Marketing RFPs 101

May 2, 2024
5 minute read

What is an RFP?

A Request For Proposal is a document sent from one business to another, requesting a proposal of service. For example, if a business wants to run an ad campaign, it’ll likely send an RFP to three to five different agencies. Those agencies would then respond with a proposal if they are interested in working for that company. Out of all the responses it receives, that company would choose the agency that is the best fit.

In this blog, we’ll examine RFPs from the perspective of the agencies receiving them. We’ll discuss the importance of handling RFPs correctly, provide a detailed guide for how to be successful in your RFP responses, and provide a free marketing RFP template.

 

Why is it important to put effort into RFP responses?

At first thought, it may seem that the best way to deal with RFPs is by responding to each one that comes your way as quickly as possible. This is a mistake, as the amount of acceptances you’ll get for your RFPs is not great enough to warrant spending time on each one that comes your way. Unless you're a very high-profile agency, you’re unlikely to be successful with an RFP to a high-profile customer, so it’s wise to stick to responding to the RFPs that you have a fair chance of being successful with. 

Once you do decide to respond to an RFP, the trick is to spend enough time on it so that it’s sent out polished and professional; otherwise, you’re likely to be wasting your time. A prospective client will want to know that you take them seriously and are not just throwing their RFP back at them in the vague hope that they might take you up on your offer. 

 

What should be included in an RFP?

1. Cover Letter: Writing a cover letter gives your proposal a personal feel. It simultaneously shows the company that you are serious about your offer and gives them an impression of what it would be like to work with you.

Included in your cover letter should be:

  • A demonstration of your understanding of their needs.
  • Your expertise in solving their problems and meeting their requirements, including examples of how you have done similar things in the past if you have done so. 
  •  Your interest in working with them and why you think you would be the best fit for the job.

2. Plan of Action: In the next part of a proposal, you will detail how you plan to go about meeting the client’s needs. To gain the highest chance of being successful, you should:

  • Research the company. This shows them that you are serious about wanting to work with them and that you have a good grasp of their needs.
  • Include a step-by-step plan of how you would go about doing what they asked for in their RFP, including a timeline for when everything will get done. 
  • An idea of the content you would include in the deliverables you’d create for them.
  • Detail the team members with whom they would be working, including their expertise and, if relevant, previous success in the area.

3. Contract: It’s important to be very clear on the terms of your partnership to avoid any confusion or angst later on. In the terms of your contract, you should include:

  • Your price. This should include a breakdown of costs.
  • Rounds of revision - how many times are you prepared to revise deliverables if the client wants something changed?
  • Your availability—when and how a client can reach you or your team, as well as your availability for support once the project is complete.
  • Signature - include a space for the client’s signature.

4. Portfolio and References: To prove to your client that you are the best man for the job, it’s imperative to show how you have been successful in the past. By including a portfolio of similar work to what they are requesting, you reassure them that you know what you’re doing. Including references of previous, satisfied clients gives them the opportunity to hear first hand from the people that were happy with your services. If you can include actual metrics, like the amount you managed to increase a company’s website traffic or email open rates, that’s a big plus.

 

RFP Example

Here is an example of an effective response to an RFP:

Gloria Thomas

Always Successful Agency

alwayssuccessfulagency@gmail.com

 

Timothy Green

Pizza Pie Paradise

 

Dear Mr Green,

Thank you for your Request For Proposal regarding your brand revamp. Always Successful Agency is delighted with your offer and looks forward to using our years of experience and expertise to help you create a new and attractive brand package.

We understand that you are looking to create a new logo, slogan, and menu brochure. We have worked on creating rebrands for over 50 businesses in the past and have extensive experience in logos, slogans, and brochures, so we are confident that we can help you achieve your dream rebrand.

 

Executive Plan:

Based on the information you provided us with, as well as our own research, it seems that Pizza Pie Paradise is a chain pizza shop, with branches across Chicago. You cater to higher-end customers and your branding needs to reflect that. 

Here is how we would go about rebranding your business to help you attract the customers you are aiming to reach:

  • Create a sleek, modern logo that would portray you as a boutique pizza shop.
  • Develop a slogan that captures your offering, portraying eating at Pizza Pie Paradise as a delicious, upper-class pizza experience.
  • Design a brochure that showcases your pizza products and excellent service, using an irresistibly delicious yet elegant design.

Our designer, Leslie Hope, and our copywriter, Sam Jordan, will work with you on this project and be your primary contacts. Leslie has been with us for over seven years, providing top-of-the-range design service to our very happy clients. Leslie can capture a brand in the most compelling way possible using her extensive design skills. Our copywriter, Sam, is an uber-talented wordsmith with over ten years of experience in the copywriting industry. Sam has a proven record of helping businesses like yours increase their sales significantly. 

 

Contract:

Please see a breakdown of costs below:

 

Logo: $300

Slogan: $250

Brochure: $2000

Total: $2550 



Rounds of revision:

We offer our clients a total of three rounds of revision, included in the original price.



Contacting us:

Throughout the project, you will be able to contact Leslie Hope and Sam Jordan, as well as myself, during work hours via the following means:

 

Phone: (555) 555 555

Email: alwayssuccessfulagency@gmail.com

Via our website chat

For the first month after the project’s completion, our team will be available to offer support on Mondays between 3-4.

 

Your signature: ____________________



Portfolio and references: 

Check out our extensive portfolio by following this link.

The following references can be contacted regarding their experience working with Always Successful Agency:

  • Jack Norman

       (555) 777 7777

       jacknorman@gmail.com

 

  • Silvia McDonald

       (555) 666 6666

       silviamcdonald@gmail.com 

Marketing agency rfp template

Download your free template here!



How can Workamajig help you ace your RFPs?

The best way to deal with RFPs on an ongoing basis is by having a streamlined, repeatable process, as well as one central place to keep previous RFPs for reference and useful content to help with future RFPs. 

Several team members are likely to be working on a response to any given RFP. Therefore, it’s important to ensure effective communication between them so that work gets done promptly, tasks are not overlapped, and the overall style is on brand.

Enter Workamajig - the only project management software designed especially for creative teams. With Workamajig, you make your RFP responses quick, easy, and on a fast track to success.

 

Here’s how:

Collaboration: Workamajig’s easy-to-use collaboration features allow team members to share resources and ask each other questions, all in one place. 

Resource management: Before you can respond to an RFP, you have to know if you have the necessary resources to carry out the requested project, and if you do, is it worth it profit-wise? Workamajig’s robust resource management tools show you exactly where you stand in terms of finances, as well as which employees are available and when. You can also run reports that quickly show you how profitable a particular project would be and use that report to decide whether to respond to an RFP or not.

Plus much more - find out how Workamajig can make all the difference here!

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