Nivi · October 1st, 2008
Summary: If you’re having trouble writing an elevator pitch, try using bullets. And challenge yourself to keep the pitch under 100 words.
I received a cold call elevator pitch yesterday that was very effective. It was short (88 words not including the signature), the company had good traction, and the author used bullets to make his case (4 out of 5 bullets were about traction). Here it is (with the author’s permission):
Subject: Cold emai [sic]
A quick “cold email” to see if you would be interested in helping X raise money.
- We are the the X of Y
- Over X Million registered users
- Growing at X new users per day
- Projecting growth at X new users per day in next X days
- Zero cost per customer acquisition
If you are interested please contact me
The prose, spelling, and formatting could use a little work, but the pitch was brief and effective. I’m going to follow up with him.
Later that day, I was helping a client refine his elevator pitch. We were stuck on the prose so we decided to try bullets and it worked well. Here’s an example:
Subject: Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt Capital
Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. I’ve attached a short presentation about Ning. Here are some of the highlights:
- Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. For free. In 2 minutes. It’s as easy as starting a blog. Try it at http://ning.com
- We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views are growing 10% per week.
- We previously raised $44M from Legg Mason and others, including myself.
- Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B).
We’re building Ning to unlock the great ideas from people all over the world who want to use this amazing medium in their lives.
I’ve admired Blue Shirt’s investments from afar. We’re starting meetings with investors next week and I would love to show Blue Shirt what we’re building at Ning.
Not bad. But at 158 words (not including the signature) it’s almost twice the size of the cold call I received today. Compare this Ning pitch to Ning’s pitch without bullets. Which one do you like better?