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A Venture Capitalist Who Launched A $36 Million Fund Explains Exactly How To Write The Perfect Pitch Email To A VC

Arlan Hamilton.

Venture capitalists turn down thousands of offers a year from prospective investors.

But every now and then, a cold email will get their attention and lead to a response.

Take it from Arlan Hamilton, a 38-year-old venture capitalist who built her own firm in 2015 from the ground up. The self-made VC spent countless hours watching videos about investing on YouTube and reading books about the business at Barnes and Noble before launching Backstage Capital, a firm that invests in women and minority entrepreneurs.

Today, Backstage Capital has invested in more than 100 startup founders, and recently launched a $36 million fund for black female founders, according to Time.

The formerly homeless Hamilton doesn't fit the stereotype of a typical investor, and in 2016 she wrote a blog post about how other aspiring entrepreneurs can stand out in a VC's inbox.

In the blog post, titled "This Is How Long Your Cold Call Intro Email to Me Should Be," Hamilton said she gets between 50 and 100 emails a day, most of them from people seeking funding.

Hamilton gives an example of the ideal email that would get her attention: It's two paragraphs long, contains a brief description of who the writer is and what makes them unique, explains what they want the email to accomplish, and provides details about why they're writing to her in particular.

The key part, Hamilton said, is the brevity.

"What happens when they're too long? I skip over parts, I scan, it loses its punch, I save for later, and have a hard time coming back to it," Hamilton wrote.

Hamilton said learning how to write the perfect cold-intro email is a skill that takes practice: "I used to write absolute novels to people when I was first emailing strangers. I mean, just … the longest, life-story-telling emails ever," she said.

But she eventually developed a rule that led to better results — write out whatever you want to say, and then "cut at least 50%" of it.

"Make it personal, but get to the point," said. "Leave room for more later. Make it an exchange, and not an allegory." 

BouliBrand is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at www.BouliBrand.com, www.Facebook.com/BouliBrand, www.Twitter.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.Instagram.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.LinkedIn.com/in/Stroumboulis, www.YouTube.com/Stroumboulis or www.Pinterest.com/BouliBrand. BouliBrand shares progressive industry information related to the marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, investment, networking, financing, start-up, public relations, internet, web, creative and business movement. We gather select articles, blogs, news, posts, press releases, announcements, interviews, commentary, videos, clips and anything we feel might be worth reviewing for our visitors, followers, clients and partners.

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