Why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails, that’s a question many startup owners have.
This seemingly small factor in the fundraising process can actually prove to be one of the biggest mistakes and most costly blunders for startup founders.
Why shouldn’t you just send your pitch deck as an attachment when reaching out to potential investors and others? There are actually a variety of very important reasons not to share your deck and other fundraising materials this way.
Below are just a few of them, as well as the best practices that will streamline and increase the profitability of your fundraising efforts for this round and all others to come.
If not via email, what’s the best way to schedule meetings with investors?
Why Not to Send Your Pitch Deck as an Email Attachment
Of the many reasons not to fall into this trap, here are some of the most obvious.
Control Over Materials
Between initial floating of pitch decks and actually getting funded there can be many updates, adjustments, and new versions of a deck created.
If you send a static attachment, then some investors may be looking at very outdated and raw copies of your early draft deck.
That may raise many issues and questions when that document isn’t lining up with your current data and revised documents. You don’t need any extra friction in this already delicate process.
It is clearly far better to control your data and messaging in a dynamic way so that your prospective investors and due diligence teams are always looking at the most current and unified data.
You want the ability to update it on the fly in real-time. You just can’t do that once you’ve sent an attachment. That’s one of the key reasons why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails.
Security Of Your Data
Of course, once you send out an attachment or printed copy of anything it is out of your control. You no longer know where it is, who has it, or what they are doing with it.
While initial intro pitch decks for cold outreach or even warm outbound pitches should be incredibly short and light on detail, many entrepreneurs struggle with this.
It is far better if you can always know who has access to your pitch decks and other business information. To know when they are viewing it, if they have tried downloading a copy, or have shared it with anyone else, and who.
Then of course to have the ability to take back that access to your pitch deck and other data when you desire and keep it secure.
Getting Your Message Through & Viewed
Messages are hard enough to get through today. Even without attachments. Even when the target recipients want and are looking forward to your messages and have signed up for updates.
Trying to send a cold sales pitch, to cold contacts, with attachments, that may be full of spam blocker triggers can be an incredible challenge. It’s like a mission impossible quest, dancing through laser beams.
This not only applies to email but perhaps even text messages and social as well.
Even if you get your message into an inbox, you’ve only gotten through the first hurdle. That’s if your message wasn’t blocked as spam, or didn’t have the attachments or any images stripped out by email service.
Then you have to hope you’ve nailed all the little signals and sales copy to stand out from the thousands of other messages, build enough trust and compel them to open your message. No small feat.
Then you have to have the perfect copy to get them to want to view your pitch deck. The majority of startup entrepreneurs find it near impossible to be disciplined in creating a short and clear deck.
Getting through to investors is challenging as it is.
So, the odds of the attachment making it through this far are small enough already. Then even if you win them over mentality, the recipient has to be able to open that attachment and view it in an effective way immediately.
Are they going to wait for a massive file to download and take up their storage? If it isn’t showing right, how long are they going to put up with distorted images and trying to scroll around the screen to read your text or swipe to the next slide?
There are enough challenges to getting funded already. You have to be simplifying and making it super simple for them at every step or you are already dead in the water before you get started.
Then even if they had enough patience to deal with all of this, is the next person if they want to share it with another investor or investment partner? Factor in these aspects and you’ll understand why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails.
Funneling Investors Into The Pipeline
If you just send attachments you really aren’t bringing prospective investors into your pipeline or actively engaging them. It’s like sending direct mail that may or may not get through.
Fundraising campaigns are a process. It is not just standing outside on a corner in Silicon Valley with a sign saying “we want funding.”
You want to be able to pull them deeper into your funnel, getting them to take actions, and creating opportunities for you to converse and follow up and really engage them. An attachment doesn’t do that very well at all.
If you put up a sign, send direct mail postcards, or blast out cold email attachments you don’t have much ability to track what’s happening. Not unless they pick up the phone and happen to get through to you, and you have a good method for documenting these conversations and engagements.
If you aren’t tracking, then you don’t really know what’s happening. You don’t know whether you are doing enough.
Without the ability to track what’s happening with that pitch deck and other fundraising materials you cannot measure your performance.
If you can’t measure effectively, you cannot improve. You don’t even know what’s working or not, and where you should be trying to improve.
Chances are your business will be talking a lot about tracking and measuring all kinds of other metrics to ensure it is successful. Well, you don’t get the chance to do that in a meaningful way unless you first use that same concept to get funded. Do you see now why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails?
Fundraising is already an incredible time consuming and expensive task for startups. Early fundraising rounds may take up at least 50% of your time. Maybe more.
That’s a big number when you calculate the value of your own time. Then add all of the other labor hours and investments in creating materials.
Attachments are much less efficient to send, track and update. Find an alternative that saves you as much time as possible so that you can get funded faster and put that money in the bank.
As well as being able to keep working on your actual business and be pushing that traction investors will want to see before they are willing to close the deal.
How To Send Your Pitch Deck Instead
So, what is the alternative to sending your pitch deck as an email attachment?
It is far better to send a link to your pitch deck and other data and documents hosted in the cloud.
This greatly increases the odds of your messages and deck actually getting through, getting viewed, and making the desired impression. It checks all of the boxes above, enabling more control and security, tracking metrics, and more.
Links are far more versatile too. They are much easier to share via email, text, and social media. Taking advantage of this versatility is why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails.
What else To Provide With Your Pitch Deck
While a short and simple deck is ideal for conversion and compelling action, savvy investors are going to want to see more meat and detail to back it all up before they actually wire money.
Obviously, you do not want to complicate all of this by adding even more attachments. This is even more reason to send links, and then host all of this additional information in your own online data room.
Other supporting materials you may want to provide with your pitch deck include:
- Business plans
- Action plan
- Marketing plans
- Longer versions of your deck with full appendix
- Your latest investor updates
When it gets to the due diligence phase you will also want to make sure that your supporting documentation and virtual data room includes:
- Profession resumes of the founding team
- Business licenses
- Insurance coverage
- Articles of incorporation
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.
Fundraising Metrics To Track & Measure
What are some of the most useful fundraising campaign metrics your startup can be tracking, measuring, and iterating on when you use better methods of sharing your pitch deck and supporting documents?
Link Clicks & Pitch Deck Views
Out of all of the links to your decks you are sending, how many clicks and pitch deck views are you getting?
Be sure you are tracking the total number of links and prospecting messages you are sending too. Then you can optimize getting those messages delivered, opened, and clicked on too.
If you are hosting multiple variations of your pitch deck in your data room, which are they viewing the most? Which other documents seem to be most commonly viewed, or not?
Track which sources of links are delivering the most click-throughs? Is email failing and underperforming social and SMS, or vice versa?
Time On Page
When investors are viewing your pitch decks, which slides are they actually viewing? Are they making it all the way through, or tuning out before getting to the end?
How much time are they spending on each slide? This can indicate what they are most interested in.
Pitch Deck Shares & Repeat Visits
Are investor prospects coming back to check out your deck again? This can be a good sign of interest and a trigger for you to follow up. Any common threads when they are coming back to view may be indicators of better times and days to send out the link to your deck when they actually have time to view and act on it.
Are they taking the next step to share your deck with partners who may be a part of the decision to fund you or not? Are they sending it and recommending it to other investors and firms that they think your venture may be a better fit for?
When you’re trying to get this information together, you’ll understand why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails.
Meetings & Pitches
How many outbound messages and pitch deck views have turned into actual live pitching opportunities or meetings with investors? How many conversions do you have in total? What are the ratios like of the number of individual investors you have gotten in front of?
This is good to differentiate, as some of these pitches may be on stage to groups of investors. You want to separate this so you know your conversion rates and cash in per individual investor or firm you’ve pitched.
This may help you improve your presentation now, and ensure you have much clearer expectations and a better plan and timeline for your next fundraising round.
Funding Offers Received
How many term sheets or offers of funding have you received as a result of all of this? Segment these numbers by those you take and don’t to help with targeting your next campaign.
Go onto breakdown the number of closed investors, total dollars, and their ratios to pitches and outbound efforts. These are only some of the advantages of why you should avoid attaching your pitch decks to emails.
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 send a pitch deck to investors which you may find helpful.