email so long and so thick and. So jargony then i m just like it s too much of a burden in the moment for me to reply we re really looking for is that like i check my email all the time every day like can i see your email be interested and reply all within the same let s say to seconds that s what you re looking for and if you have any confusion about how long your email is write it and then read it to yourself from record your self reading it pretty simple.

Don't immediately request an in-person meeting

Don t immediately request a in person meeting many investors have very different styles of how they like to do their first engagement and in reality if you say something interesting the investor is going to want more information the mess was going to want to continue the conversation if you are perceived as just pushing for an internal in person meeting the it s more often than investors going to think. Oh well i don t want my arm to be twisted in a meeting where i don t know whether it s going to be a high quality meeting. And so i feel a little uncomfortable.

Don't send multiple follow-ups quickly

The next is don t send multiple follow ups quickly you can trust that if your email is short and you have read receipts track opens you know whether someone s are at the email or not and once they ve read the email they have made the choice on whether to reply to you now or apply to you later and so you don t need to hit them over the head with multiple emails and then.

Don't forget to describe what your company does

The last thing and the most important thing is you don t. This is a double negative don t not describe what your company does you d be so shocked at how many emails i get basically saying michael i m coming to town. I d love to meet in person for an hour. And so i can tell you what i m working on that s the exact wrong order of operations what you want to do is you want to say michael i m working on this really interesting thing bam and then get me to reply back to you right that is the right order right you want me to be the ones seeking more information for you want to kind of put something enticing out there and having me come to you that s what gives you leverage as opposed to saying to me michael the only way you re ever gonna learn what i m working on is to meet me for an hour for lunch.

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