A marketing proposal pitches clients. A good marketing proposal lands them.
A proposal presents a clear plan so clients understand what you do and how well you do it. As a freelancer or service provider, you can’t work if you can’t convince people to hire you. And that all starts with a strong marketing proposal.
What is a marketing proposal?
A marketing proposal communicates a plan to a potential client. Clients often want to establish measurable goals and specific deliverables or services before signing a contract, and this is the document that outlines these first steps in a client relationship.
This proposal should describe deliverables, timeframes, costs, and other things a potential contract could include. But beyond the basics, you can also use a proposal to dig deeper into an overview of the strategies you intend to use and projections for what you hope to accomplish. The goal of this proposal is to highlight what you plan to do, not disclose all the details of how you’ll do it. That will come later.
How to write a marketing proposal
Every proposal needs clear language and a logical flow to present the information to your client. Here, we’ve outlined eight things to include in every winning marketing proposal.
1. Cover page
A cover page introduces your brand and services. This is a first impression, so make it count. Entice a prospective client to peruse the rest of your proposal.
The cover page is where you’ll grab attention. This is your opportunity to be creative and stand out from the crowd by showcasing something visually appealing and on-brand. The proposal is about your client, after all, so make sure they’re the center of attention. Include their name and logo with a client-centered title that describes the goal of the proposal in a way that stands out. Bonus points if you can integrate their branding colors, fonts, or logos.
The first page after the cover is an executive summary. It’s an opportunity to summarize the most important information in a way that’s impactful and digestible. Be concise and outline the plan. Resist the urge to overexplain in the executive summary. We’ll dive deeper later.
Here’s what a marketing proposal summary should include:
- An assessment of the client’s current situation and problems
- A brief description of your marketing goals, solutions, and deliverables
- The timeframe with deadlines
- The marketing budget for the entire project
Remember: This is a pitch. Use the summary to describe why this plan is the best one.
3. Proposed solution
Next, outline solutions for the client’s problems and your strategy (or strategies) for fixing them. This is where to show off your expertise. Set clear goals and show the client you’re confident you have a solution to their problems.
For example, marketing agencies offering web design services must show how they plan to optimize a client’s site. That means stating which design tools they’ll use and presenting relevant samples or inspiration that help inform the objectives. These in-depth explanations of a proposed project help stakeholders understand its relevance.
4. Scope of work
A scope of work outlines what a project does and doesn’t cover to set boundaries for you and the client. If the client needs services or deliverables outside the original scope, they must compensate you accordingly.
This should include a clear timeline outlining deliverables and milestones alongside what to do if expectations change. If you’re offering email marketing services for three months, for example, include a clause stating what the client pays for services beyond that period or outside your agreed-upon scope.
Online portfolios offer evidence of your abilities, experience, and style. Customize your portfolio to suit your personal brand and keep it updated with new projects. Showcase previous projects to demonstrate to clients you’re the real deal. If a client wasn’t already sure about hiring you, proof of your skills nudges them in the right direction.
Clients want to know how the plan progresses. Setting measurable objectives is how you’ll show them. Track goals by using targeting tools like Google Analytics to monitor data, track engagements and impressions, and follow traffic.
Metrics vary based on the project’s focus. For example, you might track the number of new leads from a specific platform or SEO metrics like clicks and search engine results page (SERP) position. A social media marketer proposing a new TikTok account might aim for a certain number of followers and total views by a set date. Make sure each platform or deliverable has a metric and a date by which you plan to achieve your goal.
7. Costs and terms of payment
After outlining the basic plan, specify payment terms. Be upfront and transparent about pricing. Sending proposals without this information implies hidden costs, which deters clients and breaks trust.
Prices aren’t meant to be front and center. Instead, add this section near the end of the proposal after demonstrating your value. A prospective client should think, “There’s value here, and I want to achieve these results, no matter the cost.”
If you’re unsure how to bill for your services, these pricing guides explain how to set your rates.
8. Additional terms and conditions
Finish your marketing proposal outline with any additional terms of the potential agreement, such as termination notices, intellectual property, and confidentiality. It’s worth consulting a legal professional when writing this section to prevent unclear terms from causing legal trouble.
To speed up the agreement process, include a contract at the end of your proposal. If the client is ready to sign, they’ll have everything needed to complete the deal.
Take your marketing to the next level
Whether you’re freelancing for clients or creating SaaS products for large companies, your services need a platform. Use Webflow to create a marketing portfolio that shows clients what you do and watch your proposals turn into plans.