An Angel Investor Will Never Open Your Pitch Deck Until You do This!
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#1 Write as if You Were Speaking to the Investor Directly!
Your cover letter is the first thing that the investors will get to see. It needs to interact with them and explain to them What, Who, How and Why of your business.
When was the last time you were hiring for your team and saw CVs landing your inbox without a (convincing) cover letter? You found them irrelevant and hit the delete button, right?
The same thing is applicable to your investor emails. You need to make them peppy and filled with essential information nicely structured. Use headings and bullet lists wherever required. Keep it below 300 words put together in 4-5 paragraphs to ensure a comfortable read.
#2 If You Can’t Explain it to a 6-years old, You Don’t Know it Yourself! You do not essentially know whether your email will be read by the investor herself or an analyst doing a high-level review.
As angel investors are busy running their businesses, they do not have enough time doing an in-depth study of tens of pitch decks they get every month.
Assume that they do not know anything about your business and then explain in limited words what you really do and how you do it.
Write about your business model- especially how do you really make money and highlight whether you have any traction/ revenues/ paying customers.
#3 Cold Emails Land in Trash, Well Mostly! In business and life, introductions do wonders. If you are sending cold emails to investors by taking their email IDs from the internet- there are good chances that your emails are going to land in the trash.
What do you think is better- sending unsolicited cold emails to 100 people or networking with 10 and reaching them out based on your discussions with them?
What if there is someone that you know in person or on LinkedIn who could wire you with the right person? It’s all about who you know and who knows you!
Shortly after you open the cover letter, write about who introduced you or where you met them and you will be valued more.
#4 Give Them a Reason to Call You Back! If you are an entrepreneur reading this, you know the importance of sales. At every step, you have to sell for onboarding customers, partners, cofounders, team and so on. So what is that elevator pitch that you have been perfecting for a long time if an investor encounter happened?
Just think about it and use your pitch in a subtle way to create an impact. Think about that call to action that you expect the reader to take. Is it a call that you want or a personal meeting that will work better- write what makes more sense to you.
#5 Never Shy Away From Following up! Angel investors are busy people running their businesses, making money to be invested in startups like yours. You cannot expect them to be super quick in their replies.
However, the way you would follow up for any business leader, you need to follow up with your prospective investor too- take a subtle approach though. It requires a lot of patience sometimes to finally hear back and proceed further.
If you are running out of money and have no runway left, avoid taking a panic route to sell your company’s stake too cheap. One can expect 3-6 months timeframe at the seed level to see serious meetings happening on the ground and proceeding to documentation.
So start looking out for funds a bit before you run out of capital to survive.
Conclusion: Fundraising isn’t an easy task. You need a lot of persistence, planning and skin in the game. Find a sensible seasoned entrepreneur to be an advisor for your Startup, nurture that relationship and pursue him or leverage his network in future for raising capital.