Sometime ago, in a previous life, I recorded almost 90 videos about startups, business, getting investment, stuff like this. I was looking yesterday through them and this video about How to approach an angel investor by email is the most viewed video I’ve made. It has around 1,200 views, not a lot, but since I didn’t really push my YouTube channel, it’s more than I expected. I actually stopped investing last year (so don’t email me about that), but the advice is still valid, in my opinion.
Looking back to the video, I see how low energy I was and I remember how tired I was. Well, I get a little bit more excited as I answer, but in the beginning I looked like I wanted to sleep for at least a few weeks. Don’t let that stop you from watching the full 3 and a half minute video :)
Here’s an adapted transcript of the most important parts:
[if you want to see the video, skip at the end of this post]
What I would want to see in the email [as an angel investor]:
The email must be short: three paragraphs the most.
If you can’t put the information that I’m going to tell you about in three paragraphs, then it means that you don’t really have a clear idea about what you want to do in the company, what you want from me and you’ll just gonna waste my time.
The first paragraph: what do you do?
It should be about what you want to do, about what your company does. It should be up to 3 sentences the most and just explain in a short-form what you’re doing. Keep in mind that what you want to do in those three sentences is not to explain everything about your business. You just want to make me curious, so you get me to meet with you, because you’re not gonna sell me on investing in your company just by sending me an email. You still need to meet with me, so the main purpose of this email is to make me curious.
The second paragraph: how can I help?
Here you should tell me how I can help. Angel investors are not dumb money, they’re not there just to give you money. They want to add knowledge, they want to help you with the company. Because angel investors invest in really early stage companies, you need to tell them how they can help.
You need to tell me why you’re coming to me and the reason should be a different one than just getting money. You should look for money and connections, money and advice.
The third paragraph: How did you get to me?
You need to tell me how you found out about me and why you think we’re a good fit. Maybe we know the same people, maybe someone recommended me or maybe you’ve read about me somewhere. Just give me a reason to think you actually thought this through.
So basically the email needs to be short: more than three paragraphs is too much.
Send the email and if the angel investor doesn’t respond in the first week or so, send the email again saying: look, I’ve sent this email a week ago, maybe you didn’t see it, sorry for sending it again but here it is. If the person doesn’t respond, they’re probably not interested.
My experience is though, that people will answer those emails when they see them, because investors want to meet interesting people, they want to meet interesting companies, so why not? Just make the email short enough so that it doesn’t take a lot of time and interesting enough so that you meet.
Interesting enough doesn’t mean long. Interesting enough doesn’t mean filled with information.
We’re going to have a meeting afterwards and you’ll have 30 minutes – 1 hour time, enough to give me the information you want. The email should be short and interesting.
Finally, this is How you approach an angel investor by email.
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