Founder Advice
Founder Advice

Get x-ray vision into investor engagement with your pitch deck

Here's how to actively track pitch deck engagement and apply those insights to optimize your pitch deck and prioritize investor communication.

What should an investor pitch deck include?

How to structure a compelling pitch deck is crucial to a successful raise. As the fundraising landscape becomes increasingly competitive, data from our 2023 pre-seed report shows that busy VCs have even less time to look at every pitch deck sent their way. This means founders are under the gun to build engaging decks that quickly command attention from investors amid noisy, crowded markets. Startup founders need to show product readiness at earlier stages, and position their companies with a competitive edge. Even though no two pitch decks will ever look the same, we’ve found that successful startup pitch decks all organize their narratives into a clear and compelling story.

You can also see exactly how your deck stacks up with our Pitch Deck Analyzer tool, or download our free pitch deck template to create yours in minutes.

Investor report template

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Tracking investor engagement with your pitch deck

You’ve created a compelling, well-organized pitch deck presentation. You’ve run it through DocSend’s Pitch Deck Analyzer tool with great results. Now, you’re ready to present your pitch deck to investors. Sending out an investor pitch deck is never easy, but having visibility into exactly how investors are engaging with your startup pitch deck shows you exactly where you can improve and add clarity or context.

Actively tracking investor engagement with your pitch deck is essential to a successful raise. It’s frustrating, and common, for founders to hear a lot of ‘no’s’, or even worse, mixed messages, during the fundraising process. If you want to avoid spending much of your fundraising period in an abyss of uncertainty, send your pitch with DocSend.

DocSend’s detailed analytics reveal exactly how VCs  interact with your pitch deck, empowering you to identify which investors are actually interested and craft more impactful follow-up conversations. Instantly see who has viewed each page, when, how many times, and whether your pitch deck was forwarded to anyone else. Actively tracking investor engagement lets you apply what you learn to optimize your pitch deck to give investors exactly the information they want and help increase your chances of getting funded.

Here’s how to use DocSend to track investor engagement and create the most compelling pitch deck possible.

Step one: Upload your startup pitch deck directly to DocSend

Whatever draft of your pitch deck you’re on, start off by uploading it to DocSend. Or, download our done-for-you pitch deck template to save tons of time.

Once you’ve uploaded your pitch deck, you can adjust the name and other document attributes as necessary until it’s presentation-ready.

Step two: Send your pitch deck as a DocSend link

You’ll probably send your startup pitch deck to a few dozen investors, and in order to properly track investor engagement, it’s best to use unique DocSend links for each one. To make this easier, you can install the DocSend plugin for either Gmail or Outlook to send out your pitch deck. Unique links will ensure that you can monitor investor engagement and activity and toggle access on an investor-by-investor basis.

When creating a link to your pitch deck in DocSend, specify the appropriate Account Name (in this case, the name of the firm to which you’ll be sending this deck). You can select from an array of security parameters as needed. The security parameters you select will be applied to the pitch deck on a link-by-link basis. For example, you can gate, password protect, or set a link expiration date for each link. You can even require viewer verification for some investors while enabling or disabling downloading for others.

Create a DocSend link for your investor pitch deck

Pro tip: If you’re set on tracking investor engagement with your pitch deck, disabling the download option when creating a link to your pitch deck is a good idea. If an investor asks you to enable the downloading option, you can always just switch on the ability to allow downloading within their link.

Step three: Invite other users as admin guests

By clicking the User Settings tab and selecting “Add Users,” you can invite other users, such as advisors, as admin guests. These users will automatically have access to the stats and materials they need, and you won’t need to consistently share access or send update summary emails.

If the time comes to remove a user, you can click here to learn how to remove (and, if necessary, reactivate!) an admin guest.

Step four: Optimize your investor pitch deck with analytics

Once you send out your pitch decks with the links you’ve created, you’ll be able to see which investors/VC firms have been engaging with your pitch deck and where they have spent the most time. Here’s what you can track with DocSend, and how to apply those insights to prioritize investor communication.


Who’s actually engaging with your content

During fundraising, new investors can enter the conversation unexpectedly. Knowing who’s actually taking the time to view your shared content is a critical step to strategic investor follow-up. 

Pro tip: Enable the “require email to view” feature to see who your content has been shared with.

How long viewers spend looking at your content

Analyzing how long an investor spends engaging with your content can give you a better gauge of their interest level. You can use this engagement data to prioritize investor outreach during your fundraising process. If an investor is repeatedly accessing your pitch deck and sharing it with his or her colleagues, that investor is likely much more interested than an investor who has never opened your deck.

Which pages are viewed the longest

Measuring time spent per page gives you a clear line of sight into where investors choose to spend their time and what they prioritize. This insight can be used in a variety of ways, such as prepping for a second conversation with a VC who’s looking closely at your business model slide. 

Who’s watching (and rewatching) your videos

Creating a compelling video pitch can be a great way to capture investor attention in less time. With our Dropbox Capture integration, you can record and upload your video in just a few clicks. After you send your video pitch to investors, start using DocSend’s video analytics to optimize your video. You can track:

  • Playback time per visit
  • Playback percentage per visit
  • Playback details during a visit, including pauses, rewinds, and skipped sections of content
  • Number of visits to your video file
  • The average percent of your video that visitors viewed
  • A visit map, providing insight on where your viewers are located

You can also view aggregate viewership stats for multiple versions of your video, to see the most common drop- off points. You can use this intel to eliminate areas of friction or confusion—sharing higher-quality videos that capture investor attention in less time.

There are many helpful ways to use the data you get from tracking investor engagement with your pitch deck. Look at where in your deck investors are bouncing, as well as where they spend more or less time, to optimize your deck for future rounds. With our pitch deck template, you can cross-check these areas with quantitatively-backed best practices in pitch deck creation.

Step five: Version control with DocSend

If you do ultimately decide to make changes, it’s easy to update your pitch deck directly in DocSend. Every link you’ve sent will be automatically updated—no need to send an apologetic email with an updated version of your investor pitch.

You’ll then have access to real-time quantifiable indications of whether a new version of your deck is outperforming the current version of your deck.

Then you can identify which investors viewed the original version of the deck to guide your follow-up process. You can use this data to prioritize investor outreach with pitch deck engagement as a gauge of each investor’s interest.

Securely send and track with spreadsheet sharing controls

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Step six: Turn off access for investors who say no

Any startup founder will tell you that hearing “no” from investors is more common than hearing “yes.” So when you hear a “no” from a venture capitalist, you can simply disable the link you sent them. All other links will stay fully functional—only investors with disabled links will lose access to your pitch deck.

To disable a link, click the toggle located near the link settings—this will immediately remove viewing access to all recipients. You can also delete a link by accessing the link settings, which will delete all associated visitor data. Since deleted links remove viewing data and are unretrievable, we recommend disabling content instead of deleting whenever possible. Alternatively, you could set the shared link to your startup pitch deck to expire after a specified time period.

Step seven: Respond to investor interest with DocSend Data Rooms

If you have a meeting with an investor and they for additional info, create a Data Room and upload all the relevant assets to it. Relevant assets can include spreadsheets, web links, additional decks, and any other files you have to share. You can customize the Data Room for that specific investor with a personalized viewing experience.

If interest wanes, just turn off access to a Data Room like you would turn off access to a DocSend link. But if interest results in a successful round of fundraising, you can (and should) celebrate!

If you get multiple indications of interest from different investors or VCs, you can duplicate the Data Room you’ve created. Creating a unique Data Room for each interested VC firm lets you restrict access for any investors that don’t pan out. Plus, you can personalize the content you provide to each VC firm. This is helpful if a firm requests a specific document or piece of information.

Use these tips to create a compelling pitch deck on your own, or copy/paste directly from our downloadable, done-for-you pitch deck template. Don’t have a DocSend account? Sign up for a free trial today.