How to follow up after your first pitch
I had an amazing first date last week.
We shared tapas, talked for hours, and wandered the streets of Mexico City. When I got home, I had so many thoughts running around in my head.
- How soon should I text her?
- What should I say in my message?
- I hope she doesn’t ghost me…
The thing is, fundraising is a lot like dating. And the principles of following up after an investor meeting can be applied – with some modifications – to following up after a first date.
In this week’s episode of Uncapped Notes, we’re getting tactical on that follow-up strategy. Let’s dive in.
Send your follow-up email ASAP
After Eric Bahn pitches a prospective investor, he sends a follow-up note as quickly as possible. Sometimes within minutes of hanging up.
You don’t have to be that fast. But it’s good to set expectations before you hang up, saying something like “I’ll follow up in the afternoon” or “I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.”
And then actually follow up within the timeline that you’ve set. This signals that you’re a person who does what they say. I know this is a small thing but investors notice these details.
Crafting the perfect follow-up email
First, we recommend reiterating details that made the other person excited during the call.
For example, if a partner mentions how they’re excited about serving early-stage founders, Eric will emphasize the breadth of the Hustle Fund’s portfolio of pre-seed startups. He may even invite the investor to an upcoming event we’re hosting with our founders.
OK example #2. Imagine you just pitched your fintech company to an investor and they mentioned how they’re really interested in Latin American fintech infrastructure. Frame your company (or yourself) as a thought leader in this space during the meeting and mention it again afterward.
Next, include anything you promised to share after the meeting. This could include your pitch deck, additional materials, more info about your market, specific data from your pilot program, etc. Make sure the other person has everything they need to evaluate your startup.
Lastly, set expectations on what’s next. At the end of the email, Eric will usually say something like “I’ll follow up in a week after you’ve had a chance to process the info and organize your thoughts.”
Eric will then set a reminder for himself in Superhuman, his awesome email client, to snooze the note where the message will automatically pop back in his inbox seven days later (if he hasn’t already heard back from them). You can do this in most email clients, including Gmail. Or you can track it manually in your investor CRM.
How to handle people who ghost you
If someone ghosts you after a date, they probably aren’t that interested in you. But investors are a different story. Sometimes they’re just really busy people who appreciate a follow-up note.
So… follow up! If you’re getting no response after a few attempts, include a line that says that you’ll stop pinging them if they’re too busy or if it’s not the right time to partner. You’re simply looking for a confirmation – yes or no.
Eric has used this exact same technique when fundraising for Hustle Fund. He remembers one instance where he pinged an investor 12 times and on the 13th email, that person finally committed capital. So having persistence is more appreciated than people might assume here.
How to nurture your relationships with investors for the long term
Whether they committed capital or turned down the opportunity to invest, invite them to be part of your investor newsletter.
This is a monthly update on what’s happening in your startup. This newsletter has two main benefits.
- It keeps your existing investors engaged – plus you can make important asks when you need support.
- It’s a crazy effective fundraising tool – the people who said “no” to you are looped into your progress and may convert into investors down the line.