Your cold email doesn't work to VCs because the cold email isn't incredibly compelling
If it is, you'll get a response
— Jason ✨2022 SaaStr Annual Sep 13-15 ✨ Lemkin (@jasonlk) January 21, 2022
Cold emails to investors have their detractors. There are so, so many start-ups these days. Everyone with a checkbook is looking for signals which of the 1000s to invest in. Because these days in SaaS, there are just too many. 5 years ago, you could meet many of them. 10 years ago, you could meet all of them. Now there are just too many.
So you are looking for signals. And one is a “warm intro” from someone you trust. If they tell you a start-up is doing incredibly well, and has one of the best teams she’s ever met … of course you want to take that meeting.
Does that mean cold emails don’t work these days?
Of course not. Outbound always works. It’s just the more vendors in a space, the lower the “connect rate” is going to be for outbound. So the better the pitch really has to be.
With that, to help folks thinking about cold emailing investors, I have permission to share the emails from two great CEOs that cold emailed me that I then quickly funded with millions. Here they are. They worked.
The first is from Allie Janoch, CEO of Mapistry. And conveniently, as you see below, she also writes how she put the pitch together.
It does a good job of summarizing the opportunity, early customers and traction, growth profile, and market size. Perhaps just as importantly, it is truly personalized.
Also for me at least, it’s low drama. “Do you have any time the week after next?” The confident and relatively data-rich but low drama emails work best. Knowing there’s a little time makes it much less risky to meet a founder you’ve barely met before and dig in.
More on the story (and how the first cold email didn’t work at all) here: How I Turned A Cold Email Into A $2.5M Seed Round – Noteworthy – The Journal Blog
And a great video with Allie here:
The second I can highlight we did live at SaaStr Europa this year, which was super fun. Here’s the email from Unicorn Talkdesk to me, back when they were at $1m in ARR or so:
It is really strong. Not just the metrics, but the case studies, the sense of the go-to-market strategy, and more. Lesson: anyone would want to take this meeting. Maybe you don’t have all of these assets, yes. But copy it as much as you can.
And while Talkdesk did have a challenging transition phase going enterprise (see the discussion below) — today it’s worth more than $3 Billion.
A great outbound email always works, if timing is right. So long as you know your buyer cold. And you have the precise product they are looking for. And that’s why a lame, un-researched outbound email rarely works.
A bit more on the perspective from more top VCs here:
(note: this is an update of an earlier post with Talkdesk section and the Mapistry video added)
I swear my killer subject lines and punchy emails have gotten me through steel doors🤞🏾🤞🏾🤞🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 https://t.co/TNMIlmPLe1
— Zanele Abraham (@zanele_matome) June 10, 2020
(note: an updated SaaStr post)