How to cold email investors

A guide on how to cold email angel investors and VCs. Learn how to write cold emails that convert into meetings with investors.

Cold emails are underrated. In fact, investors are open to cold pitches and many notable startups were funded through a cold email.

If done right, cold emails can get you dozens of meetings with VCs. So how to write a perfect cold email to an investor? I built a step-by-step guide and provided cold email templates and examples.

Basic rules

  • Reach out to the right investors only. Emailing investors who aren't interested in your industry/business model or don't invest at your stage is a huge time waste. The very first thing you should do is to build a list of 150-300 relevant investors. I wrote a post on how to find investors for your startup here.
  • Keep your emails short, 60 seconds or less to read. Most investors receive hundreds of emails per week (good investors receive hundreds per day). You won't get a meeting if your email is too long to read it.
  • Tailor your emails to each investor. Investors are immune to copy-paste emails. Personalize each email to show investors that you did your homework.

How to write a cold email to an investor?

Do your research

"Sending 100 copy-pasted cold emails in one hour: 1% conversion rate. Sending 10 unique cold emails in one hour: 80% conversion rate." — Sahil Lavingia, founder and VC

You need to be 100% sure you're a good fit for each investor you're reaching out to. So again, build a list of relevant investors first. Shizune can find investors that invest in your industry, stage, and geography automatically. Check it out:

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Things to check out about each investor:

  • Portfolio companies. Look for investments in your vertical / at your stage. Find companies similar to your startup so you can mention them in your emails or at the meeting.
  • Social media and blog. It's a gold mine of helpful information. Maybe the investor posted something about your industry?
  • Former jobs. They can tell you a lot about the investor's background.

You'll need all this information to write a good email and prepare for the meeting.

Write a catchy subject line

The subject line is what determines if investors even open your email or not. It should be short, simple, and intriguing.

While there's no silver bullet, I like to use this formula: {company name}{big vision}

My example is short (less than 60 characters). They're so simple any investor on the planet can understand all words in them. And hopefully, they're intriguing since there are no other bots that can get meetings for founders. The product is not there yet, but it's a part of my big vision.

How to pick the best subject line:

  1. Write 10-20 variants.
  2. Test 3-5 of them.
  3. Measure open rates and pick the most performing one.

Include the WHY in the opener line

Explain to the investor why do you think he/she/they is a good fit for you. Use the information you found earlier to craft a perfect opening line.

Explanations that work best:

  1. The investor is interested in your industry (e.g., FinTech).
  2. The investor invests in your business model (e.g., SaaS).
  3. The investor has already invested in similar startups.

Introduce your company to an investor

Now it's time to introduce yourself and your company. Short blurbs work best.

The goal of a blurb is to walk the investor through the core aspects of your business in 30 seconds or less.

I wrote a post on how to introduce your company the right way. In short, you need to answer the questions below with 5-7 sentences or bullet points.

  • What do you do?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Do you have traction?
  • Who are you (the team)?
  • What round are you raising and what is your progress?

Ask for the meeting gently

Wrap up your email with the CTA — ask for a meeting. But don't be too pushy about it, some investors prefer to get to know companies before meeting with them. Respect their time.

How to ask an investor for a meeting:

  • Ask for 10-15 minutes, not 60.
  • Make it easy to book the meeting, use services like Calendly.
  • Offer emails as an alternative to the meeting.
  • Be very polite.

Investor cold email template

Cold email template for venture capital investors:

Hi David,
I think you'd be a great investor for us because of your experience with Copy AI. We're using text generation to craft personalized intro asks/cold emails for our users.

My name is Pavel, I'm the founder of Shizune, an SF-based SaaS platform that helps startup founders get investor meetings by automating investor research and outreach.

Our progress:
$90k in pre-orders growing at a 100% MoM rate.
Launched the MVP two days ago (Nov 2).

Founding team:
Pavel (CEO) — founded and scaled a B2B SaaS company to $200k ARR, sold it in Feb.
Vladislav (CTO) — engineering team lead with 8 years of experience.

We're raising a $2M pre-seed round to hit the $20k MRR milestone in 9 months. Our raise is moving much faster than expected and we have $500K committed so far after two weeks.

Can we discuss this for 15 minutes? Happy to react to your schedule or engage with someone who manages your calendar, but if it’s helpful, I also have a Calendly link. Also happy to email if that's better for you.

Should I send the deck to investors?

On the one hand, yes. Theoretically, investors can learn more about your company from it. Plus ALL investors ask for the deck. But in reality, investors will make a decision to pass on your business based on your deck.

The deck is meant to be presented, not read. You already provided enough information about your company in your email, the investor can already decide if you're a fit or not. Other details about your business are better to be presented personally.

Do not send the deck record a 60-sec video instead. Walk the investor through the core aspects of your business — product, traction, team, funding.

How to follow up with investors?

Should you even follow up with investors? Definitely yes. They are busy people and might just forget about you even if they are interested.

Follow-up 1-3 times if you haven't met with the investor yet, and 4-6 times if you already had the meeting. Do it every 3 to 7 days.

But don't just send "Did you get my last message?" emails. It won't work. Elizabeth Lin wrote a good post on how to follow up with investors. Summary:

  • Create urgency and FOMO. Always share something exciting. The most exciting things for investors are updates about your traction or funding progress.
  • Have a clear call to action.
  • Try different channels if the current channel doesn't work. But don't be creepy.
  • Track email opens to understand what is happening.

How to automate cold emails to investors?

First of all, basting 4000 investors with the same copy-paste email won't work. You need to tailor all your emails to each investor. You can't escape this work.

The method below can save you from sending emails manually, but you still need to compose all these emails.

The algorithm:

  1. Craft a good email template. Leave the opening lines empty.
  2. Transfer all your investors to a spreadsheet.
  3. Create an "Opening line" column.
  4. Write an opening line for each investor on the spreadsheet.
  5. Upload the spreadsheet to any email automation service.
  6. Put the opening line variable in your email template.

Bonus: How to close the round faster?

If you found a lead or have 80% of your round committed — email all investors you reached out to about it. You'd be surprised how many investors will suddenly want to join your round. Nothing creates FOMO for investors the most than a closing round.

More fundraising guides

  1. How to get warm introductions to investors?
  2. How to find investors for your startup?
  3. How to introduce your company to investors?


Thanks for reading! This is a guide. Not an instruction manual.

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