Online Marketing RFP Template With Sample Questions

It doesn’t matter if this is your first online marketing request for proposal (RFP) or your 50th — digital marketing RFPs can be complicated, time-consuming, and — depending on your company’s status — a bit precarious, too.

On top of that, improving your understanding of online marketing while looking for online firms to help bring your company to the next level is just as complicated and costly. That’s part of the reason why we’ve put together both a guide to online marketing RFPs and a digital marketing RFP template, the latter of which is available for free download.

Download Now: Free Online Marketing RFP Template

If you are vetting online marketing agencies and need an RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

What Is an Online Marketing RFP Exactly?

While an RFP is simply an outline of criteria that a company gives to firms to respond to, an online marketing RFP is tailored to — you guessed it — online marketing.

A digital marketing RFP will help you achieve your business goals. With an RFP, you’ll be able to offer a clear-cut proposal that prospective agencies can visualize and understand better, which is helpful for both parties. It’ll also allow you to discuss what you’re looking for within your company internally, so you can skip the “multiple revisions” stage that comes with weak RFPs.

Relying on the RFP process will also make sure the firms have a written set of criteria so they can come back with solutions that fit the selection criteria you’re looking for.

A digital marketing RFP is perfect for those looking for an outside entity — specifically a digital marketing agency — to help you bring your company to the next level through social media, Google Analytics, or other technological solutions.

Why Use an Online Marketing RFP Template?

Searching for a digital agency that aligns with your aspirations and values can be a tricky process. In fact, the online marketing RFP writing process itself is challenging.

It can be extremely time-consuming. Unless you have hours and hours of free time, it can be challenging to carve out time during the day to work on an online marketing RFP.

Sometimes, as an RFP writer, it can be hard to know precisely what you desire from a firm. A digital marketing RFP template will lay that out for you nicely so you can pinpoint exactly what you want from the agency.

Finally, writing a digital marketing RFP is risky. Imagine spending hours and hours writing what seems to be the perfect proposal only for it to go nowhere.

We’re no strangers to online marketing RFPs — we’ve seen some truly impressive proposals and a handful of laughable RFPs. But our digital marketing RFP template makes it easier for both parties: Not only will it be easier to write and organize, but that’ll make it easy for the company to review it as well.

Digital marketing RFPs don’t have to be an enigma. Our template should guide you through every part of the process. We’ll also share some helpful tips and tricks that might make the process even easier for you.

What’s Usually Included in an Online Marketing RFP

The beautiful thing about digital marketing RFPs is that they can be very versatile, depending on the company or person writing them.

Although your RFP can be whatever you envision, we’re going to cover some common areas that online marketing RFPs usually include. That being said, not all of these topics will apply to you, and even if they do, you might choose to omit some aspects — that’s all to be expected.

Your company

One of the best places to start is who you are. Unless your company already has a robust digital presence, chances are, the firms you contact won’t be familiar with your company, and that’s OK.

Here, you’ll want to share information about your company’s background, where it is now, where you’re looking to go, and any core values and missions that you’d like to include. How many employees do you have? Is there more than one location?

This might also be an appropriate place to briefly explain why you’re interested in digital marketing. You can also end with a concise summary of what you’re looking for in an agency partner. For example, you might want agencies that have years of experience in a particular area.

Your current digital presence

You’ll want to be as honest and accurate as possible in this section. Here, you’ll be describing your current digital presence and what that looks like.

I’d suggest detailing the current online marketing strategies your company uses, including what’s working, what isn’t, and what you wish could work better.

Within this sphere, you can also discuss any and all marketing challenges that come to mind when you think of your digital presence. For example, maybe you’re struggling with low retention rates, or perhaps the in-house content you have isn’t up to par for your audience.

Even if it’s painful to recall your shortcomings and what’s not working for you, this will be the best way for potential firms to know how to develop a personalized marketing strategy for you and your business. Everyone faces marketing program challenges, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of them.

Who your competitors are

Identifying at least three competitors (and their websites) will help potential firms see who you’re up against. Agencies can then know what you’re doing well compared to companies that might already be doing it better.

You might also consider sharing any of the competitors’ social media accounts and advertising campaigns that impress you, so the potential agencies can tailor their solution to hitting some of those marketing goals.

Your target audience

When you think of your ideal customer, what do they look like? In other words, who’s your target audience? When thinking of your target audience, you’ll want to include both demographic and even psychographic information to provide firms with a visual to the audience you’re attracting.

It would be worthwhile to create a few personas to show these agencies and help them better visualize the customer.

Your overall goal

This is an excellent place to introduce your specific goals concisely. I wouldn’t advise writing a lengthy goal that’s bogged down with many details, since we’ll get into the meat of your digital marketing RFP later. Pick one to three outcomes that you’d like the online marketing firm to do for you.

Your business goals

Your business goals will probably be similar to your overall goal, but we’ll dive a little deeper into this section. What do you want your future online marketing strategy to do, exactly? What would be a successful marketing strategy in your eyes?

Make sure they’re both realistic and achievable. For example, maybe you just want to increase your revenue for the next fiscal year. That’s an entirely reasonable business goal.

In this section (or in a new section), you can include the scope of the work you need, even if it’s an estimate. For example, what are your specific needs per digital channel? To make it easier, you can also include a list of deliverables that you have in mind.

Your objectives

In order to achieve your business goals, you’ve got to have objectives — written plans that will help you get to the next level. This will help visualize the project overview, too.

Although you might already know what your objectives are, you should be very granular on the exact scope of work based on what marketing services you want or think you need:

  • Improved search engine optimization (SEO) for your website
  • Effective PPC campaign
  • A social media strategy or campaign
  • An email marketing strategy

Your time frame

Some companies don’t have a specific timeline, but if you do, include it here. How soon do you want to see results? This section will also help you avoid firms that don’t have the bandwidth to finish this project based on your provided time frame.

Your budget

This section is essential. How much are you willing to pay these agencies to assist with a successful digital marketing strategy? This section, in particular, will help you steer clear of agencies that aren’t willing to meet you in the middle.

Even if you don’t have a budget, you should still include a range so the firm will have some idea of what the costs will be.

Selection timeline and requirements

To better help you stick to a rigid timeline, outline some critical dates that will affect your selection process. For example, you could include:

  • When the proposals are due
  • A timeline of the question and answer period
  • When you’ll select an agency
  • What date the project will start

On the first day, you’ll send out the digital marketing RFP, and a few days later, you might choose to cut off anyone who doesn’t RSVP. You’ll probably schedule a few calls with viable firms for about a week and answer any questions they might have. A week after that, it might be time for the firms to submit their proposals. Although this is an example, the actual timeline is entirely up to you.

In this section, you can also detail how you’ll choose an agency partner. Will you use a scoring system? What selection criteria will you include?

Standard Master Services Agreement

Your company’s legal team might suggest you use a standard Master Services Agreement, also called an MSA. If this is the case, a potential firm or agency might also include their own terms and conditions.

What you expect in return

What information would you like from potential firms? If you clearly state what sort of information you expect, the likely agencies can better cater to providing it. You might prefer to know the history of the agency, examples of case studies, what qualifications and experience it has, account management process, and pricing, among other pieces of intel.

Contact and questions

You should provide a point of contact for agencies to reach out to, whether it’s your public relations director or another trusted key stakeholder. You should include their:

  • Full legal name
  • Job title
  • Mailing address
  • Email and phone number

That way, you can direct any specific questions that might come up during the proposal period to one single contact to make it easier.

Why It’s Important to Nail Your RFP

So, you’ve got an idea of how to write an online marketing RFP — but why is it so important to get it right?

A proposal is essentially your one change to vet firms before you listen to their pitch. It’ll help you steer clear of firms that won’t be a good fit and, in turn, will prevent you from wasting time. That’s why it’s so critical to be as detailed as possible when you’re creating a digital marketing RFP.

Final Thoughts

An online marketing RFP is what you make it. There’s lots of room to be creative and have fun with it during the RFP process. Staying positive is key, as this proposal is going to be what effectively drives your digital marketing strategy and what determines which agency you might partner with within the next few weeks.

That’s where our digital marketing RFP template comes in. It’ll provide you with a meaningful way to organize your proposal so as to make it clear to both parties. With this template, the digital marketing possibilities are virtually endless. Take the first step to getting your company up to par with the rest of the digital ecosystem.

Download Now: Free Online Marketing RFP Template

If you are vetting online marketing agencies and need an RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

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