Digital Marketing
3 min

The 10 Don'ts Of Writing A Great RFP


As the year wraps up, you may already be thinking about where you want your business to go in the new year. Whether you’re a B2B company reviewing your achievements 2018 or an ecommerce business already making plans for big changes in 2019, a request for proposal (RFP) could be a great way to find the agency that can support your goals and propel you to success. Writing a great RFP can be complex and time consuming, especially during such a busy time of year, so Wpromote has your back. Check out our list of the top 10 things to leave on the cutting room floor when building your ideal RFP.

  1. Unnecessary Questions. Collecting as much relevant information as possible is the core of a great RFP, but the keyword is “relevant.” Try to keep your questions directly applicable to the needs of your business, and let the digital experts teach you about the benefits of their other services.
  2. Poor Professionalism. You may think it doesn’t matter how well-written your RFP is, but it’s surprisingly important. Make sure the document is up to the highest standards of presentation, including good syntax and clear wording. A poorly communicated point may not receive the response you’re looking for!
  3. Outsourcing. No one will know the ins and outs of your business better than you and your team. An outsourced RFP will likely miss out on all the details that make your business great, and encourage bland, unhelpful responses.
  4. Editorializing. It can be tempting to ask responding agencies for their “favorite” tactic, or to mention your own, but it’s best to be as objective as possible. This will result clear, hard answers that will actually apply to your company’s needs.
  5. Client Referrals. Quality agencies will be unlikely to offer client referrals in the first round of the RFP. They want to keep client information private. Referrals should wait for the last step in the process when confidentiality can be guaranteed. (Asking for a list of clients or case studies similar to your company is, however, just fine!)
  6. Cumbersome Spreadsheets. While requiring responding agencies to submit their RFP as a spreadsheet is perfectly fine, try to refrain from having hundreds of questions in one document. Clarity and brevity are always preferable for all parties involved.
  7. Formatting Preferences. Similarly, let go of strict formatting preferences. By allowing each responding agency to add a little personal flair, you can glean insight into their design styles and preferences.
  8. Overly Broad Scope. Try to be specific in your questioning when you ask responding agencies to detail what they can do, and have them confirm they can meet those needs. Leave the questions too vague and you might get long-winded documents that fail to give you the information you actually wanted.
  9. Individual Philosophies. Of course you want to know high-level operating philosophy for each agency, such as how they approach search marketing as a whole. That said, avoid asking for the philosophy and approach behind every single channel, as the answers might get repetitive and lack in real usefulness. (This is different from asking for clearly defined strategies!)
  10. KPIs. We don’t mean you should leave KPIs out—we mean you shouldn’t have to ask. There should be no limitations in the KPIs responding agencies can track, after all. Instead, make sure your reporting needs are clear up front when you introduce your business.

Want to learn more about how to write an amazing RFP and find the right digital agency for you? Download our Essential Digital Agency RFP Guide today!

Digital Marketing


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