TechCrunch+ roundup: Attention metrics, growth through retention, cold-calling advice

Pitching a startup to investors without a personal recommendation isn’t a terrible idea — as long as you’ve done your research first.

Tetra Insights co-founders Michael Bamberger and Panos Rigopoulos raised a $5 million Series A last year, and the duo said cold outreach was a key part of their strategy.

“When I changed my criteria to finding people who were a fit, the process was really quick,” says Bamberger, who initially raised a $500,000 friends and family round in 2019 followed by a $1.5 million seed round a year later.

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Rigopoulos and Bamberger shared their cold-calling advice with TC+, along with the full text of one of their winning emails and a detailed breakdown of the three-step process they used.

“Once you get investors, the story doesn’t matter; it’s all about the metrics, the numbers and the performance,” Bamberger said.

“Before the investment, the numbers are just part of the story, so you really have to understand how you’re telling the story.”

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., we are skipping this Friday’s newsletter, but we’ll be back in a week with another TC+ roundup.

Thanks very much for reading, and have a great week.

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

Track and capture: Getting started with attention metrics

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Image Credits: DBenitostock (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Once upon a time, metrics like time on site and pages per visit were sufficient for growth marketing, but that’s no longer true.

To track engagement and performance, brands need to know exactly where their ads appear and whether consumers are viewing them actively or passively.

“Viewability is no longer enough, and ‘attention metrics’ are becoming increasingly popular in the industry,” according to Sylvain Le Borgne, MediaMath’s head of data and analytics.

“As attention metrics and measurement continue to mature, brands can learn more, develop a plan aligned with key business outcomes, start optimizing for attention, and kick-off their targeting and measurement tactics to capture consumer attention.”

Get your product and customer success teams on the same page to improve net retention

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Image Credits: Richard Drury (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

You don’t need to move the needle far to optimize customer success. SaaS startups that incrementally improve will stack small wins that have the potential to alter the company’s trajectory.

Instead of using a traditional siloed approach, founders should consider rolling their product and CX teams into a single unit to promote cohesion, writes Bryan House, SVP of product and customer success at Elastic Path.

“Regardless of what you call the role, product management, UX and customer success should report to the same person,” he advises.

“This leader should create a structure that shares incentives and common goals aligned to your customers’ measures of success.”

A love letter to micro funds, the backbone and future of venture capital

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Image Credits: Getty Images

Venture capital funds can reach into the billions, but smaller pools that max out at $50 million or less “are truly the funds that power the future of the industry,” reports Rebecca Szkutak.

Last year, PitchBook recorded $147.2 billion in general venture fundraising inside the United States, with micro funds raising nearly $17 billion of that amount.

“[They are] often the first investment in a company, which creates more opportunity in the lifecycle,” said PitchBook senior venture analyst Kyle Stanford.

“Especially when we talk about how much capital has gone into the venture market, it wouldn’t have been possible without the high number of micro funds.”

During a recession, look to drive growth through customer retention

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Image Credits: MirageC (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Finding ways to reduce customer churn is the heart of any growth-through-retention strategy, but centralizing first-party data is step one, according to Vijay Sundaram, chief strategy officer at Zoho.

Weaving together different signals like social media, website behavior and CRM data will help identify high-value customers and drive engagement, but “first-party data is likely stored across multiple departments and systems, including marketing, customer advocacy, sales and support,” he writes.

“Building rich customer profiles and establishing a culture of information sharing need to be core functions of customer-facing teams.”