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Are you in fundraising mode and wondering how to cold email investors?

Want to raise more capital for your startup business? How can you successfully cold email investors and get the funding your venture craves?

Some startups and their founders have become famous for pulling off incredible funding rounds from very notable investors, with just a cold email. Even from Mark Cuban.

It is true that this is more the exception than the rule. Yet, if they could do it, so can you. There can actually be many advantages to this. It’s a great way to start fundraising and land a highly respected lead investor. While not necessarily the most efficient or predictable fundraising process, it is cheap and can help keep things simple when you don’t want to get distracted and detoured with a complex fundraising process. If you can pull it off, the upside and ROI is huge. 

Also before you are even thinking about emailing investors you want to make sure that you have your fundraising story in place. Storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Here’s how to cold email investors and win the money…

Choosing The Right Investors

To be efficient and avoid wasting precious months and just banging your head against the wall, it pays to hone in on the best fitting investors.

When looking into how to cold email investors you need to get very targeted. Just like you would do with any customers. This will dramatically increase your odds of getting your emails opened, getting them to read, prompting a response, through to getting a meeting and closing the deal, so that you can put the money in the bank.

So, who are the right investors to email for your startup?

Some of the ways you may filter them include:

  • Who is already investing in and interested in your industry and niche
  • Who is excited about investing in your type of business model
  • Who writes the size of the check you are looking for
  • Who invests at this round and stage of startups
  • Which investors and partners you’d really like on your board
  • Who can offer your startup the most value beyond the money
  • Whose fund is at the right moment in their lifecycle to match your timeline
  • Who can you get along with and enjoy building a business with

How To Get Investors’ Email Addresses

Obviously, in order to be able to email your target investors, you have to have their email addresses. Where do you get them?

Some options when addressing how to cold email investors may include:

  • Purchasing or renting email lists
  • Having an assistant scrape email data from the web
  • Finding investors on popular startup and investing platforms
  • Reaching out through email promotions and lists managed by crowdfunding platforms
  • Referrals
  • Listening to podcasts like DealMakers where they give out their contact information
  • Through schools and universities, they may lecture at as professors
  • Through angel groups and associations

In the video below I cover in detail how to cold email investors.

Key Parts Of Your Email To Investors

These are the key parts of crafting an email to potential investors in your startup.

The from address

Which email address will you email them from? Be careful that it isn’t some super spammy Yahoo or Hotmail address that will get blocked and bounced or ignored. It might be even better if it is an edu address, or from your new company domain. Worst case scenario, at least you start dropping your company name into their subconscious mind, even if they don’t open it.

The subject line

This is one of the most important parts of how to cold email investors as this will determine the open rate. Your email won’t get opened without a great subject line. It doesn’t matter how great the rest of your message or your business idea is if they don’t open the email. Create a compelling subject line that they can’t resist opening. Or at least one that peaks their interest enough to get a look.

The first line of your message

It’s quite likely they will see the first few words of your first line in their inbox as a preview before opening your message. This can be just as critical for getting opened as your subject line.

Once opened, your first line of text carries all the difference in whether they will keep reading or not. So, make it interesting and appealing. 

The body of your email message

You might get read with a long from the message with a great story and lots of attachments. Today, we are all so busy, and great investors are certainly no exception to this. So, it makes sense that a short and sweet, on-point message will probably work best. 

This also proves that you can stay focused and keep it simple. Two of the most important ingredients for a successful pitch and startup.

Remember that the real point here is not to close them in one single message. It is to start a conversation. Get them engaged enough to answer you back or pick up the phone. 

You may use a video in the body of your message. Yet, especially with cold emails, attachments and embedded images and video may be more likely blocked by spam filters or avoided by recipients not wanting to fall prey to email scams. 

The close and call to action

Be sure to end your email message with a clear and strong call to action. What do you want them to do? What is the optimal outcome, other than just wiring you some money?

Should they email, call, text, or reach you on social media?

Be sure to add all of your contact information so that they can reach out!

You can add more links to information about you and your startup in the signature area to build confidence too.

Angles

There are several angles you can take when wondering how to cold email investors.

Just raising your hand and saying “I want some money!” is probably not the most effective approach.

Others you may consider include:

  • Asking for advice on your startup and pitch deck
  • Surveying them on their business, investment thesis, and what they are passionate about
  • Making a big claim that gets them interested
  • FOMO – what are they missing out by not reading and acting on this?
  • Referring them to content recently published about you or a big achievement or notable mention from an authority they trust
  • Sending your pitch deck

Remember that even better than cold emails are introductions. Alternatives to cold emails may also include messages via Linkedin and Twitter or finding them in person. Get creative and show up where they are.

Once you get the investor to respond you need to get them past the introductory call. The slide below outlines how to go from one phase to another one. You need to treat this process as a sales funnel and moving investors from one place to another all the way until the money is wired in the bank.

Fundraising process

While cold email investors is not the best way to go about getting in front of investors it could still be a channel if you can not find another alternative way. My personal recommendation to founders is to always seek an introduction from another entrepreneur that has received an investment from the investor you are looking to target in the last 6 to 12 months. Those are literally the best source of introductions.

Hopefully, this piece provided some perspective as you are looking into how to cold email investors.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO:

Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to cold email investors. Obviously, cold emailing investors is not the best way to get into the circle of trust of the investors because those investors are going to expect you to have a warm introduction to get in front of them.

Here’s the thing: in many instances, cold emailing those investors can actually yield great results. There are many, many investors out there, like Mark Cuban, that are very well known for investing in companies that have emailed them cold without any type of preexisting relationship and that they actually took into a meeting, and they end up investing. In the video today, we’re going to cover what some of the things are that you can do to cold email investors and to optimize your chances toward getting a potential investment from them. With that being said, let’s get into it.

Chasing the right investors is critical because when you’re fundraising, you’re ultimately optimizing for time. What optimizing for time essentially is, is going after investors that are going to be more likely and more inclined to make an investment in your business. 

What this means is, you want to go out for people that are investing in your segment, investors that are also investing in your geographic location, investors that also are essentially investing in your financing cycle. If you’re too early and they’re investing on a later stage, there’s not going to be a fit. So, you want to go after those people that are inclined. The same thing as when I was talking about segment, if you’re in healthcare operating, you’re not going to go to investors that are investing in fintech. It makes no sense. They’re going to tell you no. 

Then the other thing is that you want to go for people that are going to  be a good fit that maybe have the same principles, maybe they’re seeing the market in the same way that you’re seeing it, and those are the people that you want to go after, and you’re going to have more chances for them to make an investment on you. So, remember always that optimizing for time is the way to go, and when you’re looking to put together a list of investors, you want to put into that list people that are basically into what you’re doing and that have an investment thesis around your type of opportunity.

There are different ways at getting emails for investors. A really cool tool that I like is called hunter.io. What this website does is that you put the URL of the individual that you’re trying to target that works at the company or at that firm, and hunter.io is going to give you the exact name and the last name and whatever that email structure is so that you can copy and put it in your email with whatever body language that you’re putting. That’s a really good tool.

Other methods of getting emails from those investors are some of the following:

  • Purchasing or renting email lists
  • Having an assistant scrape email data from the web
  • Finding investors on popular startup and investing platforms
  • Referrals
  • Listening to podcasts like DealMakers
  • Through schools and universities that they may lecture as professors
  • Through angel groups and associations

When it comes to the email itself or the body or the language that you’re going to be using in that email, everything is going to start with the subject line because the subject line needs to be a subject line that they’re going to be inclined to read. A subject line that performs 60% or more on the open rate is follow-up, and follow-up regarding whatever that is. 

What you do is, you go into the email and in that first paragraph, what you do is you insert the keyword “follow-up” that you’re following-up after hearing about them, reading an article, or someone told you about them, and that addresses right away the fact that you’re using the follow-up on the subject line. Otherwise, they might get annoyed. The way that you’re structuring those emails, they need to get to the point. They need to be very simple, and they need to be compressed. You can’t put a super-long email because you’re going to lose people. The attention span is very low. 

When it comes to the body, you want to use two to three paragraphs maximum, and you always finish it with a call to action. First, you’re going to open up with “Hi, name.” Then you’re going to go into, “I wanted to reach out because after learning about your story, blah, blah…” and that’s the first paragraph. 

Then, in the second paragraph, it’s all about who you are. You can go into providing some background. “I am the co-founder of XYZ. We are a team of – we are targeting this market, which is super exciting because there are so many billions, and this is why we are qualified to be the best team to execute this.” You’ve got to be straight to the point.

Then, the way that you want to finish it is that every email, every interaction with an investor, always needs to finish with a call to action. The way that you could finish the email is, “Are you available for an introductory call next week or the following? Best, your name.” 

That is straight to the point. You are addressing why you are reaching out. Then you are exactly introducing yourself in a very powerful way, and then you are closing the email with perhaps that call to action to get them on the phone to really get to know each other.

When you’re actually in front of investors, you’re actually trying to speak to them, get in front of them, and really create that excitement, there are different angles that you can use to your advantage in order to push things forward. Some of those angles are the following:

  • Asking for advice
  • Surveying them on their business, investment theses, or what they’re passionate about
  • Making a claim that gets them interested
  • Fear of missing out
  • Referring them to content recently published about you or a big achievement that you did
  • Also, including your pitch deck

You also want to make sure that they feel that you’ve done your homework. You need to go into their LinkedIn page to see what groups they follow. Go on their Twitter account so that you see what they’re tweeting about, and you get a good idea of what excites them. Those are going to be some of the great things that even though you may be reaching out cold, they can see that you’ve done your homework on them.

When you’re cold-emailing the investor, all you want to do is get them into the funnel. Basically, fundraising is just like a sales funnel. Essentially, that first cold email is going to lead to an introductory call. Once that introductory call happens, then there are going to be some materials that are exchanged. After those materials are exchanged, what’s going to happen is that you may meet them in person, or they may bring another partner on their firm or someone else that they trust to take a look at the deal, to meet you, and things like that. 

Once that first in-person meeting happens, then you go into what I call the follow-up game. You’re telling them right now that you’re here, and then over the course of time, they need to see that you’re executing and that those dots are connecting. Every couple of weeks, you’re going to be reaching out with a follow-up email telling them the great feedback that they gave you and how you’ve been implementing it, and also, perhaps milestones that you’re achieving, or press mentions, or things of that nature that are really exciting to them.

Eventually, one of those investors that you’ve been engaging with are going to be stepping forward, and they’re going to be like, “Hey, by the way. Are you looking for a lead investor?” because always remember that you’re going for advice. As the saying goes, “You go for money; you get advice. You go for advice; you get money twice.” So always go for advice. When you’re engaging in like 50 of those investors, and then one of them says, “Are you looking for money?” At that point, you strike, and you say, “It would be such an honor to have someone like you leading a round.”

What happens is that if that investor sees that investor already introduced it indirectly, like, “Hey, do you need money?” Then, most likely, they’re going to come in. They’re going to become the lead investor, give you 20% or more on your financing round, and then what you do is you go to the other 49 investors that you’ve been engaging, and you tell them, “By the way, something great happened. We had this incredible investor that came in to lead, and I would love to share this journey with you as well. We’re closing by x-date,” so you’re already putting in there the fear of missing out, “and I would love to send you the offering documents. Would it be okay if I send you those documents? We’re closing again on x-date,” so that you get that sense of urgency. So, what happens is that you’ve created that storm. You created that fear of missing out, and then people are going to be thrilled to really jump in and share that journey with you. 

We love to hear on the comment section below what the things are that you’ve done to cold email people, like out of the blue and how they reacted.  Like this video, as well, and subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week.

Then, also, take a look at the fundraising training, which is the program where we help from A to Z with everything related to fundraising. There you’ll find live Q&A sessions, agreements, templates, a community of founders helping each other all over the world, and you will find tremendous value in it. Thank you so much for watching.

 

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