Cold Emails

I love what Stéphane and his crew at OpenVC are building, such an amazingly open ethos. They shared 14 actual cold outreach examples recently sent to VCs, all had the same general cadence:

Hi <VC>, I’m <NAME> with <BACKGROUND> building <PRODUCT> achieving <TRACTION> raising <ROUND>.

Anything feel off to you? Basically, all 14 are totally canned. And these were the best 😐 If you’re a VC, do these ever actually convert?

Email 5 at least writes “we feel like a great fit for <VC>”, but doesn’t qualify why with applicable examples.

Email 11 refers to a “chart on your website”, so at least there was a glance of research, but nothing further?

My guess is the amount of research/commonalities a founder refers to in a cold email directly correlates with their first call conversion rate:

Canned < 1%
Highly targeted > 10%

I wonder how many first calls an email like this would get…


Congrats on closing your fund <#>, I’m sure <INVESTMENT> must have helped – what an amazing company!

I noticed your post <POST> and investments in <Y> and <Z>, we seem to share a common interest in <INDUSTRY/MODEL>. In fact, I’ve been building <COMPANY> to solve <PROBLEM>, which I’m guessing you have some experience with as well…

Whatever else is written from here, as long as it’s concise, my guess is the VC would appreciate the outreach enough have a conversation.

If a founder puts this kind of effort into an investor email, just think what they will do to win customers, staff, etc. (or so a VC might say to themself).

About Andy Shannon

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