- While the invention and proliferation of email has made communication between entrepreneurs and investors much easier and much faster, there's also a lot of dangers to it. Imagine being on the receiving end of the following email. Dear Mr. Investor, colon: Generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, generic, End. You'd think, oh, come on, nobody would ever send an email like that to an investor where it literally doesn't say Dear Brad, it says Dear Mr. Investor because they didn't get the mail merge quite right on that email list that they were sending out to 50 or a hundred investors.
Or how about that email that says Dear Joe when it's meant to be to Dear Brad? Don't send out spam. Don't send out bulk emails to investors. In fact, in some ways, view each investor communication as something unique and be really deliberate about how you're making that first interaction with the investor so that you don't get tangled up in the threads of today's modern email systems where if they all have the same subject line, you send something out to a bunch of people, all of a sudden you've go this massively threaded thing.
Use the technology as a tool, but recognize that you're still trying to develop a relationship with each individual investor rather than viewing them as a generic audience that you're going after. Now, it may seem a little pedantic to say how you should use email, but it's amazing to me the number of entrepreneurs that while fundraising has elements of sales process in it, literally don't think about the difference between a high touch sales process where you're really doing something individualized with each potential person that you're going after versus a high volume sales process where you're just hoping somebody will respond so that you can then engage with them.
So take it seriously from that perspective and don't spam your investors.
- Exploring potential stakeholders: friends, family, and more
- Finding a venture capital firm
- Breaking down the term sheet
- Taking on debt
- Asking for NDAs
- Accepting a no