HomeBlogHow to Write a Winning Marketing Proposal (with Templates!)

How to Write a Winning Marketing Proposal (with Templates!)

Author: Kristen McCormick
Last Updated: January 11, 2024 | Marketing Templates, Strategies for Agencies

A marketing proposal is more than just a plan of action. It’s a piece of marketing collateral in and of itself and has direct influence over whether the client chooses you or a competitor.

In this complete guide, I’m going to equip you with everything you need (including templates!) to create a marketing proposal that will impress your prospects, earn their trust, distinguish you from competitors, and win the signature.

how to write a marketing proposal - example of designed marketing proposal

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Table of contents

What is a marketing proposal?

A marketing proposal is a written document that an agency/marketer provides to a client to communicate the details of a given project or service. Those details include everything the client and stakeholder need to decide whether to sign the contract.

Like any good business proposal, the marketing proposal comes after a discovery session where the agency/marketer collects all of the information they need to formulate the strategy, timeline, and pricing.

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Why you need a marketing proposal

So we just covered the basic definition and purpose of a marketing proposal, but there’s more to it than just information. It’s part art, part science. The science part is the logistics, quantifiable goals, metrics, timelines, and deliverables. The art part is how you present it, and how you use it to bring about the intangibles in your clients, like excitement about success, confidence in your services, and relief that their problem will be solved.

A marketing proposal:

  • Provides all of the information needed for a prospective client to confidently say yes.
  • Shows how you can organize and convey information in a compelling way.
  • Gives you a chance to stand out from competitors and also show that you’ve listened closely and thought through the details.
  • Highlights your qualifications and past successes.
  • Helps you to map out the project and stay accountable.
  • Protects you from scope creep and unpaid invoices.

how to write a marketing proposal - why you need a marketing proposal - example of piece of marketing proposal

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What to include in a marketing proposal

What you include in your marketing proposal will depend on your services, your client, and your industry, but here is a list that you can pick and choose from:

  • Cover page: Your first impression! Make it bold, attractive, and catered to your client’s brand feel.
  • Executive summary: Summarizes the overarching problem, goal, and solution; the big picture concept that will get stakeholders to want to listen in on the rest of the presentation.
  • Table of contents: A small but necessary detail to help your client navigate through the content on their own.
  • Goals: What the client is striving to achieve. These should include both the project goals as well as how those goals fit into greater organizational and marketing goals. Ideally, these goals are measurable.
  • Challenges: What’s getting in the way of achieving those goals. Your client will know most of their challenges but you may also be able to identify additional ones during the discovery session.
  • Solutions: The marketing strategies you will implement to solve for the challenges and goals.
  • Scope of work: The tactics of the strategies, as well as timeframes and other operational details.
  • Outcome: The deliverables of each phase or strategy, how they tie back to the core goals, and any additional benefits.
  • Pricing: The cost to the client fully broken out.  May have a few options to choose from. Provides clear return on investment
  • Working with us: A look into the team members, your culture, and values. Keep it focused on what value this delivers to the client.
  • Why us? Any testimonials, awards, success metrics, special skills, or social proof that make you especially fit for the job.
  • Contract: The terms and conditions and any other legalese you need to include. Try to keep this as easy to read as possible.

Tips for creating a winning marketing proposal

It’s not just the information that goes into your proposal—but also how you gather, present, and deliver that information—that matters. Here are some tips on creating marketing proposals that win over clients.

Do your prep work

The proposal should come after a thorough discovery session where you get all of the information you need. Take detailed notes so your proposal doesn’t just satisfy their needs, but reflects that you listen carefully and care about and will cater to their individual preferences.

Information to gather in the discovery session:

  • Goals and challenges (short and long-term)
  • The problem and the source of the problem
  • Past/existing strategies/successes/failures (including other agencies)
  • Existing metrics/What will success look like
  • Priorities
  • Emotions involved (frustrations, desires, pain points)
  • The personalities and work styles of the client’s team members
  • Their timeline, budget, stakeholders
  • Their target audience, brand messaging, and customer journey

Do additional research

Your client knows their business best, but you should still do additional research both before and after the discovery session. Gather as much as you can about the client before the session so you can demonstrate your diligence, alleviate them from having to educate you, and free up more time for the more nuanced details.

Do research after the session, on the market, competition, and anything pertinent to the session. This will allow you to add stats and examples to your proposal that can strengthen your case and further demonstrate your value.

Make it easy to read and visual

This is the same tip I give for service businesses in their service contracts. Don’t write in complex or formal language to try and impress your client! Keep it conversational and easy to read. Use terms they use, and constantly refer back to the problems and goals they are focused on. Also, visualize wherever you can, such as with timelines:

how to write a marketing proposal - example of timelines in marketing proposal

Keep it client-focused

While a marketing proposal is an opportunity to show your value and set yourself apart from competitors, it needs to stay focused on the client, not you. Any time you highlight something great about your business, be sure to connect it back to what value that provides for the clent.

Walk through it with them

Don’t just email the proposal over to your client. Set a time to meet and walk through it together. This will ensure the proposal communicates the information and messaging that you intended and ensures the client sees the details in your work. You can then send the proposal after the meeting and give them time to digest it, think it over, and come up with any other questions before signing.

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Marketing proposal templates

Here are some marketing proposal templates from a range of resources, including marketing agencies, online proposal generators, and marketing blogs.

1. Indeed’s text-only marketing proposal

Indeed’s marketing proposal template is nice and basic. It’s text-only with brackets and guidance on what to put into the brackets. While there is no design help here, Indeed provides tips, best practices, and examples, making it great for marketers or agencies looking to come up with an effective proposal copywriting framework.

marketing proposal template from indeed

This marketing proposal template includes:

  • Cover page
  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary
  • Project overview
    • Problem statement
    • Solution statement
    • Scope of work
  • Investment
    • Cost estimate
    • Contract and payment terms
  • Timeline
  • Project team and introductions
  • Case study
  • Agreement and signatures

2. Fool.com’s marketing proposal example

Fool.com’s marketing proposal template also isn’t downloadable, but the post itself is formatted as a marketing proposal, with a definition and example for each section. This template is ideal for an agency or marketer who is just starting out and unsure of what to put into a proposal.

marketing proposal template from fool.com

This marketing proposal template includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Challenges/objectives
  • Strategy/solution
  • Scope of work
  • Financials
  • Terms and conditions

3. HubSpot’s downloadable marketing proposal template

HubSpot’s marketing proposal template is a downloadable template that you can customize. While it doesn’t include example text, it provides the format and tips for each section. It also offers plenty of opportunities to pitch and distinguish your business while still making it about the customer. This is a good proposal for a service that is well-versed in proposals but wants to improve the organization and/or give it a little extra marketing pep.

marketing proposal template from hubspot

This marketing proposal template includes:

  • About us (services you provide, team, relevant skills)
  • Project scope (summary, proposed solution, phases/deliverables)
  • Projected outcome
  • Project schedule
  • Contact us
  • Contract and signatures
  • Appendix (past work, portfolio, samples)
  • Additional Materials

4. Pitch’s marketing proposal slide deck templates

Pitch is a free online presentation builder for a range of industries, so you won’t get much marketing advice but you will get attractive, predesigned slides, interactive features, animations, and more. It’s best for marketers who have their proposal copywriting down pat and are looking for inspiration on ways to display it.

marketing proposal template from pitch

This marketing proposal template contains example slides for:

  • Introduction
  • Agenda
  • Customer personas
  • Competitor analysts
  • Market share
  • Charts (line and bar)
  • Opportunities
  • Total budget
  • Timeline
  • Questions
  • Thank you

5. Jotform’s esignature marketing proposal builder

Jotform is an esignature platform with a WSWYG design editor. With Jotfrom’s marketing proposal template, the core content is already in place, you just have to fill in the blanks. You can also make changes to the master template and customze the design to your branding. In addition, you can use Jotform itself to share the proposal via email and collect e-signatures from any device. It doesn’t include examples and it’s pretty basic, so this is best for marketers who know what makes an effective proposal and just need a tool to make it look great and/or offer esigning.

marketing proposal template from jotform

This marketing proposal template contains:

  • Cover page
  • Cover letter
  • Background
  • Analysis of current state and objectives
  • Length of contract
  • Estimated costs and expenses
  • Terms and conditions
  • Signature

6. Proposify’s marketing proposal

As an online proposal builder tool, Proposify’s marketing proposal template takes the cake in the way of aesthetics but does not come with much guidance in the way of what to write and how to write it. Like the above two templates, it’s best for marketers who can write effective proposal copy and just need a way to design it.

marketing proposal template from proposify

This marketing proposal template contains:

  • Overview and goals
  • Scope of services
  • Timeframe
  • Your investment
  • Why us
  • Our team
  • Case study
  • Contract
  • Signature

7. Canva’s marketing proposal template gallery

Canva’s marketing proposal template gallery offers tons of attractive designs to choose from. The templates are in portrait style but you change the dimensions to be landscape for a slide deck style. Some of them even have example text to help.

marketing proposal templates from canva

Start winning more clients with these marketing proposal templates

As I said, a marketing proposal is a piece of marketing collateral in and of itself. And it’s part art, part science. With the right balance of information and metrics with design and delivery, a good proposal can win over the client and set the stage for a successful project.

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Meet The Author

Kristen McCormick

Kristen is the Head of Marketing at Hatch, a customer communication platform for service-based businesses. She was previously the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream. Her cat Arnold has double paws on every paw, and she finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.

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