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How to Write a Proposal Letter

No matter what you do for a living, much of your success will hinge on how good you are at asking for things. Whether it’s a raise, a collaboration with another business, or a high-dollar contract, communicating what you’re asking for and conveying the benefits to the other party will play a big role in determining the trajectory of your career. We’ll explain how to write a business proposal letter that outlines your ideas clearly and compellingly.

What is a proposal letter?

A proposal letter is a professional document to introduce yourself to a decision maker and propose the services you’re offering or the arrangement you seek to establish. 

In some cases, a proposal letter is merely the introductory document, directing the reader to a longer, more in-depth proposal. In other cases, the proposal letter contains all the necessary information.

Why it’s important to send a business proposal letter

A proposal letter helps you put forth a professional image and strategically make your case. Since it’s usually the first interaction between two parties on the verge of a possible business deal, it’s important to write a letter that makes a positive impression. 

This is also a useful tool for making progress in your professional life. It can be used to land new clients, establish mutually beneficial business relationships, and push your creative ideas forward.

When should you send a proposal letter

When pitching your services

The most common use for a proposal letter is when you’re selling your services to a prospective client. This might be done on behalf of your employer, like if you work for some type of vendor, or on your own behalf if you’re a small business that provides a service.

To collaborate with another business

Proposal letters can help you make inroads when you’re looking to establish a two-way partnership with another business, like when trading services or enlisting another business owner’s help to achieve a shared objective.

When responding to an RFP

Responding to RFPs is a routine task in many industries. A proposal letter is an introductory document in the RFP process.

What to include in a proposal letter

A brief introduction

Begin by stating who you are and giving some context about what your business does.

The purpose for your letter

Give a high-level statement of what you’re proposing.

Your selling points

Highlight what’s in it for the reader–what can they hope to gain by agreeing to your proposal?

The proposal details

Outline the specifics of what you’re offering or asking for, along with details like the cost, timeline, etc.

Supporting materials

If it’s an RFP response, there will likely be a lot more information you’re asked to provide, like references and work examples. You might also attach a full proposal that goes into more thorough detail.

Your contact info

Close with how to get in touch with you and invite follow-up contact.

What you should omit

A detailed proposal

Your letter should fit succinctly into the body of an email. In-depth proposals that run for multiple pages should be attached or sent separately.

Sample proposal letters

Business collaboration example

Mr. Wentworth,

My name is Julie Leonard, and I’m the marketing director at Sunscape Outdoor Living. We sell exterior home furnishings like patio sets, awnings, and decor. I’m getting in touch to propose a marketing collaboration with Wentworth Landscaping.

I imagine that spring is one of the busiest times of year for you all, as it is for us. Since our businesses complement one another, I thought we could both capitalize on the increased interest with some cross-promotion.

Here is what I had in mind: with each of your landscaping invoices between now and July, you could include a coupon for 15% off a Sunscape patio set, which would be an exclusive offer only for your clients. In return, we will offer discount coupons for lawn care service (in an amount determined by you) at our checkout counter. This time of year, we see anywhere from 250 to 500 customers daily, so I thought it could be a great opportunity for you to reach new clients while helping us promote our seasonal merchandise.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. You can reach me at 555-1234 or reply to this email.


Julie Leonard

Business proposal example

Ms. Stevenson, 

My name is Evelyn Hines, and I’m the COO of Bootstrap Digital Marketing. I’m writing in response to your inquiry about SEO services. 

With more than 15 years of experience in search engine optimization, Bootstrap has the technical expertise to help you make meaningful gains in your search performance. We have a thorough understanding of the needs specific to your industry thanks to our work with clients like Magnetic Zero and CBN Corps. 

We offer a few service packages I think would be of interest to you:

  • Micro-campaign. This is a niche SEO campaign with a narrow focus on a single goal, like promoting a new product or growing your local audience. Services are contract based and begin at $2000. 
  • Essentials plan. This is a monthly plan with a high-level goal of improving your website’s overall search performance. Services include but are not limited to keyword research, content optimization, on-page SEO and link building. This plan starts at $2,500 per month. 
  • Pro plan. This is an intensive SEO-first overhaul of your website executed over a minimum contract of 12 months. It includes competitor analysis, full site optimization, content marketing, core web vitals monitoring and more. Plans begin at $3,500 per month. 

I have attached a service sheet that goes into more detail about our credentials and service offerings. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs further. I can be reached any time at 202-200-2002. 



Since this document literally translates into dollars and cents, it pays to hone your skills perfecting your proposal writing capabilities.