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November 10, 2023
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 min read

Why Your Pass Email Matters

Saying no and closing the door the right way is an art form.

Why Your Pass Email Matters

Saying no and closing the door the right way is an art form. Closing the loop by quickly telling founders when you’re passing and why helps you stand out and helps founders better understand if and when to reach back out. Failing to do so can negatively impact your reputation and eliminate future opportunities.

If you’re sending a pass email, we recommend including the reason why it’s not a fit. Even a one sentence explanation is helpful (as long as it’s genuine). If you’re getting to no quickly (within the first 7-10 days of a call), this shouldn’t be a problem. If you let deals go 30-60 days, it will be, and you need to revisit your process to tighten the feedback loop. We recommend establishing guardrails for response time, systems for tracking deals and pass reasons, and processes to determine who gets back to each founder and how.

Investors who provide genuine feedback are memorable, standing out from the rest. Those are the investors founders will remember to circle back to. If it’s a founder you’d never invest in no matter what milestones they hit (aka you don’t want them to keep you in the loop), sending feedback can protect your reputation in a small industry where referrals and references drive top-of-funnel dealflow.

Every investor is inundated with deals, meetings, and emails. It’s our responsibility to put the right processes in place to ensure we close the feedback loop with every founder. Hearing “they ghosted me” or “they’re not responsive” from another founder doesn’t inspire confidence.

Why Your Pass Email Matters

Mark is a repeat founder, ex-VC investor, and experienced go-to-market and revenue leader.

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