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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you would like more helpful information on what to do if your investor outreach is not working, check out this short video I have put together. You’re sure to find it helpful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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