TFF #009: How to cold email investors

Jan 11, 2023

I want to start this weeks newsletter with a fact:

Cold emailing investors should be your last resort.

And an investor will think of 3 things when reading them:

  1. “How did they get my email/why did they message me on Linkedin?”
  2. “Why should I spend my precious time on this random person?”
  3. ”Why couldn’t this founder get introduced to me? Do they not have a good network?”

Cold emailing investors is inherently a failure on your part.

It is usually a sign you have failed to reach that investor.

And has a much lower chance of reaching investment.

That being said…

You WILL have to cold email investors during your fundraise.

It’s a fact.

And you can be very successful at it in getting money.

Especially if you increase the number of people you reach.

Just ask my good friend Prateek Sanjay on Linkedin.

He is a king at this, and very successful at helping his clients connect and build relationships through cold emails.


What makes a good investor cold email?

My thoughts below:

Subject Line

The subject line of the email is the first chance to hook the investor into your opportunity. It should be concise and include any social proof you might have. Example: “NAMEOFSTARTUP— [sector/stage/raiseamount], [traction]”

Personalized Opener Make it clear that this was a personalized note—not a copy & paste that was sent to hundreds of investors.

Example: “Hi, {{TARGET}},

Explain why you are messaging, keep it factual - you said this on stage, you wrote this, podcasted this, invested in this, etc."

[this is the most important part of the cold email. The investor doesn’t want you to think you sent this to hundreds of people. They want to think you sent this specifically to them. Was it their experience? Their knowledge? Their thoughts?]

Concise Pitch

2-3 sentences max! Items to include if possible:

  • Exactly what the startup does
  • Why it’s differentiated
  • Traction of your company

[Make it simple and concise.  If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough! Make it bullet points like the above and include data in all points if possible - you have to show you are data driven and communicative.]

Social Proof

One line that provides a layer of social proof—i.e. reasons the person should take you and your company seriously. Include names of others who are involved, investing, etc. This is a one liner that should show them they would be crazy to ignore your email.

Closing CTA

Close with a very simple call-to-action. Prateek below has great examples of how you should end your cold email. The goal here is to pique someone’s interest and make them want to reply. Not give them everything.

Want to learn more from me? Check out how we can work together👇 

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