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10 Proposal Mistakes That Hurt Digital Marketing Agencies

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Most digital marketing agencies try to close sales by issuing a proposal for their products and services. However, these aren’t always effective. Assuming you’re offering the right selection of services for the right price, if you’re consistently losing deals, it’s probably due to one or more proposal mistakes that are hurting your long-term growth.


Proposal Mistakes That Hurt Digital Marketing Agencies

These are some of the top proposal mistakes that digital marketing agencies make:

1. Using the Wrong Template

It’s almost a necessity to rely on templates when you’re developing proposals. Otherwise, you’ll spend too much time writing new materials from scratch. But if your digital marketing proposal template is hard to navigate, difficult to edit, or if it’s just plain bad, it’s going to hurt your chances for long-term success. Take your time when choosing and developing templates for your business. Moreover, don’t get complacent with the first thing you happen to find.

2. Using the Same Template for Every Proposal

That said, even if you find the “perfect” template for a given occasion, that doesn’t mean you should be using it in every scenario. If you’re copying and pasting the same material no matter what, you’re not doing enough customization to suit each new scenario.

3. Providing Too Much “Fluff”

Most digital marketing agencies include sections early in their proposal that explain their brand, give backstory to the proposal, and possibly explain the fundamentals of digital marketing. But if there’s too much “fluff,” with too little explanation of what you’re going to do, it can turn people off.

4. Talking Too Much About Your Business

Similarly, digital marketing agencies sometimes spend too much time talking about themselves. They want to talk about their brand’s vision, mission, and general approach. But if you spend too much time doing this, you won’t have enough time or space to explain why you’re relevant to this client, or how this client stands to benefit.

5. Providing Too Few Details on Your Services in Your Proposal

What is it, specifically, that you’re going to do? If your proposal is chock full of buzzwords and hints about what you’re going to do, clients aren’t going to be compelled to move forward. Explain your services in detail.

6. Offering No Customization for the Client’s Needs

Every proposal you send out should be custom-made for the client to whom you’re sending it. It should speak to their specific needs, concerns, and current situation. It should also include little touches, like their logo, that show that this proposal was meant only for them.

7. Misunderstanding the Client

That said, you’ll need to make sure your customization is well-researched and accurate. If you end up misunderstanding the client’s industry, needs, or brand, it could end up backfiring. Do your research and err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure about something.


8. Leaving Typos in Your Proposal

It’s difficult to catch your own typos. Therefore, you’ll need to put in extra effort to make sure your work is completely free of errors. While typos may have nothing to do with your agency’s ability to perform, they look unprofessional. What’s more, they are generally considered to be a sign of sloppiness or inattentiveness. Have multiple people proofread your work before you send it out.

9. Offering a Disorganized Proposal

Unless your proposal is a single pager, it needs work to appear organized. There should be plenty of white space on each page to make it easier to read. Also, your paragraphs and individual lines should be organized in a clear, logical way. Even more importantly, you’ll need a table of contents and defined sections to make it easy for someone to navigate your document at a glance.

10. Ignoring Benefits in Favor of Features

Too many digital marketing agencies focus on the features of what they offer, rather than the real benefits to the client. For example, if you offer search engine optimization (SEO) services, you might focus on the efforts you take to do keyword research or develop onsite content.

However, what does that mean for the client? How are they going to benefit from this? Most people reading proposals want to see the bottom-line benefits prominently on display. Then they can better understand what they get from the deal.

Mastering Your Proposal Approach

No digital marketing agency is capable of producing perfect proposals from the start. That’s because the best proposal strategies are ones that have been cultivated over time, with the help of data. Agencies experiment with different variations of proposals, measure which ones have the highest close ratios, and use that information to develop better proposals in the future. Stay open, stay adaptable, and eventually, you’ll develop more engaging proposals that secure more sales for your business.