Posted by Mr. Smith on 2008-03-06
You have been slaving away at a fundraise, and now you have an introduction to a top fund. Pow! You pop open Outlook and copy and paste your three page introduction email meets business plan synopsis. Guess what" Bad idea. Almost every entrepreneur, including myself, has overdone the initial introduction email. Your mission is to sell them on the opportunity, not to close a deal with the Death Star of pitch emails. Let's walk through the anatomy of a good introductory email.
Starting at the top, the email title should be clear, including key data points on stage, industry, and need. For example: "Early Stage Biotech Opportunity" or "Follow-on Investor Needed for Cleantech Expansion Round." If you have a well-known company, then say "TechCrunch Looking for small Series A."
Blanket spam-pitches are insulting, so the email itself should open with some personal context based on doing your homework. For example: "I see you are on the Board of VentureBeat, and I would like you to look at my TechCrunch opportunity" or "Roger has said that you are the right person for us to speak with about cleantech."
Next is where every entrepreneur makes a series of classic mistakes. A compilation of overwhelming market data, jargon, and bullet points normally follows the impersonal introduction, accompanied by a slew of useless attachments, login information, etc. Do you think that VCs actually read all of this stuff" Your goal here is to say as little as possible and get this person on the phone.
Your best case scenario is to boil down personal background, market need, market size, and funding requirements into an easy to read paragraph (even a sentence, if possible). For example, "After selling my last company Google, I patented a process to generate electricity from highways. An initial field study demonstrated that the 405 through LA can supply electricity to 400,000 homes, generating $40 MM in revenues. We are looking to raise a $5 MM Series A to deploy a larger technology trial to supply electricity for 10,000 homes before we enter full-scale production across the United States."
Close your email with a couple of opportunities to speak, and be specific. For example, "We are planning to start meeting with investors next week, and I have availabilities on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. I will also be down by your offices on Friday. You can reach me on my cell to set something up." Never delegate scheduling to your assistant, especially when fundraising.
Do any other Members have some good tips for an introductory email to post below"PRIVATE: Members Only