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August 06, 2015

Recommendations for Email Marketing by VCs

Anand Sanwal, Founder of US Venture Capital databased firm CB Insights, has an interesting critique of email pitches he receives from VCs (which, going by number of email types he's quoting, happens quite a lot. Ah, the US market!).  Extract:
Strategy 4: The Warning
Hey Anand,
Joe here from Scary Partners.  Love CB Insights and what you guys are doing.
I know there has been a lot of companies getting funding in your space so was wondering if you have more seriously begun to think about fundraising.  I know you’ve grown out of revenue to-date but as competitors get funded, raising might make some sense to ensure you stay ahead of them.
I would love to chat.

The Review 
For us, someone else raising doesn’t mean much. We’ve seen a bunch of companies come and go in our space with a lot more money than us. The new entrants will be the same.  And so while this email gets a response, it doesn’t do anything to frame why the firm might be an interesting partner and assumes we’ll raise out of some perceived fear from challengers.
If we were 100% motivated by fear, this pitch might work, but it doesn’t show how the firm would do anything to make us better. The pitch is effectively, some of your upstart competitors have cash. You should have cash too.
Recommendation: Solid start. Tie back why raising money from their firm would be good, i.e. “With more capital, we think we can help you scale the sales organization in a way that materially grows top line and squashes these other cockroaches.”
“We think there are some interesting M&A opportunities for you the space which we think we can assist with in addition to providing you with capital.”
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