How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email

I had never met Brad Feld before I sent him this email. After our correspondence, he signed up for our product, tweeted it out to his 100k+ followers, and sent it to one of the most influential entrepreneurs in his investment portfolio, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz.

Start somewhere:
I’ve read Brad’s blog since ‘07 and had his email address from back then. It had been dormant for years in my Gmail contact list; I figured I’d email him one day about something. A few months back, I decided to oAuth my personal Gmail account and invite those folks to connect on LinkedIn. No big deal normally. I soon realized that included an invite to Brad. Surprisingly, he accepted. Pretty cool.

Beginning the Journey to Close:
The sales intelligence software company I work for, SalesLoft, simultaneously built a free app, JobChangeAlerts.com. The app provides you a daily email of all the job changes, birthdays, and new connections that occur in your personal LinkedIn network each day. During the time we built our free slice of sales intelligence, we also applied to TechStars Boulder and to our good fortune, we were accepted.

Context to Reach Out:
In the program’s first week, thanks to my daily JobChangeAlerts.com email, I received information Brad changed his LinkedIn profile to include his new role as a Board Member of SEOmoz.

How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email

Initial Introduction and Congratulations:
Being recently accepted in TechStars Boulder and now equipped with great news, there couldn’t have been a better time to send him an introduction email. The following is what transpired:

How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email 2

Confirmation of the Close and @BFeld’s Response: Connectors always look to add value and Brad did this in one simple email correspondence.

How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email 3

Not only did Brad sign up, but he also included Rand Fishkin in the thread. We were excited he liked our free app and the way we approached him.

A Hail Mary Pass for Entrepreneurs: One of the top VC’s in the industry signed up for our free service where he receives an email from our company everyday. We’ll take it! If the exchange ended there, we would have been happy. We decided to throw the equivalent of a hail mary pass for entrepreneurs: ask a well-respected VC to tweet about your product.

How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email 4

Noticed I crafted the tweet using ClickToTweet.com

How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email 5

3 ways you can close a VC in one email:

  • Add value in the email: I didn’t ask for the anything in the initial email. All I did was congratulate Brad and educate him. Regardless if he didn’t respond or signup, he’s better off knowing the valuable opportunity available.
  • Send it at the right time: I sent the email the day after he changed his LInkedIn profile. I could have sent an introduction email when we were accepted into TechStars, but patience was key.
  • Be respectful: I was never pushy with Brad. Even when I went in for the ask to tweet, it was just an option easily available for him to act on. Heck, I even saved him time by writing it for him :)

After signing up for JobChangeAlerts.com, follow these steps and keep the SalesLoft team informed on the list of VC’s you close via email.

Jon Birdsong

Helping sales reps connect with their buyer better than they've ever been able to before. I also like to educate the sales leaders of today and tomorrow by writing. Circle Jon on Google+!

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9 Responses to “How to Close a Top VC (Brad Feld) in One Email”

  1. Michael Nourollahi June 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    That’s f’ing awesome.. the hail mary pass connected!!

  2. Alex Volkov June 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    Jon, Alex here from SalesCrunch. That was freakin awesome to read. Well played.

  3. thomas June 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Great post, and great pointers. At the risk of not coming off 100% positive – don’t you think acceptance to TechStars Boulder did 90% of the work before you ever emailed Mr Feld?

  4. Jon June 11, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Thanks Alex.

    Thomas, good question.

    It definitely played a hand – the exact percentage I can’t say. What I do know is Brad is an email fiend and if you email him, there’s a high probability he’ll read it. The biggest question is on the sender: is it compelling enough for him to act/respond on?

    I hope this helps.

  5. Robert Thuston June 12, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Thanks for sharing. This is good stuff. Robert

  6. Sean September 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Awesome article. I’m a 21 year old college entrepreneur who has already founded the semi-successful http://www.welcometocollegefreshmen.com. Any chance you could send me Mr. Feld’s email? Much appreciated.

    • Kyle Porter September 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      It’s all over the internet. Part of this exercise is you need to be resourceful & not use up relationship capital for the things you can find out on your own. For the sake of saving time though, lets just say it’s firstname@lastname.com.

  7. Eric September 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Great outreach and blog post. Can you share the subject line of the email?

    • Kyle Porter October 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Great question & thanks for reading.

      It was a forward from the daily email sent by http://jobchangealerts.com. The actual copy read:

      Fwd: Daily Job Change Alerts from SalesLoft

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