Slide Templates: How to Talk to Investors about Marketing and Growth

Sean Percival

September 24, 2013

This post is part of the ongoing Distribution Tuesday series. Every week the 500 Distribution Team highlights actionable resources for marketing your startup. Get even more tips by following @500Distribution on Twitter and subscribing to our email newsletter.

When you’re fundraising, it can be really daunting trying to navigate the always changing market conditions, new platforms like AngelList and the typically brutal funding cycles. While every business is different, one thing is usually certain: if you can’t articulate how you’ll grow your business, you’re not likely to get the money to do just that. Thankfully, 500 is here to help.

Previously we covered some of the main DO’s and DONT’s in “How to Talk to Investors about Marketing and Growth“. To continue that discussion, we’re releasing slide templates for talking about marketing within your pitch deck. Since every business is very different, we don’t recommend using these verbatim; instead use them as inspiration for talking about how you know your shit, at least with respect to marketing and growth.

Covering your Acquisition Sources

You’ve been testing a lot of different acquisition sources like a good founder, right? Here’s your chance to show off everything you’ve learned AND your ability to track where your users/customers/dollars are coming from. Also be sure to highlight what channelsdon’t work so investors know you’re ready to focus on the right channels.




Talking Paid Acquisition

For startups that grow through a CPL (cost per lead) model a table like the below is typically helpful. It shows the performance on a per-channel basis and helps investors extrapolate the costs involved in scaling your business.




Getting Social

Social channels for most statups don’t really move the needle. However, they do help validate there is consumer or other interests in your business. I usually recommend not going overboard with multiple slides on your social media prowess. But if you have a huge audience, show it off by channel breakdown and  an aggregate audience number. It’s also a good idea to show off a piece of “social media flare” like a posting that had very high engagement/virality.




Paid Acquisition for Subscription Models

If you’re a subscription-based business, your ability to grow and acquire ROI positive customers is key. You’ll want a simple slide that ideally shows your subscriber growth increasing while your acquisition cost is decreasing. Your acquisition costs will rise as you scale, so it’s important to show they’re manageable in those early days.




Showing Off Your Peeps

Here’s the slide that always got me the most “ohs” and “ahs” while pitching. I took a simple DIY map from Batch GEO to create a state-by-state breakdown of where my customers were. It’s good to know this data as a founder, and  – most importantly – investors love to see that you know it.  Think of some ways you uniquely visualize who your customers\users\members are and other valuable insights about them.




What’s Next and Use of Proceeds

When you get to end of your marketing-related discussions on the pitch deck, it’s important to address what’s next. How are you going to use the money raised? More importantly, how are you going to use their money to make more money/users/fame? Here are 3 recommended sections to think about and potentially address.



We hope these templates are helpful as you think about talking to investors. We know every business is unique, but almost everyone can benefit from better communicating how they’re going to grow. Good luck, and happy funding+growing.


(PowerPoint Version)


(Keynote Version)

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