Finding an angel investor is difficult, particularly as the ideal way to reach out to any angel investor is through a personal connection. Unfortunately, that might not always be possible. If a cold email is your only option, don’t lose hope.
Cold emails to investors can lead to hefty capital investments and snowball into thriving startups. Just ask Factmata, an AI-driven fact-checking technology that raised $500k with a well-written cold email.
The key is learning how to email early-stage investors to catch their attention and merit a response. Angel investors are busy, often receiving hundreds of emails per day, so it can be hard to rise to the top due to the sheer inbox volume. Be sensitive to this, but don’t waste an investor’s time. Find the right balance of patient persistence.
If you’re working up the courage to cold email a potential angel investor, go into it with confidence with the below tips and sample email to investors to guide the way. You may want to read our guide on what angel investors look for in an entrepreneur before hitting send as well.
Tips On Writing an Email That Will Impress an Angel Investor
Before you take any sort of template and make it your own, start by understanding the framework of what makes a good email and what you should never do. Learning how to write an email to an angel investor starts here. Then, you can get inspired with a template to fill in the rest.
- Tip 1 – Get Concise. You have a few sentences to make an impression. Remember, the goal with the first outreach is not to convince them to commit to a high-ticket investment, it’s simply to get their attention and garner a response. Angel investors are busy, and their investments are typically not the only work they do. You have a few seconds to shine, so choose your words wisely.
- Tip 2 – Do Your Homework in Advance. You should never approach an angel investor via email without first doing some research to understand their history, investment successes, niche, and investment style. If they’re not the right fit, don’t waste your time or theirs with an email.
- Tip 3 – Use a Two-Sentence, High-Level Pitch. Make your pitch count in the first two sentences of your email. Keep it high-level, and illustrate the problem that exists and how your startup is solving it.
- Tip 4 – Add Detail with Bullet Points. Want to flesh out your high-level pitch with a few more details? Keep it short and sweet and make it easy to scan by turning these details into quick bullet points that highlight things like sales to date, any notable customers, press coverage, or other proof of traction.
- Tip 5 – End with a Specific CTA. Ending your email strong is what will spur a response. Make it simple and specific. Avoid yes or no questions. One possibility could be asking when they’re free for a call to discuss further. Another could be asking the best way to reach out. One great tip I’ve found is researching upcoming community events that your potential investor may be likely to attend and closing your email by asking if you can expect to see them there. Then, use that as an opportunity to bend their ear in person.
- Tip 6 – Mention References or Connections. If you have any personal or professional connections (check LinkedIn), be sure to mention this earlier on in the email. These connections can hold weight and increase the likelihood the investor will open and read your message.
- Tip 7 – Beware of LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be a great place to make professional connections and share ideas and achievements, but it’s not the best way to reach out to investors. While I’ve previously invited founders to reach out to me via LinkedIn, my experiences engaging with founders this way have not been great. I recommend finding their professional email address, if possible.
- Tip 8 – Be Realistic. Don’t come at the investor with a big ask or put them in an uncomfortable situation. No investor should have to sign an NDA to have a conversation about your business.
What NOT to Include in a Cold Email to a Potential Investor
Including the above tips in your email copy will serve you well, but there are also a few things you should know to avoid if you want a cold email success story.
- Tip 1 – Don’t Guess Their Email Address. It can be tempting to send emails to all of the different permutations of a possible email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.) to increase your odds of finding your way into their mailbox, but you should avoid it. Certain mailboxes are routed to receive all emails sent to these variations, and it can be a red flag to see an email sent multiple times.
- Tip 2 – Don’t Send a Mass Email. This goes back to sending individual emails to addresses you’ve been able to verify. You want them to put the effort into setting up a conversation with you one-on-one, right? Give them the same respect. Even if there are several investors you’re reaching out to, it’s easy enough to send separate emails.
- Tip 3 – Don’t Use the Wrong Name. Always, always, always address your email with the correct name. Double-check the name and the spelling before you hit send.
- Tip 4 – Don’t Overshare. With so much passion behind your startup, it’s easy to want to overshare about your solution, market fit, traction, investment success thus far, and so much more. Remember, this is just the first outreach – it should be simple and to the point. You can dive into the details during your first meeting.
- Tip 5 – Don’t Use Salesy Language. Your email should come across as authentic, like a real conversation from a real person. It’s not sales copy, and it shouldn’t include salesy language.
Sample Email to Angel Investors:
Now that you have a grasp on the dos and don’ts of cold pitching to angel investors via email, put it all together into one strong message using this email to investors sample.
[If you have a personal connection] I’m reaching out because John Doe told me you are an angel investor in the tech space and gave me your email address.
[If it’s a cold email] It can be hard to stay in touch when the WiFi goes out and you have to wait on the internet company to fix it. At WeGen, we make backup generators for WiFi networks to stay connected even when something goes wrong.
- In our first three months, we’ve reached $7k in sales per month.
- We’ve been written about in TechCrunch, Forbes, and FastCompany. (hyperlink to press)
- We have secured seed round funds from X Venture Capital Firm and large internet providers including Charter Communications and Lumen.
I’ve attached a quick investment summary for you to review.
We’re still raising funds for our seed round and it would be great to have you on board. What’s the best way to get in touch to discuss this further?
Subject Line Examples for Emails to Investors That Stand Out
Part of learning how to write an email to an investor that gets their attention is mastering the craft of the subject line. A subject line for investors should be different from a marketing subject line or a subject line to a colleague. It should accomplish three goals:
- Get the investor’s attention
- Pique their curiosity
- Make your purpose of outreach clear
Investing isn’t usually the only thing investors have going on in their lives, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emails in their inbox. If your subject line isn’t compelling enough, it’s easy to ignore or delete without a thought.
Keep your subject line short and to the point, using as few words as possible. It should be somewhere between 30-60 characters.
Three strategies you may want to consider when crafting your subject line include:
- Name-dropping a common connection or press
- Share an insight based on data
- Address a pain point
Here are some examples of a strong subject line for an email to an investor:
- WeGen: WiFi backup generators for a connected tomorrow
- Meet WeGen, the WiFi generators Jeff Bezos is calling “revolutionary”
- WeGen: One of Forbes’ technologies to watch for 2022
- WeGen’s WiFi generators growing 300% per month
- Introducing WeGen, eliminating WiFi outages with generators
What Investor Steve MacDonald Looks for in an Early-Stage Investment Opportunity Email
One thing you won’t find in any cold email to investor template is the specific details that may pique one investor’s interest over another’s. Understanding the investor you’re reaching out to and knowing what they look for in potential investments is the best way to write an effective email. This is why it’s so crucial to use individual outreach emails rather than a mass send-out.
Tech founders who have an interest in working with angel investor Steve MacDonald should be well-versed in the businesses he invests in and the kinds of ideas that excite him.
Ideally, your email will be able to illustrate evidence of how your idea can reduce paperwork, streamline clunky systems, resolve legacy problems, and make peoples’ jobs easier. There should also be proof of traction, a minimum viable product, and an outlook for a strong market fit.
Additionally, Steve is looking for the following:
- The ability to summarize your pitch quickly and effectively
- A large established and growing total available market (TAM)
- A unique insight and solution to a big problem
- Proof that your solution cannot be replicated
- Demonstrated ability to lead
Hit Send – and Don’t Look Back
As the quote by poet Suzy Kassem goes, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” While approaching a potential angel investor via cold email can be nerve-wracking, you’ll never know how they’ll respond until you hit send.
If you’ve done your due diligence in researching the investor beforehand and have taken the time to intentionally craft a brief, strategic email to pique their interest, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be.
If you think your startup idea will change the world through tech and you simply need the extra push to get there, reach out to angel investor Steve MacDonald at MacDonald Ventures. And if you do – just don’t expect a guaranteed response.