Neil Patel

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How to measure investor engagement during outreach for a startup fundraising process?

Tracking investor engagement during the fundraising process is extremely important for startups that are serious about raising capital and bringing in powerful new investor partners.

If you want to be more confident, precise, efficient, and effective in fundraising for your startup then it is just common sense to be tracking and measuring this key metric. Unfortunately, many do not. Hence long fundraising campaigns and underperformance.

Remember that this isn’t a one-off event. You’ll go on to keep raising or at least be engaging with investors or potential acquirers of your company in other ways too.

So, the sooner you start tracking, the sooner you’ll see the results, and the more rewards you will realize from the compounding benefits of doing it.

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    What Gets Measured Gets Improved

    If you are not measuring something you not only cannot intelligently determine how to improve it. You don’t even know whether you are already doing well or poorly. You certainly cannot effectively or efficiently make positive adjustments.

    There are plenty of data points available for startup founders who want to intelligently track their investor engagement and fundraising performance, and do better at it. There is an art to the sale and pitching.

    Yet, there is even more science to it. The data that will help you nail raising money this round, do it quickly, and have more investor choices is already there. You just have to look at it and extract the actionable insights it offers.

    Here are just some of the many metrics that relate to investor engagement that you may wish to track. They’re valuable first steps when learning how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Contact Attempts

    Fundraising is a numbers game. Like any form of sales, it often comes down to pushing out enough attempts to contact prospects to get the desired level of yeses and dollars in the bank.

    In order to be sure you are on the right track and to have an even better campaign and expectations for your next fundraising round, you should start by tracking how many gross outbound contacts you are attempting.

    You may further segment this by medium to see which has been fully leveraged and ultimately which is proving most fruitful or has the best conversion rates.

    This may include outbound contact attempts made by:

    • Email
    • Voice call
    • Text message
    • Broadcast to a mobile phone (ringless voicemail or bulk SMS)
    • Social media DMs

    Keep in mind that in fundraising 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.

    Referrals

    According to a KPMG and SPAG study startup investors have found their investments most often from their peers (36% of the time). This is followed by industry bodies at 27%, and referrals at 18%. Though all of these typically involve some type of referral.

    According to these numbers, 81% of startup investments are discovered by some form of referral. The numbers may even be higher than that when you look at pitch events and startup accelerator demo days.

    This suggests that more referrals can have one of the most dramatic impacts on your fundraising success. Make sure you are measuring how many investors you are being referred to, and who is doing most of the referring.

    Make sure you are taking care of your power referrers, and get more from those who are underperforming.

    LinkedIn Profile Views

    In the above-mentioned survey, investors said they also found startup investments via LinkedIn about 9% of the time. Searches of your company and co-founders’ LinkedIn profiles are a good sign of inbound interest, as well as your other fundraising and marketing, and PR efforts working.

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    Much of an investor’s decision is also reliant on their perception of your credibility, past experience, and expertise. LinkedIn is where they will found out a lot of this data.

    Be sure you have polished and updated your LinkedIn profiles, and optimized them for fundraising and being found by the right investors. Use these valuable tools when learning how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Email Open Rates

    One of the top ways to reach startup investors is still via email. This applies both to (cold emailing) and pitching investors as well as everyday communications and from introductions.

    You can have the perfect pitch deck, but it may mean nothing if investors never open your emails.

    Even seemingly small tweaks like your from an email address, email subject lines, and your cover letter copy can make all the difference in getting your message open and seen. The more opens you get, the more pitch deck views you should get, and the higher your chances of getting funded.

    Email Complaints

    Whether cold emailing, sending messages to list subscribers, or new contacts, complaint rates can have a big impact on your numbers and may reveal a lot about the strength of your upfront copy.

    If there are higher rates of complaints about your emails, hard bounces, and unsubscribes, you may be burning a lot of opportunities, and your messaging strategies may be way off.

    Every time you get blocked, you reduce the pool you can reach out to. They will happen, though getting a handle on this can make a lot of difference in funding, terms, and your choices of investors.

    Clickthrough Rates

    How many are not just opening or viewing your messages, but are actually compelled to action by them?

    How many people are clicking through your emails to view your pitch deck or other online assets? What is the investor engagement in clicks from social media posts and direct messages?

    What about your other marketing and press releases https://www.prnewswire.com/ that you are using to support your campaign? In the aforementioned study, 18% of startup investment opportunities are found through the media.

    So, it makes sense to be tracking the results from the buzz you are spreading out there. Keep these factors in mind when understanding how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Pitch Deck Views

    Your messages may get opened, but how many investors are actually viewing your pitch deck?

    Sending a link to your pitch deck hosted online will help identify whether they are really viewing your deck, and what your investor and dollar conversion ratio is to pitch deck views.

    This also helps to double-check metrics. Sometimes there can be variations between what is reported by different platforms.

    These numbers will tell you where the campaign is falling apart; the upfront outreach or the deck itself.

    Time Viewing Your Pitch Deck

    More detailed metrics will reveal finer performance figures. You may be able to see how long they spent viewing your whole deck, and even which slides they viewed and spent the most time on.

    This will show whether your deck is strong enough to get them to swipe through your whole deck. Or whether you are repeatedly losing potential investors in the same places.

    This provides clues as to where you may be blowing it or have a weak deck, whether your deck is simply too long and complicated.

    Repeat Views

    The best pitch deck hosting solutions will also detail who views your deck and how many times.

    Did they just swipe through and move onto another? Or are they coming back to give it a second chance, show it to others and dig a little deeper?

    If they are coming back, this is a great signal you should be reaching out and connecting again. Signs like these help you when figuring out how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Pitch Deck Shares

    Are investors not only engaging with your deck themselves but also forwarding it and sharing with their team members or other investors for who they think this may be a great fit?

    If they are sharing it, who are they sending it to? Can you follow up with them directly? Or ask for a warm introduction?

    Data Room Views

    Which investors are not only viewing your pitch deck but are following through to check out your online data room to get more information?

    Again, you can check out which documents in your data room they viewed, which they viewed multiple times, and if they shared it with others. This is great information on what documents and data are most important and interesting to them. As well as where you may be doing well or poorly.

    Inbound Phone Calls

    How many investors have been that convinced and compelled that they have picked up the phone to call you to ask for more data related to funding you?

    Make sure you are not just recording the volume of inbound calls, but are using some type of CRM for recording call data. This is just as important as your other customer CRM data. Maybe even more so.

    The best CRMs will instantly provide information on previous investor engagement, alerts for when to follow up, all of their contact information, and perhaps even call recordings as well as notes, and the ability to automate follow up. Use them when devising the best strategy of how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Inbound Emails

    How many investors have emailed you back?

    Out of those, who have simply offered you advice and feedback versus those interested in funding you? How do your ratios look compared to these numbers?

    Are they dropping off after speaking with you or (your team)? Or are they flowing through to providing term sheets or inviting you to pitch them and their partners live?

    Don’t forget to count inbound social DMs and text messages too.

    Pitches Given

    How many actual live pitches have you been invited to give, either online or in-person?

    It is worth categorizing them by type, and your ratios and results from each. What type of investors were they? What was the setting? Was in via online video chat, on stage?

    Ideas like these will help you comprehend how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    Investor Meetings

    How many investor meetings have you earned?

    This will show you how well you are doing at getting to this stage, as well as reveal how well you are doing at performing and closing the deal in this setting.

    Map out the number of first meetings, versus how many second and third meetings they have turned into. Or whether you’ve closed them on the first meeting.

    Term Sheets Received

    How many term sheets have you received from investors?

    What does this look like versus your meetings and the number of offers you’ve accepted? If you’ve been turning down term sheets, why? Where is the gap between the offers you are getting and what you are trying to get?

    Investor Updates & Other Follow Up?

    How are investors engaging with your follow up?

    How are your open, click-through, and response rates to your investor update emails, and other emails, social, texts, and other follow-up outreach?

    Do these messages need improvements to increase these numbers? Which mediums are performing best? Are they seeing higher conversions over time as you hit an increased number of touches? Or are they fading out?

    As with any sales, the bulk of the conversions are made in the follow-up. So much energy and investment can be put into pitch decks and PR. Sometimes even cover letters. Much less seems to be invested in the follow-up. Don’t drop the ball where it can matter most.

    Summary

    If you want to ensure a more effective, efficient, and profitable fundraising campaign, then be sure you are measuring and tracking your investor engagement. This will show you where you are fumbling or are over-performing, and where you can improve.

    Check out these tips for mastering this data and unleashing even better fundraising processes at each round. Not only will it help bring in more funds from your preferred investors, but deliver results faster and more predictably. Most importantly, they’re critical when understanding how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

    In the video below I cover in detail how to measure investor engagement during outreach.

    * * *

    FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:

    Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to measure investor engagement during outreach. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that Subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week.

    When you’re doing fundraising, you want to know how you’re performing. Is your outreach being successful? Do you need improvement? Who is doing what? How do you really track things, and how do you measure where you’re at? In today’s video, we’re going to be talking about everything to give you a good lay of the land and to know where you can improve and how you can optimize for success. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

    Fundraising is a numbers game. Ultimately, the more people that you have at the top of the funnel, the more people at the bottom of the funnel will become investors in your business. There are different forms that you could use to reach out to those investors directly. Obviously, people would advise you to use a warm introduction and ideally a founder of a portfolio company that has received an investment in the last 6 to 12 months from that investor that you want to target.

    If you can’t find a founder that can make that introduction for you, some of the methods that you can use to directly reach out to those investors could be any of the following.

    • Email
    • Voice calls
    • Text messages
    • Broadcasts to a mobile phone
    • Social media DMs

    But you need to keep in mind that ultimately for a living, the investors meet with entrepreneurs. If you can get that warm introduction, you can literally optimize and increase your chances of getting an investment because that social proof and that background relatedness is going to help you in getting that investor to a point of trust earlier. Trust is everything in fundraising. Again, try to find someone that you have in-between to make that introduction.

    When it comes to tracking, a really good form that you could use is LinkedIn. If you go on LinkedIn, and you take a look in the section: Who has viewed my profile? You are going to be able to find some of the investors that are looking into your own profile and to see if they can review where you’ve worked, what kind of capabilities or skill sets, or even know how that you have. Those that are viewing your own profile, those are going to be investments that are highly engaged and that you may want to prioritize on your list as people that you want to invest a little bit of time with.

    Something else that you can measure is the email Opus. There are tools, for example, ToutApp or maybe a CRM if you’re using Salesforce or whatever that is that gives you the opportunity to know how many times your emails are being opened and by who and what kind of engagements they’re doing. If you see that an email has been opened hundreds of times, you know that the prospect is very highly motivated to take a look at your opportunity further. Those are going to be some of the leads that maybe you want to put in the bucket that you are investing extra time on.

    Complaint rates could be another one. If you are putting a mail merge on MailChimp where it’s like a blast to a lot of people, and there are a ton of unsubscribes or maybe even people complaining, “Why did I receive this email” that’s not going to be a good look. Also, if you’re going at it with cold emails in a way that is not kosher or a white-glove approach, this could land you into spam filters or even black-listings that could be catastrophic. Try to avoid going the mass-type approach and always try to personalize, as much as possible, whatever email that you’re sending out to those investors. Those investors are not stupid, and when they see that something is automated, they’re going to go to the next email. Those are people that are highly sought after that already have tons of emails in their inbox, so you need to make an impression when they open your email.

    Click-through-rate is another metric that you can track and that you can measure. You can see who is opening your email or how many of those people are clicking on the link that you were sharing in there that went directly to your Dropbox, or to your Google Drive, or to your DocSend, or wherever you’re hosting your pitch deck. Click-through-rates are a good opportunity for you to take a look and see where they’re at, whether they’re high, whether they’re low. Maybe there are certain tweaks that you need to do in the messaging. Again, this would allow you to understand how you’re performing.

    Also, the pitch deck views are a great metric. You can either embed the pitch deck on your website and track that via Google Analytics, or you can track it via the CRM system so that you can see how many people or who is clicking on that. You want to know if that is increasing over the course of time on tools. For example, like DocSend, you can see who is viewing that slide, how much time they’re spending on that.

    But you’ve got to be careful because one thing that you don’t want to do is to actually prompt the investor to have to give you their email in order to view anything. If you do that, yes, you may be able to track what kind of performance or engagement they’re doing with your document, more specifically to whatever investor that is; but you’re adding friction. You’re adding friction for that investor to have access to the document. Fundraising, remember, is not about adding friction; it’s about removing friction, so avoid prompting people to give you an email in order to have access to your documents.

    The next thing is the time that they allocate to your pitch deck, and then also how many times they forwarded your pitch deck. That goes back to what I was saying on the email open-rate. You’re going to be able to see how many times they’re forwarding this and how many views. That’s going to be a great metric because if you’re sending it to someone, and that someone is forwarding it to a bunch of people, then you know what that individual is doing is trying to get feedback and to perhaps get other people to invest with them into your opportunity.

    Next is the data room. There are a lot of data room tools that you can use where you’re putting all the different folders, the important documentation to validate your claims. Again, the diligence room is essentially where you’re putting all those documents for people that have enough interest to go in and to review in detail. You can include the pitch deck, the financial model, and whatever other documents are necessary for them to verify and to research, and to understand the opportunity. The amount of times that they view that, the amount of times that they go in there, and who else on the team is going in there to review the materials is going to be a good indication of where you’re at and what kind of interest you’re actually getting from those potential investors.

    Also, inbound emails are another good one, whether that is from people that you’ve never met or investors that are reaching out. “I’ve seen what you’re doing. I read about you in this article,” or whatever that is or whether it’s on social media. It is a great way for you to know what kind of impact and what kind of footprint you have out there. If you have a lot of people that are reaching out to you, cold, that you never met, and they’ve read about you, that’s a good thing.

    You’ve got to understand that startup investors are always reviewing opportunities. They’re always looking and scouting for great opportunities, and they have developed an investment thesis. An investment thesis is essentially their interest around a certain space and the reason for that interest that has been developed over the course of time.

    That thesis is what really prompts them to go after those types of opportunities. For example, if they’re interested in, let’s say, your healthcare company or your fintech company, they’re going to go after your fintech company and maybe others. They want to try to understand who is going to be a winner for them to deploy the capital. So having those inbound reach-outs, whether it’s in the form of an email or social media, is a great way for you to know that you’re doing something good.

    Then, investor meetings. Out of all the interactions that you’re having that are coming from introductions, from cold emails, or outreach, how many meetings are you getting, and how many of those meetings are leading to follow-up meetings? You need to look at this as a sales funnel. You go with the intro, then an intro meeting, then a follow-up meeting, and there are more follow-up meetings. As you’re looking into that funnel, are you able to get a lot of people from Point A to Point C, or almost to Point C? You need to understand that and to see where you may be losing people so that you can optimize that funnel and make it better so that you get more people to Point C, which is essentially when they wire you the money into the bank account of your business.

    Obviously, the term sheets received are going to be another big one. The term sheet, remember, is a promise, but it’s not binding, and it’s a document that outlines the summary of terms that they’re proposing to make the investment in your business. The more term sheets that you receive, the more successful that you’re being in the fundraising effort. That’s what you’re pushing for. Terms sheets are a great thing and a great validation that you are in high demand for those investors.

    When it comes to the follow-ups and the updates that you’re sending. During the fundraising, maybe you’re going to be sending a follow-up every couple of weeks with a new team member, a milestone, revenue, mentions in the press. How are people engaging with them? Are you getting a lot of responses? Are you getting a lot of click-through rates? See what kind of results you’re generating because that’s going to tell you whether you are continuing and maintaining that interest or the interest is decreasing. If the interest is decreasing based on the responses that you’re getting, you need to understand why that may be the case and try to turn it around and to continue pushing that excitement in order to get people to end up investing in your business.

    Ultimately, it really comes down to data. You need to think about it from a data approach to really understand how those metrics are performing and how you can do a better job to increase your chances of getting things to the finish line.

    Hit a Like on this video. Leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to, and also, don’t forget to Subscribe to our channel because we’re rolling out videos every week that you may also find interesting. If you’re raising money, send me an email at alejandro@pantheraadvisors.com. I would love to help you out with your capital-raising efforts. Thank you so much for watching.

     

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    Neil Patel

    I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

    If you want me to help you with your fundraising, just book a call.

    Book a Call