Awesome People - Ep 66

Conversion funnels, product marketing, email marketing, UA

Hi fellow founders and VC Friends!

Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know—the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, ops wizzes— who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable on a part-time basis.

Please meet Manav, Your Interim Product Marketer, and Funnel Marketing Guru 📈

Manav is an undiscovered gem who I’d bet on. He doesn’t come from the hottest YC co and doesn’t have the flashiest resume, but his thinking and execution are on point! Manav was introduced by Phil Lakin, the founder of the leading no-code ops co, Propulsion Labs, as someone who I had to meet. Manav did not disappoint!

Manav is the founder of Subziwalla, the leading online Indian Grocery Delivery co. What he’s accomplished is incredible. The average online grocery store has about 30% customer retention and captures 39% of their customers’ total grocery spend. Subziwalla has 70% retention and captures 60% of their customers’ spend. His superpower is staying close to his customers.

Fun fact: he oversaw all outbound marketing for an Atlanta Mayoral campaign, generating audience growth of +70%, and raising +$450K through small-dollar donors. Even more fun fact: he's a former poet and rapper ✨

You can hire Manav to refine your customer segmentation and increase conversions via targeted email, SMS, and remarketing campaigns. 

Want an intro to Manav? Lmk and I’ll connect you!

He was gracious enough to share some pro-tips with us here 🥳

Rethink your marketing funnel

When people talk about marketing funnels, they often talk about awareness, consideration, acquisition, and retention. When I work with startups, I like to use a more actionable framework. I call it EASL. Let’s break it down:

  • Eyeballs: At the top of your funnel, track reach and click-through rates (CTRs). Imagine holding a sign at a street corner. The number of people who see your sign is your reach. The percent of people who stop is your CTR. Understand your audience to determine which street corners you should stand on (channels) and what your sign should say (messaging). 

  • Actions: Imagine a prospective customer stops on your corner (aka your landing page). Congrats! You hooked them with your sign. Now, what do you do? You want your customer to click through and make a commitment. Get their email, phone number, or get them to sign up for an event. From here, build a relationship, provide value, and make the sale over time. 

    Pro tip: Use customized landing pages and emails to keep the messaging consistent based on customers’ interests. You want to continue the conversation. If your customer clicks on a link for a specific feature, make sure the landing page and confirmation email focus on that messaging.

  • Sales: By now you have a strong connection with your customer, so the sale will come naturally. Take this opportunity to see who's on the fence. Who's signed up, but hasn't made a purchase? How can you further provide value? Can they try before they buy? Notably, I prefer to provide value over discounts to drive conversion.

  • Loyalty: Your funnel is a lasting relationship with your customer. Retention is an emotional decision. After the first date (aka first sale), how do you get them to go steady? Ask for feedback, use customer service as a channel, and make sure you’re meeting their needs over time. 

Don't just know your customers, know their lifestyles

Ask a few simple questions about your customers' lifestyles to inform your marketing strategy and create customer segments.

  • What are their interests outside of your product? 

  • What are they doing when they are thinking of purchasing your product? 

  • What are their current pain points? 

For example, Subziwalla caters to a niche South Asian audience. Within that niche, there are distinct lifestyle cohorts. Urban professional consultants travel during the week and multigenerational suburban families travel in August and in January — the two segments need groceries at different times. Understanding their behavior helps time campaigns. 

We hone in on each cohorts’ daily routines to geo-target ads based on when they buy groceries. By segmenting customers by lifestyle, we consistently have a 5% CTR (2.5x industry standard) and 40% conversion rate (10x industry standard). 

Use customer service as a marketing channel

Customer service reps can be incredible for user acquisition and retention metrics.

How many times have you frustratingly chatted with a bot or button-mashed “0” for a phone agent? Many marketers don’t take the time to create a customer service (CS) strategy. Customers want help from a real person. CS helps move people through the funnel. 

When things go wrong, CS can help you recover. Subziwalla imports rare Alphonso Mangoes from India once a year. They’re extremely popular and some customers haven’t had them in decades. The mangos are temperamental and some don’t make it through the 3-week journey from being picked to getting delivered. This is where product marketing comes in. We craft messaging so the CS team can be proactive and transparent about the process. This builds trust and loyalty. Customers who talk to our CS team have a 2x greater repurchase rate than customers who don’t. 

CS is also an untapped source of marketing data and helps you stay close to your customers. CS reps can live A/B test messaging and reach out to re-engage and retain customers. Many of these workflows can be automated based on the user journey.

Need a product marketing manager? Manav has your back. Email me for the intro 🚀

As always, let me know if you have any questions and if you want an intro to any of the folks in this email (including the PS section 🎉).

Stay awesome,

Julia Lipton

Founder of Awesome People Talent & Awesome People Ventures (join the syndicate)

If you liked this, ❤️ it below. If someone forwarded this to you, sign up here 💌

Most Recent Awesome People 🙏

Dylan - Growth engineer. Dylan has helped spearhead revenue and user growth at Casetext (USV, Susa Ventures, and YC Continuity-backed co that’s raised $40M+) and Quizlet (Series C co that’s raised $62M raised and valued at $1B+). He recently worked on onboarding experiments for Quizlet’s 60+ million monthly active users.

Lily - Product designer and content creator also known as Designalily. Lily has worked with companies like TwitchZendrive (Series B co backed by Signal Fire), and Curtsy (Series A co backed by Index) over the course of her career. She was just featured on Business Insider for her product design work! 

Eric - Rockstar technical recruiter. Eric is a former VP of Engineering at Sema4 and COTA, Inc. He has a knack for spotting technical talent and now runs his own technical recruiting firm. Eric’s worked with 2 companies in the Awesome People community and is well-loved!

Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you

Part-Time Opportunities 👀

Want to make some extra $$$ and work on interesting projects? Our new Awesome People job board is filled with awesome flexible roles. They’re perfect for full-time freelancers and moonlighters! We’ve collected some of the highlight roles here 👇

Marketing & Growth

  • Freelance Marketing & Social Media Manager for Aether - Aether is making diamonds out of thin air. They’re an Awesome People Ventures port co 😉. Apply here!

  • Part-Time Content & Social Media Manager for Better Ventures - Better Ventures backs mission-driven founders to build a more sustainable and equitable economy. FWIW, I love collaborating with them. Apply here!

  • Engineer Growth Hacker for The Beans The Beans is automating personal finance for the American middle class. I’ve known Melissa, the CEO, for ages and she’s a real gem. Backed by Precursor, Relay, and Swing Ventures. Apply here!


  • Interim Head of Community for Scout - Scout inspires empathy and connection through content, community, and screenshare-based social experiences. Zack, the founder (and friend), used to run product at Loom. Backed by Unusual Ventures, the CEO of Loom, and awesome angels. Apply here!


  • Freelance Full-Stack Engineer for Upfront Ventures - Upfront Ventures invests early in world-changing cos. This is a good opportunity to work with a VC firm! Apply here!

  • Engineering Advisor for Momentum Momentum helps build recurring donation infrastructure for nonprofits. Backed by On Deck, Elizabeth Yin, and Mark Cuban. Apply here!

  • Freelance UI/UX Developer for Core to Coeur Core to Coeur is a marketplace democratizing access to wellness and self-care. Backed by Coast to Crest and Angels. Apply here!


  • Freelance Graphic Designer for LOOM - LOOM offers inclusive, empathetic, and science-based health education. They’re backed by GSV, General Catalyst, Precursor, Slow, and Moxxie Ventures. Apply here!

  • Freelance Branding Expert for Poise Poise is improving the world’s spoken communication with personalized coaching. Backed by Slack Fund, Brianne Kimmel, and Awesome People Ventures 😉. Apply here!

Interested in sharing a role with our network? Fill out our free part-time talent request form here 😎

❤️ ❤️ ❤️