• jameshwhitley

Managing an Investor List: The Rule of Thirds

We've all done it.

You spend days and nights coming up with the perfect "list." It might be an investor list, a client list, or a job candidate list. After so much time in front of the computer, it's finally there...and how glorious it is. You send out an email to your colleagues informing them that you're ready to start reaching out. You blast out an email to everyone on the list and count the opens or clicks on your CRM. Then...nothing. Or almost nothing.

We suggest managing investor outreach dynamically and strategically. Split your list up into thirds and have a specific goal for each group.

  1. Active outreach - These are a mix of priority groups and test groups. Priority groups are high probability matches with your strategy. If a priority group bites, you've just got a big win with an efficient effort. It's always a good idea to throw in a few test groups too. Maybe this is a bigger name than you think you're ready for or maybe this is an international investor to see if you can expand your opportunity set. Or perhaps you reach out to a potential strategic partner instead of a pure capital provider.

  2. On deck - The next set are the groups that will get round two of outreach attempts. There's good reason here to hold off on some. A lot of times you'll send out a communication then realize a couple days later you can make it more clear or forgot to highlight a certain value prop. Additionally, you'll likely get some feedback from the first group and can address that for the next round. Finally, you minimize event risk and exposure. What do we mean here? Imagine you've sent out a note to everyone on your list touting your first $50k of MRR then signing that big customer and hitting $1M MRR a few weeks later. Sure, you can always send a follow-up note to your earlier group, but it's always better to have a good first impression.

  3. Backfilling the List - Raising capital is hard, and usually takes much longer than anticipated. It's tough to overemphasize the importance of keeping a positive outlook and not getting beaten down by the long slog. That's why we say that for each email you send or call you make - and especially for each "no" you get - find another investor to replenish the list. This gets you in the mindset of ABR (see the post on Always Be Raising) by allowing you to retarget based on feedback and preventing a binary success / fail perception.

Raising capital and managing investors is an ever-evolving process. Here at Off-Piste, we help you stick to this plan by providing a dynamic investor list and guiding you through a smart workflow board to take the guesswork out of who to reach out to and how to do it.

Interested in being among the first to use our machine learning-driven process on your upcoming capital raise? Sign up for the waitlist at


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