Business isn’t just about profits. It’s about creating lasting relationships. This starts with a great proposal email.

There’s a lot to consider before sending your first draft. You don’t want it ending up in spam, especially if it’s for a high-value lead.

But don't you worry!

In this article, we’ll help you streamline your proposal campaigns and draft engaging proposal emails at scale. Before that, we need to learn the following:

  • The basics of a proposal email.
  • Fundamentals of great proposal emails.
  • Templates you can personalize to scale proposal campaigns.
  • Best practices for email proposals.

What is a Proposal Email?

proposal email

Proposals are an outline or summary of a business arrangement. These emails are sent as part of a sales outreach campaign for leads that are in the early phases of the sales funnel. There are two types of proposal emails you can send—solicited and unsolicited.

Solicited emails are sent to clients or customers who already know who you are. Trust is already established. Your proposal has a higher chance of success.

Unsolicited proposals or cold emails are sent to prospects with no established relationships. No established trust means a lower likelihood of success.

But we can improve our chances by learning about the fundamentals of great proposal emails.

Fundamentals of Great Proposal Emails

Proposal emails, whether solicited or unsolicited, follow the same fundamentals. To get a higher chance of getting a response from prospects, apply to following to your email strategy:

Cover all the Bases

Your proposal should clearly state what you can offer. It should include an outline of the products or services you provide, terms and conditions, or cost. Sometimes, a proposal email could be a simple introduction or an invitation for a more in-depth discussion.

Experience and Expertise

You want to position yourself as a trustworthy expert in your industry. We easily do this by showcasing our experience. Don’t brag about the things you’ve achieved for others. Highlight how you can leverage those experiences toward helping prospects reach business goals.

Evaluate Costs

Don’t undersell yourself or make your prospects feel like they’d be spending over budget if they accept your proposal. Offer a price that’s fair and beneficial for both you and your prospects. Try proposing alternative plans or payment structures that can tailor-fit their needs.

Highlight Key Details

Proposal emails need to highlight the key details—the benefits you can offer and what sets you apart from the competition. Don’t focus too much on the features. Instead, focus on how these features directly solve your prospects’ pain points.

Proposal Email Templates

“Templates” get a bad rep. But these only perform poorly if they’re not personalized. Used correctly, templates help scale proposal campaigns faster—saving time and resources.

Here are some example proposal templates you can use or draw inspiration from:

Initial Offering Proposal

If you want to be direct about why you’re contacting a prospect, use this template. To make this more effective, be sure to send this type of proposal email to qualified sales-ready leads.

Hey, {{First Name}},
Just noticed you were checking out {{article about x topic}} and thought we could provide you with a more in-depth solution to {{pain point}}.
We’ve helped out companies like yours, including {{list of known companies in industry}} achieve {{goal related to prospect}}. I’d love to discuss this in more detail over a quick call.
Just give us a reply here, and we can discuss a time and a date for a meeting.
Regards,
{{Your Name}}.

Existing Client/Customer Proposal

A great way to increase a customer’s average order value (AOV) is through cross-selling or upselling. Try this proposal email for milestones such as anniversaries or meeting x goal.

Hey, {{First Name}},
You’ve become a rockstar this year! We’re so grateful that you chose {{Company Name}} to help you out on your journey. Increasing sales by 45% is such as incredible milestone!
On that note, we know that this is just the beginning. To help you scale further, we recommend trying out {{upsell product}}. It’s helped tons of businesses like yours achieve {{goal}}.
We’d like to give a personalized tour of {{upsell product}} if you want to go in-depth. Just hit us up if this is something you’d consider.
Best,
{{Your Name}}.

Partnership Proposal

Collaborations are a great way to build your network and authority in your space. But if you try and perfect each email, you won’t get anywhere.

You don’t have to compromise quantity for quality. You can personalize engaging email marketing templates to get the best results. Here’s an example template:

Hi, {{First Name}},
We love what you’re doing for {{industry}}. You’ve published some of the most valuable content we've ever seen. Our team’s success wouldn’t be possible without it.
That said, we’ve finally found our footing and achieved {{list of achievements}}. What we do fully aligns with your mission, and we think working together can really make an impact.
I’ve attached a proposal that covers details in depth. We’re excited to hear from you soon.
Regards,
{{Your Name}}

Proposal Email Best Practices

writing a proposal email

To make the most of your campaigns, you need to scale and automate with the help of powerful email marketing tools along with the following best practices:

  • Subject Line: You can either go for a formal or an informal subject line, depending on the prospect or your target audience. Formal subject lines tend to go straight to the point. Informal ones aim to grab attention and be more engaging. Here are examples of both:
Here’s how we can save you 60% on operational costs
I have a business proposal for {{company name}}
Pros: This isn’t about crypto. Cons: It’s a cold email.
  • From Line: The “from line” is one of the first things a prospect will notice. Make sure it’s between 20-25 characters to ensure it gets viewed fully on both mobile and desktop devices. You can use your name and domain name to seem more personable yet professional.
  • Intro: Your proposal introduction should be engaging enough for prospects to read the rest of the email. Try setting up the intro with the benefits of your service, the pain points of your prospects, and how your services can solve those.
  • Body: The body should fill in the details of what you highlighted during the introduction. Don’t make it too dense. Provide an overview. If you need to include more detail, go in-depth through a document attached to the email instead.
  • CTA: Close everything out with a solid call to action. Be clear with what you want your prospects to do. Sometimes, even a quick 15-minute call is too big an ask. Meanwhile, a simple reply can change from conversation to conversion fast.

Key Takeaways

Proposal emails can bring a lot of new clients to your business. So, before sending your emails, consider the following:

  • Cover the bases and clearly outline your business proposal.
  • When doing a cold proposal, position yourself as an authority through experience and expertise, evaluate the costs, and finish the email off with a strong CTA.
  • Choose the right type of proposal email for the right occasion.

If you want to send email proposals at scale, Instantly has the tools you need to succeed. Sign up for a free trial today.