Stolen Straight from the Expert’s Outboxes

Table of Contents

  • Introduction Emails Examples of how to ask for in-person meetings, set-up phone calls, and introduce people.
  • Pitch Emails Examples of how to pitch VCs and investors, how to pitch TechCrunch for coverage, and how one chap used 5 templates to raise $350k.
  • Sales Emails Examples of how to handle price objections, how grab a prospects attention,
  • Customer Support Emails Examples of how to deal with hacked-off customers and how to make it right.
  • Miscellaneous Emails Examples emails on how to hire devs/designers, collecting unpaid balances from clients, how to pre-qualify customers, and how to ask for feedback on your web-app.
  • Terrible Emails Examples of emails you should never write

Introduction Emails

Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to be Rich How to Setup a Call

Subject: Kevin Wong suggested we get in touch — UC San Diego CS student Hi Jack,

Dave Wong recommended I reach out to you. My name is Kelly Davis and I’m a UC San Diego computer- science student. [QUICKLY INTRODUCE YOUR REFERRAL — IF YOU HAVE ONE — AND YOUR AFFILIATION]

I read about your firm’s push into clean-tech solutions. At UC-San Diego, we’ve begun some interesting research here on the topic, and I think there could be a great collaboration. [FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS EMAIL, THE PITCH IS IRRELEVANT. THE POINT OF THIS EMAIL IS COORDINATING THE PHONE CALL, WHICH I OUTLINE IN THE NEXT SECTION]


  • This Wednesday (8/10) all day
  • Thursday (8/11) any time after 1pm PST [IF THEIR TIME ZONE IS PST, YOU PUT YOUR TIMES IN PST]
    – Jennifer

Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to be Rich How to Setup an In-Person Meeting

Subject: UCSD soph will be in NYC next week coffee? Hi Michelle,

My name is Ramit Sethi and I’m a sophomore at UCSD, where I’m studying technology and psychology. I’ll be in New York next week and was wondering can I take you to coffee? [TRY TO MAKE IT AN ACTIVE QUESTION, EVEN IF GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT]

Greg Brown and Maggie Yu actually suggested I get in touch — I’ve been working on a persuasive- technology project that might be interesting for your work at Acme Corp. [USE REFERENCES AND SPECIFICS WHENEVER POSSIBLE]

How does next Thursday, 7/8 or Friday, 7/9 work? I’m free all day, especially the afternoon, and I can meet wherever is convenient for you. [BE EXPLICIT THAT YOU CAN WORK AROUND HIS SCHEDULE AND MEET ANY TIME]

My cell: (555) 555-5555

Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to be Rich How to Reach Out to Peers in Your Company to Get to Know Them

Subject: New marketing hire would love to pick your brain

Hi Sherry,

My name is James Smithson and I’m the new marketing associate in the Competitive Chip Group (CCG). I was speaking with my manager Greg and he mentioned you’re doing some interesting work in TPG, and I’d love to pick your brain. In particular, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the new eRobot gizmo – is it for real or just hype? [MENTION A SPECIFIC THING.] Are you free for coffee or a quick meeting this week? [NOTE: BE SURE TO BRING THIS UP WITH YOUR BOSS FIRST SO YOU (1) GET HIS BLESSING AND (2) CAN USE HIS NAME IN EMAILS]

Thanks, -James

Noah Kagan, AppSumo Introducing Two People

Please meet Jason who is the CEO of, a great guy and uber well connected.

They have a fair amount of international traffic and are having a hard time monetizing it.

I believe you’ve success with that at

Figured you may be able to help out, advise, consult, something.


EJ is one of my go to guys for advice in Austin.

I love chatting with him and he’s running a team helping dominate over at


I encourage you two to email or setup a brief chat to see if it makes sense to work together.

Be well, -Noah

Key Takeaways

1- 1st Person
a) flatter
b) why it matters

2- 2nd Person
a) flatter
b) why it matters

3- Call to Action

Paul Stamatiou, Picplum How to Introduce Two People

Subject: {{Requester}} <==> {{Recipient}} Hey {{recipient}},

I wanted to introduce you to {{Requester/person wanting intro}}. {{Requester}} works on {{project/startup}} and {{3-5 word description}}. [status of company]: They are crushing it: their Facebook page got 100,000 likes in two weeks and just finished a $10M Series A.

[trust / social proof] I met {{Requester}} at AwesomeConf and we were chatting about {{recipient’s expertise}}.

{{Requester}} asked if I knew of anyone in {{recipient’s skill}} as he/she wants to learn how to expand their offerings. You were the first person that came to mind! I hope you can spare a few minutes to {{talk/skype/ grab a coffee}} with {{Requester}} sometime {{date at least a week away}}.

{{Requester}}, meet {{Recipient}}. [trust] I’ve known {{recipient}} for a several years after {{something you worked on/did with recipient}} I helped him with marketing his startup.

[Optional — statement about Recipient’s work for potential reciprocity] {{Recipient}} is actually working on a new project and I’m sure he/she would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers, {{your_name}}

Espree Devora, Save Business Time How to Introduce Two People

Tracy, Taylor at AppSumo is putting together an email marketing course which will include email templates from top marketers like Ramit Sethi. Thought maybe Clay would like to contribute if you and Taylor think it’s the right fit.

Taylor, Tracy is Clay Collins business partner. Clay creates outstanding educational material. I am in his mastermind. Thought he may be a good fit for your current project, but if not maybe there is a future opportunity for a course.

Happy connecting, Espree

Key Takeaways

Same structure as Noah’s (introduction, flattery, why it matters), but adds the last sentence as an easy out in case things aren’t a good fit or the timing isn’t right.

Pitch Emails

Babak Nivi, AngelList Elevator Pitch to Investors

Subject: Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt Capital [A useful subject line!] Hi Nivi,

Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. [Reiterating the social proof of the introducer.] I’ve attached a short presentation about our company, Ning. [Did you see the attachment?]

Briefly, Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. For free. In 2 minutes. [What is the product? What does it help the customer do? Who is the customer?] It’s as easy as starting a blog. Try it at [Link to the product, screencast, or screenshots.]

Ning unlocks the great ideas from people all over the world who want to use this amazing medium in their lives. [What’s the big problem or opportunity?]

We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views are growing 10% per week. [Traction.] We previously raised $44M from Legg Mason and others, including myself. [Social proof and more traction.]

Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B).


I’ve admired Blue Shirt’s investments from afar. [Why are you interested in Blue Shirt?] We’re starting meetings with investors next week and I would love to show Blue Shirt what we’re building at Ning. [Call to action and subtle scarcity.]

Marc Andreessen 415.555.1212

Key Takeaways

An introduction captures an investor’s attention, but a great elevator pitch gets a meeting. The major components of the pitch are traction, product, and team.

It also sells the investor on reading the elevator pitch, which sells the investor on reading the deck, which sells the investor on taking a meeting. Many investors will just skim the deck and take a meeting if the introduction and elevator pitch are good.

David Cohen, TechStars Reaching to Out to Investors for Advice

Hi David,
I’ve got a startup related question for you that I think might be right up your alley.

We’re starting CriticalArc and we’re focussed on providing solutions to problems that depend on streaming status and location in real time. Things like duress and critical incident response. We’re building a very robust back end to support these mission-critical applications. We’ve got a preliminary landing page up here: and we’re planning to demo our first system at a startup event here in Sydney on 31st March….we’re currently engaging customers and coding like hell.

I know that you have a background in dispatch systems with Pinpoint and I was wondering if you had an opinion here: As a startup seeking investment and a scalable business, do you think we should be focusing on an infrastructure or solution play? Or could we do both to start with and decide to focus on either a general web infrastructure business or a dedicated solution business some time down the track?

Basically, out of the box, should we be SimpleGeo for realtime, or should we provide a solution like what you did with RightCAD at Pinpoint?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

As a separate bonus question, I was also wondering if you’re seeing much activity in this area at the moment? Is real time location hot like the groupon-clone thing that you’re probably being pitched every other day? Or do you think there is some space here? It’s a bit hard to judge from Australia presently.

Hey, thanks for reading this….you’re probably up to your eyeballs with Techstars applications at the moment. Good luck with the summer program.

Best Regards –
Glenn Farrant CEO CriticalArc

Key Takeaways

1) He knows my background, and frames the question that he has with that relevant context. 2) He understands who I am (references to TechStars).
3) He gets that I’m seeing a million groupon clones and makes me chuckle a little.
4) He’s clearly generally intelligent/articulate. His writing has an easy style.
5) He speaks my language. He references “Pinpoint” (the previous company name, before it was bought by ZOLL and started being called that). He mentions “summer program” even though he’s in Australia where this will actually be winter time. He references SimpleGeo, another of my investments. He’s making the question easy for me to answer.

Dan Martell, Clarity Keeping Startup Advisors Informed

Subject: Updates on [COMPANY NAME]

+ Top 3 Challenges
+ Metrics
+ Whats New / In The News

> Top 3 Challenges
1. Getting Press
2. Hiring Biz Dev
3. Building Sales Team

> Metrics
1. Revenue / Target
2. Return Usage / Retention

> Whats New / In The News
1. [Source] – [Title] [Shortend URL]
2. Hired Rails Programmer (@username) 3. New Customer – Fortune 500 company

Key Takeaways

One of the first things I try and teach every entrepreneur, is the importance of keeping advisors and investors in the loop. With that in mind, I’ve created an email template that you should consider using.

Benefits of sending update emails

  • Have you’re advisers solve problems for you
  • No surprises, surprises are bad
  • Let your advisers celebrate your successes
  • Good news will go farther [lets us promote you!] Best format and frequency
  • Put your most important challenges at the top
  • Short and sweet
  • Make it “Skimable” [bullets!]
  • Every 3 weeks (or if there’s any major issues news).

Taylor Brooks, SpeakerWiki Keeping Startup Advisors Informed

Subject: Quarterly Update for SpeakerWiki

Here’s the latest on what’s new with SpeakerWiki.

– changed the login process so a user can only sign-up with Twitter/Facebook (should we add LinkedIn?) – added new ways to contact SW (real time chat and 888 number)
– added transactional emails to improve retention (email when a page is edited, when review is left, etc)

Lessons Learned:
– signups conversions are up 20% and we’re collecting better demographic data
– people love the real time chat, probably 10 chats a day, not so much 888 #
– retention hasn’t improved as much as i’d anticipated, need to learn more, maybe move to a ‘digest’ email

– move servers to RackSpace Cloud
– change name to SpeakerMix
– overhaul category pages, search, filtering, etc

– our bounce rate will go down and SEO will improve because site is faster
– name change will help us shake the perception of ‘free, non-profit’
– time on site will go up when users enter through category pages, (e.g. user searches on google for “business speakers”)

*** GOAL FOR NEXT TWO MONTHS *** – 200 event planner signups per month
– 10 dates booked

*** STORY ***
I usually follow-up with every check availability request to see if the speaker is responding and if the event planner is getting the information they need.

Last week, an event planner from some obscure university in Minnesota checked avails on Dan Pink. I followed up, she called back and raved about SpeakerWiki. Dan Pink was unavailable but she found another speaker AND booked him – for $40k! This was her email:


Hi Taylor:
Appreciate your follow up and so pleased to report that connected us with brightsightgroup. We confirmed Bill George yesterday.

As a side note- this is our first experience with speakerwiki. The site created amazing efficiencies for this project: allowed us to source speakers in our expense range, evaluate speakers based on reviews and information on the site- and connect us quickly with agency representatives. We went from search to offer to confirmation in a record 4 days.

Thanks so much. Receiving a personal email follow up from your site makes me a huge fan. I am reaching out to SPIN (international senior planners network) through linked in and also MPI locally to tip off other planners about speakerwiki!

Beth Beutell —

So of course I called the agency and asked for a referral fee. If we were a traditional agency, this would’ve been a split on $10k. No dice. The agency owner said there was no prior agreement, there is nothing on our site that explained how SpeakerWiki worked, and he thought we were a non-profit. Yet another confirmation that we should change our name…

He was open to referrals in the future and would be willing to pay commission on booked leads.

Lessons Learned:
– change the name ASAP
– call agencies and pre-negotiate referral commissions
– event planners see value in the site and it’s empowering them to make better, faster decisions (yaaaay)

*** SUMMARY ***
We are growing, measuring, and learning. I’ll keep you updated on progress.

Let me know if you have any questions – happy to answer.

Key Takeaways

1) Changes in the past two weeks and what you’ve learned
2) Upcoming changes and what you’ll think is going to happen 3) Goals (sales targets and customer acquisition metrics)
4) Story
5) Summary

Jason Baptiste, OnSwipe How to Pitch TechCrunch

Subject: Exclusive for TC: Launching Padpressed- make any blog feel like a native iPad app Hey Mike,

Launching PadPressed tomorrow at noon EST and TC gets free reign on an exclusive before then. PadPressed makes any blog look and behave like a native iPad app. We’re talking accelerometer aware column resizing, swipe to advance articles, touch navigation, home screen icon support, and more. We’ve built some pretty cool tech to make this happen smoothly, and it works with your existing layout (iPad layout only activated when the blog is accessed from an iPad). Okay, I’ll shut up now and you can check out the demo links/feature pages below, which are much more interesting than my pitch.

PS- Would also be happy to do giveaways to TC readers. Thanks again and feel free to reach out if you have anymore questions (skype,phone,etc. listed below).

Key Takeaways

1) Gave TC the exclusive due to the goal of getting a large reach and seeing if there was enough demand to further the project.
2) Highlighted what it did in one sentence with key features following thereafter.
3) Highlighted the tech behind it so this seemed special.

4) Added in giveaways.
5) Most important part: direct links to the exact resources they would need, including my phone number. Mike emailed back soon thereafter and Alexia called an hour after. The article went from pitch to being live in < 5 hours.
6) I literally spent close to an hour on the subject line, email testing it. I would send myself emails using the subject line to see how it would appear.

Tawheed Kader, ToutApp Initial Connection to Investors

Subject: Here’s the info you requested about {{product_name}}…

Hey {{first_name}},

Here’s the info I promised you about {{Company Name}}:

  1. I’ve attached a short PDF that gives an overview about {{product name}}.
  2. Also, if you’d like to check out {{product name}}, here are two QUICK ways to take it for a test drive: 1) Check out our demo: {{link to demo}} 2) Check out our demo video: {{link to demo video}}.

Once you’ve checked out the PDF and the Demo, I’d love to get on the phone with you or meet in person to tell you more about the business.

Please let me know TWO times that work for you and I’ll schedule it.

Thanks in advance,
{{link to your product with tag line}}

Key Takeaways

The goal of this email is to further pique the investor’s interest with key pieces of information and push for an actual meeting where you can talk details.

Things to note:

  1. You’re not sending your actual Pitch Deck here. You’re just sending a ONE PAGE PDF that gives a simple overview of WHO YOU ARE, and WHAT PROBLEM YOUR PRODUCT SOLVES.
  2. Make the demo link as SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. Don’t require a log in. It should be a simple link that puts them into the “in app” experience.

Tawheed Kader, ToutApp AngelList Intro Response Email

Dear {{first_name}},

Thank you for reaching out to us through AngelList ( For starters, I’ve attached the latest version of our pitch deck which provides a solid framework of our
business in about 7 slides.

After reviewing the deck, if you feel there may be a good fit, then please let me know THREE time blocks over the next three days (weekends are fine) during which we can talk on Skype or meet so that we can get to know each other better.

Thanks in advance, {{Your_Name}}

Key Takeaways

The goal of this template is to build on the information already on your AngelList profile and get the person that clicked on the “Intro” button to review some more detailed information and get them to convert to an actual meeting.

Note that at this point, we’re including the actual pitch deck with the assumption that they already checked out a demo of your product from your AngelList profile and already learned about the basic information (and more) that the PDF OVERVIEW would have.

Tawheed Kader, ToutApp Deal Terms and Details

Subject: Here are the details on {{product name}}’s fundraising round Hello {{first_name}},

This email contains all of the details you need to get in on {{product name}}’s seed round which is set to close at the end of {{Month}}.

In this email, I’ve included all of the important pieces of information:

  1. I’ve included the latest version of our Pitch deck.
  2. I’ve attached both the term sheet and the actual note for your review. The basic terms are {{key summary items of terms}}
  3. So far, we have the following people in {{committed OR in the pipeline}} on this deal: {{list of names that people recognize — social proof}}.

Please call me on my direct line: {{your direct phone number}} when you are ready. Keep in mind that we are closing this round at the end of {{Month}}.

Thanks, {{Your_Name}}

Tawheed Kader, ToutApp Close the Deal

Subject: {{product name}} Investment: Let’s Close this Deal! Dear {{first_name}},

I’m extremely excited to be bringing you on as an Investor for {{product name}}. As I mentioned before, we are set to close this round of fundraising in {{X}} days.

There are two things you need to do to close this deal:

  1. In a moment, I’ll be sending you the actual Note in electronic form (through RightSignature). Please review and sign electronically so we can execute the agreement.
  2. Please reply to THIS email and send me your official mailing address. Our law firm needs this to ensure all necessary regulatory filings are done properly.

Please call me directly if you have any questions: {{Number}}. Thanks

Tawheed Kader, ToutApp Wire Transfer Details

Subject: Wire Transfer Instructions for {{product name}} Investment Dear {{first_name}},

Attached you will find the wire transfer instructions. The funds will be put into escrow and then will be released to {{Company Name}} once all of the note documents are fully executed.

If you have any questions, call me on my direct line at {{Number}}. Thanks,

Sales Emails

AppSumo Sales, AppSumo First Sales Contact Email

Subject: [COMPANY NAME] + AppSumo Hey Toby,

We’ve been running some tests on what would happen if AppSumo sold an [COMPANY NAME] deal — the results are interesting.

Our email list is 590,000 strong and I think we could make a splash promoting you guys. Would it make sense to talk further?

Best regards, Taylor

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Writing a Cold Sales Email

Subject: Congrats on the {{product release/great quarter/NYT coverage/financing/new customer}} [THE MORE SPECIFIC THE BETTER).

Dear {{first_name}},

You and your team have really accomplished something. The feature/product/press mention yesterday is making a big impression among the people I talk to. I wanted to reach out and say congratulations.

My company has been doing pretty well also. We recently announced [customer/competitor] as a client for our [product]. Maybe something like this could help you continue your impressive momentum?

I’d like to follow up about this with a quick phone call. We can cover the important issues in 20 minutes. Can I call you next Tuesday at 8am EST?

All the best, Matthew

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Keeping in Touch Sales Email

Subject: A Business Week article for you

Hi {{first_name}},

Congratulations again on your news last week. It really made an impression on me – I’ve found myself thinking about your company a fair amount since then. Here’s a Business Week article that thoughtfully describes some of the same opportunities that your announcement addressed [link]. Am I reading this right?

[Then ask a question about how the article impacts the person’s company] Hope you find it interesting!

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Handling Pricing Objections

Subject: Addressing your comments on pricing Dear {{first_name}},

I just got your email, and before you get swamped with other things, I wanted to ask you a couple of quick questions about your pricing comments:

1. Is our total package price too high, or mainly the way I proposed the payments would be structured? 2. Are there aspects of the overall proposal that didn’t resonate as much with your team?

Sometimes I get too carried away with all we could do together. By staging the rollout, we could lower our price while still leaving the option to expand later. As to your comment about breaking down the price by billable hours, I find that’s not always the most helpful way to view our value. I’m happy to go into my thinking here when we next talk.

Are you free for a call tomorrow at [time]? Matthew

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Getting Back in Touch

Hi {{First Name}},

I hope this note finds you well. You guys have been busy since we last talked! I saw your announcement of {{expansion, recent funding, new partnership}}. Congratulations! Things have been going well over here too – we released {{new feature of relevant product}} and have been getting great feedback from our customers.

Are you going to be {{industry event or in city company’s HQ}} in two weeks? I’m heading out, and I’d love to ask you about {{company’s announcement}}. I have a thought about how it might dovetail with some of the R&D work we’re doing here. Let me know if you’ll be in town.

All the best, {{Your Name}}

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Handling Lack of Need

Dear {{First Name}},

Thanks for your note earlier today. Since our last conversation, I’ve been doing more research into your competitors, and I found this interesting link www.{{competition capability}}. It struck me that some of the ideas we discussed could be quickly leveraged to provide you with an even more compelling value for your customers.

The ultimate outcome of our collaboration would be much more than just this one feature, but here’s a very quick win that could benefit us both.

Can we arrange a call to discuss this further? Say next {{date}} at {{time}}? {{Your Name}}

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Handling a Lack of Urgency

Hi {{First Name}},

Since our last conversation, I’ve been building out the financial model of the impact our partnership can have on your business. I know you get these things all the time, but this time I’ve used your assumptions and results even more conservative than we’ve had with a similar implementation. The end result is that after only three months of working together, the project will be cash positive for you guys. Over {{X}} years, we can drop more than ${{thousands, millions}} to your bottom line! Those are the kind of results that will get us both big promotions!

Let’s at least get the implementation team scheduled for a preliminary discussion. And I would be happy to review my spreadsheet with you before the meeting.

{{Your Name}}

Matthew Bellows, Yesware Handling a Lack of Trust

Hey {{First Name}},

It was great to hear back from you earlier today. We’re in the middle of a big {{true-life company event / offsite planning / sales training / etc.}} so I was excited to be back in touch with the real world! In thinking further about our conversations so far, I thought that the most relevant experience our company has had was with {{XX}}.

{{X}} years ago, when we were quite a bit smaller, we started working with them. They were tough on us, but we grew a ton from the experience, and the product suite we’ve since been discussing really matured. In fact, their CEO recently said {{“Our partnership alone is directly attributable for 10% of our revenue growth.”}}

{{Your Name}}

Customer Support Emails

AppSumo Support, AppSumo Asking for Customer Feedback

Subject: Re: Concerning a recent purchase Hi Mark–

It does look like this purchase was refunded to you on October 15, but I just wanted to follow up and make sure you’re seeing the credit on your end of things as well.

I’ve also added a $10 credit to your AppSumo account as an apology for this having taken so long. This should definitely not have taken as long as it did, especially not for someone who’s been as great a customer to us as you have.

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you! Lora

Hello Lora. Thank you for checking in. I have received the refund. The $10 credit is unexpected and very kind of you. Thank you. Will that simply be applied against my next purchase? Or how do I use that?

While it took a little longer than everyone expected, Noah always kept in close contact with me. So I was always aware of what was going on. This really helped keep me from having any concerns.

I really like AppSumo and feel all of you there provide great products for very reasonable prices. As I am an “Old Sumo” trying to learn some new tricks, I find your si