And you need a marketing proposal template.
Sorry, we don’t have it. Because here’s the thing. The only perfect marketing proposal is the one that works for your specific agency in your specific situation with your specific clients. And that’s a lot of variables.
But, thankfully, there is such a thing as marketing proposal templates. And that’s what we’ve assembled for you here.
You can hop and skip over the meaty section below and just grab the template. But, be warned, the solution to a winning proposal isn’t the template itself. It’s what goes inside the template — where the magic of top marketing solutions and stellar client retention meet. If you follow the instructions below, you’ll increase your proposal accept rate dramatically.
Marketing Proposal for Marketing Agencies — What are you selling?
First, it’s important to ask a crucial question.
What are you selling?
This marketing proposal template is for marketing agencies of any kind.
However, Customers.ai is a Facebook Messenger chatbot builder. If you are selling chatbot services, make sure you’re using a robust, powerful, and cost-effective platform to create and deploy hyper-effective Messenger chatbots.
Customers.ai is particularly powerful for marketing agencies with a unique pricing tier and an expanded suite of features and benefits specifically for marketing agencies. Please check it out.
The Perfect Marketing Proposal Template: This is the Goal
The simple unvarnished goal of a marketing proposal is to win the client, get the yes, earn the revenue, etc.
Marketers like to bring up a lot of other stuff when talking about marketing proposals:
- The perfect font for a marketing proposal
- The ideal way for the client to sign the marketing proposal
- How long, exactly, the proposal needs to be
- What colors are the right ones for a marketing proposal
- How to send the marketing proposal to a client — Word, PDF, paper, smoke signals, something different?
- The winning design template for an irresistible marketing proposal
Are all of those things important?
Yes. Sort of. Maybe.
And each of those features serves a single goal — to win the client.
However, there are other more important features than the perfect font and just the right color.
What are those important features that will compel the prospective client to say yes? There are two primary ones.
- The client’s negative psychological motivation. What pain are they feeling that your marketing agency can solve? They want you to take away their pain.
- The client’s positive feelings that working with you will provide. What value and rewards will they earn as a result of saying yes to your proposal and working together? How will this make them feel?
Let’s use an example:
CEO Sally is stressed because her local staffing agency is wasting money on Facebook ads. It’s causing her to skip breakfast, gym days, and yell at her kids. Sally doesn’t like this. Sally feels sad. Sally feels unhealthy. Sally feels like a bad mom. Sally believes that by contracting with you, a kickass Facebook marketing agency selling chatbot services, she will eat healthy foods, go to her weekly Zumba, and speak kindly to her daughter after picking her up from school each day. She believes that her company’s revenue will increase. This makes Sally feel happy.
Notice that I haven’t even touched on cost at this point. Heck, I hardly even discussed the nature of Sally’s business, ad spend, or marketing approach.
Sally is feeling bummed and your marketing agency can help her feel non-bummed.
The point is this. Even if you choose to use comic sans as your font and send a fax (what’s a fax?) as your delivery method, a client very well might say yes as long as the psychological motivation and potential ROI are high.
So, to summarize:
- A yes is the goal.
- The way to get the yes is by assuring them that you will do two things:
- Erase their pain
- Deliver positive feelings
I’m not trying to go all Freud on you, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge a simple fact of human psychology: deep psychological motivation will win the day faster than fonts.
That’s why the marketing proposal template below includes features that will help to deliver on that front.
Okay, let’s dive in. You can use this handy Google doc as a template. It contains a simple outline of the proposal to keep you on track. Sorry, no sweet vectors, flashy fonts, or drag-and-drop templates for you here. Try Visme, Canva, or Word Templates for that.
One page or less
Your summary statement is one of the most important components of the marketing proposal because it’s at the beginning and because most major stakeholders will at least glance at it. You’re basically telling the client that you want to get married and you hope they say “I do.”
One to three paragraphs that address the following points
- The reason why your client originally reached out to you. You want to tie it back to the pain they felt when they submitted the contact form on your website or picked up the phone and gave you a call. Poke at that.
- The problem they are facing. Reference that pain again by describing how they are losing money or time, how they are missing out on something important, and how that won’t change unless they work with you.
- The solution that you are proposing. Teasing them with the solution is fine. Don’t throw platitudes or cliches in here, but reference the work that you do and the identical (and successful) work you’ve done in the past for clients like them.
- The outcome that you will deliver. Don’t just focus on numbers. Focus on feelings. Obviously, you probably don’t want to promise a better night of sleep, but you can suggest that your solution will be “100% outsourced,” “easy,” straightforward” and “seamless,” which is almost the same thing.
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
- Keep this section brief. You want your client to be able to capture the gist of the marketing proposal template in one to three minutes.
- Stay casual. This is a personal note. Keep the tone light. Marketing proposals often contain stiff, awkward, and formal language. Look, you’re probably not a lawyer and neither is your client. Just act natural. And write like it, too.
1-2 pages of how you’re going to solve the client’s problem.
Follow a four-point outline to describe your marketing solution:
- Problem Statement – what is the client dealing with that you can solve? One paragraph/
- Strategy Solution – what will you do that will solve this problem? 5-15 bullet points.
- Deliverables – what are the specific things you will give or do. E.g., 12 chatbot sequences, ongoing support for 6 months, etc.
- Results – the kind of success and joy that the client will experience as a result of working with your marketing agency
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
Three tips. Here they are.
1. Explain your specific strategy with the client in concrete terms.
Some agencies might think “we don’t want to give away our secrets! Especially if they haven’t paid us yet!”
I’m here to say give away your secrets. A client will be more compelled by a clear strategy than she will with a vague promise.
Explain exactly how you’re going to achieve the client’s goals. You don’t want the client to hand back your proposal saying, “Can you explain how you’re going to solve our problem?”
Tell them. Upfront.
2. Drive quickly towards solutions.
The “solution” should be just that — solutions.
Too often, this section goes off the rails with the following mistakes:
- Vague promises. The language gets salesy. The clarity wafts away. And the client is thinking “But will they?”
- Getting stuck in the weeds of methodology. Most clients could care less about your Ahrefs wizardry or your Customers.ai skills. As important as those are, spend less time talking about how you’re going to solve the problem and more time describing what the solution will be.
- It’s too long. In most cases, the client’s problem can be solved in one page of a proposal (so to speak). If it takes more than that, eyes will glaze and minds will wander and…adios client.
3. Use quick, bite-sized bullet points for this section.
This is pure tactic.
Use bullet points.
Client brains will praise you. I’m just as eager as the next guy to read Atlas Shrugged, but paragraphs consisting of 81 lines don’t fly with a marketing proposal.
Summarize your solution into a few succinct bullet points, and you have a higher likelihood of the client 1) reading your proposal, 2) understanding your proposal, and 3) accepting your proposal.
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One page listing the price and payment terms.
“Investment” is code for “give us money.” This is the money section in which you will explain exactly how much it costs and how you expect your fee to be paid.
All you need here are two sections:
- Price – how much it costs. Keep it simple. A number is all you need.
- Payment terms – when and how they need to pay your fee.
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
- Place this section on its own page (or slide, if you’re using slides). Clients will be rabid about seeing this section. Most of the time, this is all they care about.
- Don’t pretend that you’re giving them discounts. Often, I see the pricing section reveal all kinds of false discounts — a few subtraction problems followed by wow! a lower number than they were expecting! Leave that for negotiation. Stand by your price and leave the subtraction problems for third-grade math class.
One page describing when the client can expect to receive deliverables and see results.
This section outlines — again using bullets — the dates (and times if applicable) by which they can expect two things:
- The deliverables
- The results
Trace these out with as much bullet-point simplicity as possible.
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
- Tell them exactly when can they expect results. Every client wants to know the answer to this question, when will we see results? Be as straightforward as possible in answering this question, but by all means, answer the question!
- Commit to your timeline. This power tip gets a bit ahead of the game, but I plead with you to stick to your dates. All the talk about projects missing deadlines? It’s abnormal for a company to actually delivery by expected dates. Be that company.
One or more pages (depending on the size of your team) with headshots, titles, and descriptions of each team member.
This section is extra. It can help, especially if you have some heavy-hitting luminaries on your team — names and reputations that are recognized and admired in your local market or niche.
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
- Headshots are a must-have in this section. Cognitive neuroscience has demonstrated that humans have an emotional and visceral response to seeing faces. The presence of headshot photos — especially smiling ones — in a marketing proposal can help to add a touch of humanity and emotional depth to an otherwise bland marketing proposal.
- Keep the descriptions casual and brief. While you may be tempted to spill the entire bowl of alphabet soup over this section — John Smith, ACSA, BS, MS, Ph.D., accredited by AWEG, certification by HHR and BRE, member of AFS and RJTY. Forget it. You’re better off talking about Smith’s affection for Dinmont Terriers and weekend proclivity for disc golf.
Case Study (optional)
One or more pages describing a similar situation and solution in the past.
Again, this is extra. If you have case studies, trot them out. If you don’t, no sweat.
Marketing Proposal Power Tips
- The best case studies consist of 1) similar problems and 2) similar clients. Some agencies tend to think that the bigger the brand they’ve worked with, the more compelling the case study will be. Doesn’t always work that way, though. Even if you did work with Coca-Cola, the mom and pop store you’re working with right now wants to know if you’ve successfully solved a problem for a similar mom and pop establishment.
- Brief and simple. I’m beginning to sound like the summer’s hit song in literally every mall and boutique teen clothing shop across America. Simple. Brief. Simple. Brief. Yes, it matters. Keep your case studies…you guessed it…simple and brief.
Agreement and Terms
One or more pages with your standard legal agreement and terms.
This is the “boring section.” But it’s also really important.
I’m going to leave the language of this to your lawyers or whatever copy/paste job you’ve done in the past. However, it is important to have a clear description of the recitals, operative provisions, confidentiality agreements, and all the other legal necessaries to protect yourself and your client.
And finally, it’s signing time.
You know how this goes down — a couple of lines and a couple of dates, and you’re set.
Marketing Proposal Template Bonus Tip for Massive Success
Let’s be honest. Getting a marketing proposal template right is just the first step.
The second step is having the client sign it.
And the true unicorn land begins when you deliver awesome work, rinsing, and repeating.
Now that you have a killer marketing proposal template, I also have a bonus tip that will make your marketing proposal all but irresistible.
One of the greatest ways to significantly improve the chances of acceptance is to offer something new, differentiating, and appealing to your client.
That something is chatbots. Chatbots are a fascinating and emerging component of digital marketing. All trends indicate their massive rise in the coming years, and so far, there are only a few agencies that offer chatbot marketing services.
My recommendation? Offer chatbot marketing services to your clients. Here are a few get-rich-quick links for using chatbot marketing as part of your proposal and your agency’s growth:
- Learn how to grow an agency business with chatbot marketing services, free webinar.
- If you offer chatbot marketing services already, get discovered by clients by submitting your agency to the Certified Agency Directory.
- Take advantage of the exclusive Customers.ai plan for marketing agencies.
Marketing Proposal for Marketing Agencies – Simple and Brief
Having worked in the marketing agency industry for over ten years, I’ve seen torrents of marketing proposals.
After a while, they blend together in a cyclone of hackneyed promises and commonplace language.
The marketing proposals that have succeeded have done so as a result of three things:
- They sooth the psychological pain point
- They anticipate positive feelings that the client will experience
- They are simple and brief
Ready to get started. Here’s the template.
And before you go…three quick things:
- If you haven’t yet, sign up for Customers.ai. It’s free. It’s powerful. It will make your clients love you.
- Join Customers.ai Island, a free and exclusive Facebook group designed to get you the help you need and support you crave for your marketing life.
- Get focused and tactical marketing tips (only the good stuff) that will help to give you unicorn marketing powers.