We encourage Techstars companies to perfect the way they introduce themselves.
“An introduction is a first touch point. Make it simple, clear and awesome.”
To start with, master the etiquette of forwardable email. Get it right.
Make subject line clear and searchable. Do not call it an “Intro”. Call it:
“Intro TO FROM”, where “TO” is the person you are trying to connect with, and “FROM” is your name and the company name.
Let’s look at what goes inside the actual email.
Whether you are asking for investor introduction or business introduction, write two clear paragraphs including:
Introduction: Your name and name of your company, including URL.
Business: 2-3 sentences about your business & why it is interesting.
Traction: 1-2 sentence about your traction/customers you have/progress you made.
The last part is why you want to connect and the ask. If this is an email to an investor:
Why: Looking for feedback, or connecting because you have background.
Ask: Could we do a quick 15 minute call? or Could I get more feedback via email?
If you are looking for a business introduction:
Why: Looking for feedback or think you maybe interested in our product.
Ask: Could we do a quick 15 min call? or Could I get more feedback via email?
The result is just 2 paragraphs that are easy to understand and are actionable. For example, here is a business development email:
“My name is Romain, and I am a CEO of Gorgias (Techstars ’15). We are building automation software for help desk. With Gorgias agents, we can save 50% of the time answering requests, cut down on manual tasks, and businesses save money.
Our customers include ClassPass, Plated, Stripe, and others. We would love to show you our solution, get feedback, and see if it might be a fit for your organization. Please let me know if you would like to schedule a brief demo call next week.”
Or here is an example of angel investor introduction:
“My name is Sara and I am CEO of Jewelbots (Techstars ’15). We have created a programmable friendship bracelet that teaches girls how to code. The bracelet forms a mesh network ,and allow girls nearby to send each other messages. As the girls interact with the bracelet, they unlock different patterns, and can buy fun charms and branded bands.
We have $190K in pre-sales from Kickstarter and our own website, and are expecting to launch in Q1 of 2016. Our investors include Homebrew, #Angels, and Matt Cutts, and we have a few hundred K left in our current round. Because you invested in Hullabalu (Techstars ’14), we thought that you might be interested in talking to us about our business. Please let us know if you would like to connect next week.”
Now, if you have to send a lot of these intros, Gorgias actually has a very neat extension for Gmail that I use all the time. It allows you to create a template that you can insert into your email with a single key stoke. It saves you a ton of time & ensures that you always introduce your startup consistently.
Image credit: CC by Chi Pham