The Complete Guide on How to Write a Business Proposal Email
Acquiring new clients is crucial for small businesses. Even though you can sometimes manage that through referrals and networking, you’ll still need to send an official proposition through a business proposal email to potential clients. If your business emails haven’t been generating the wanted results, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we’ll explain the importance of a business proposal email and provide you with a guide on writing one your potential client will actually want to read. We know how to create interest with your sales documents so you can rest assured we have the right solution for your situation.
What is a business proposal email?
A business proposal is a proposition of cooperation between two (or more) organizations. It’s a sales document that should be written in a form of proposed agreements between a supplier and a user of specific products or services, essentially a document that ends with a call to action. So, whether you’re selling a product or service, writing a proposal is a good idea.
Once you have your business proposal ready, you need to email it to the interested party.
Types of proposal emails
There are two types of business proposal emails. The first one is the one you send to a cold audience. This type of email is more commonly known as an unsolicited proposal. An email like this is sent out to people you’ve never had contact with or ones you know but have never expressed an interest in buying your solutions.
When sending unsolicited proposals, you need to be especially convincing in order to achieve your results.
The other type is a solicited business proposal email which is usually sent out after a request by the potential client. In this case, you’ll have an easier time creating your business proposal letter, because you’ll have more information.
But, whatever the case may be, we have gathered a foolproof plan that will secure success.
Do the research
Throughout your whole business proposal email, it should be evident that you researched the company and found more than their contact information. Get to know their core values, and do a little stalking on social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are the best platforms for showcasing how the company sees itself. If you’re in marketing, this is your jumping-off point. Describe the disconnect between how they see themselves, and how they are perceived by others.
After all, social media is where they keep introducing and reinventing themselves.
Everybody likes a bit of an individual approach so take time to learn about the company and its competitors. Try to find out what their core values are and use that in your proposal email.
Once you’ve understood their process and how they’ve done things in the past, you’ll likely find something to hook them in and create a proposal that will get you hired.
If you’re planning an initial meeting where you’ll listen to the potential client’s needs and assess the strategy you’re going to use, you’ll be using a different approach. You still need to research the company and get to know its industry. However, prepping for a face-to-face meeting is different from cold emailing.
In a meeting, you’ll have more opportunities to ask questions and get a more detailed look into the client’s needs, and former work, but you won’t have as much leeway when it comes to answering their questions. To better prepare for the meeting, check out our 3 easy steps tutorial.
What do you think is more eye-catching, a block of text or bullet points? Exactly! When writing your business proposal email make sure to keep it short and engaging.
Firstly, you should address the recipient by their name (this is no place for a “to whom it may concern”). After that, you can start with a table of contents.
If your potential client sent a request for a proposal, they’ll know what to expect. Still, making a table of contents will elevate your pitch and bring a dose of professionalism. Proposal software usually has this feature integrated, and it’s not something you have to worry about while writing.
Draft your proposal
In order to have the content for your business proposal email, you first need to write the proposal document.
When preparing your proposal, an executive summary or an introduction is written with the purpose of grabbing the reader’s attention. It should get right to the point and express the value you can bring to them. If you’re sending an email to a cold audience, this will likely be the first time they’re hearing about you. You can use that as an opportunity.
Think of this as a cover letter for your future client. Make it concise and easy to read. Also, make sure to think of the person that will be reading it. Put an emphasis on your strengths and avoid mentioning your shortcomings.
Make sure you’re not going overboard with how much you write about yourself and the company. Focus on your client and let them get to the meat of your proposal quickly.
Your clients have busy schedules. They won’t have time to remember redundant information. Leaving a strong impression with all your strong points would be much better.
Those of you that already had a discovery meeting (that went well) can easily write out your executive summary by using your client’s words. Just summarize what you were talking about at the meeting and make a smooth transition to the following page.
This will show them that you were listening and understand what they need out of your business proposal.
Present your solution
After you’ve introduced your proposal, move the conversation to the problem they’ve encountered. This is where you write out your solution. Explain how you would help them, and why you’re the person for the job. If you have a custom solution for them, this is where you explain it in detail. Your potential customer will be more engaged and likely to agree to start doing business with you.
The problem you’re proposing to solve should be presented without placing the blame on anybody, so don’t start with an attack. Furthermore, your solution to the problem should be written in an understandable way that doesn’t create confusion.
How to increase your success rate?
Not everybody is on the same level as you, so make sure to use words people with a lower technical knowledge will know. Avoid using technical jargon and make sure your business proposal doesn’t require any additional materials in order to be understood by your clients. The only thing this type of thinking changes is the number of words since you’ll be using more descriptions to get your point across.
To back up your statements, you can add a few testimonials or a case study that will show your expertise.
Evaluate the cost
Don’t get overwhelmed when you come to this part. Obviously, you don’t want to under-price your product or service. On the other hand, you don’t want your client to take one look at your pricing table and close it.
Try dividing up your services with a required and optional fee table. That way, your price will be broken down into several sections. This is more visually appealing than a single large number, and your potential client will feel like they are saving money by avoiding the optional services, but still sticking to your core cost estimate.
If you’re sending proposal letters to a cold audience, you most often don’t know their budget. If you’re not sure how to price your work, we have an amazing breakdown that will help you find the best model.
On the other hand, those of you that had a productive discovery session will have at least an idea of the budget your prospective client has set aside for this job. Still, make sure to present your price and payment terms in an easy-to-understand way.
Quick tip – calling this section “Investment” will work much better compared to the word “Cost”, as investing alludes to the return of resources they’ll give you for a certain service.
As we’ve explained in our proposal reports, you have to think about the emotion you’re trying to invoke with your words. “Return on investment” is a term that puts the reader at ease, while terms like “Expenses” make your proposal seem like a regular invoice.
After the pricing, include your terms and conditions. Be exact, since this is the legal part, there is no need for fluff.
Call to action
Just like every business letter, you’ll want to end your proposal with a call to action. The reason you’re sending your business proposal is to accomplish a specific task and your CTA should be a reminder of that. The object of your email may be evident to you, but that doesn’t mean it will translate to your potential client.
The CTA can be something as simple as Get back to me. You can also ask a question that will ensure continued communication because nothing is worst than spending time on a proposal, only not to hear from them ever again.
Of course, if you’re using proposal software like Better Proposals, you can rely on proposal analytics to help guide your follow-up process. Once your business proposal email is sent, we’ll notify you every time your proposal is:
Since all of our business proposal templates are web-based, we wanted to make sure you and your clients never have to print them out.
That’s why we incorporated a digital signature option which allows your clients to type in their name and agree to your terms that way. The typed-in signature gets turned into a secure digital signature that can be traced with time stamps and the IP address of the signer.
This makes the digital signature legally binding, so you don’t have to worry about the legitimacy of your agreement.
Keep it short and easy to read
With all of your content ready, go over it once more and make sure everything is concise and easy to follow. When you address the recipient, your focus should be on quality, not quantity. When you finish, give your business proposal to a colleague to make sure everything is correctly worded and on-brand.
Delete any paragraphs that aren’t bringing additional value to your proposal. There is no need to write out a long proposal if you could say the same thing in a more concise way.
Make sure to always finish your business proposals with a greeting and contact information.
Write a good business proposal email
Now that you have all the information, get to it! If you’re saturated with information right now, don’t worry, just jump to our proposal templates. There you can choose from a wide range of templates and find the right one for your small business.
The platform is easy to use, so you won’t need any design experience. With a variety of customizable templates that already have everything we mentioned incorporated, you can easily create a proposal in minutes. If you’re writing a business proposal in response to a request, you can add a contract that’s easy to sign and pay!
With our integrated payments feature, clients can pay instantly using PayPal, Stripe or GoCardless.
A proposal like this will eliminate the need for a formal, longer-format business proposal email since it answers all of their questions. This will make space for a short, personal note in the email itself, and the link in the email will lead to your proposal.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend some time on your business proposal email. Make sure it’s engaging and answers at least one of your client’s questions.
If are sending a proposal per their request, your business proposal email could look something along the lines of this:
As you can see from the examples, writing a business proposal email doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. All you have to do is pick the right proposal tool and make sure you’re following your client’s wishes.
With Better Proposals, you’ll never have to stress about writing a business proposal email again, because we’ll make the whole experience easy and intuitive.
Sign up for a free 2-week trial and discover the ease of creating and sending business proposals with Better Proposals. We can help you speed up your sales cycle and win more deals faster.
Start sending high conversion proposals today
more professional way to win more business.