Whether you work for a small agency or a large marketing firm, you will likely need to fill out an RFQ or RFQ at some point.

Your company can’t do everything in-house, and if your company needs to buy a product or service from another location, you may need to do some shopping. An RFP allows you to gather quotes from different vendors and choose the one that best suits your skill and budget criteria.

Any time you outsource work to a supplier, issues such as misunderstandings related to the scope of work and compensation can arise. A good RFP removes gray areas so that both parties understand what needs to be delivered, when and for how much.

RFP template

Here we have provided an RFP template that you can follow for the initial structure, as well as a sample RFP for further inspiration. But it’s not one size fits all – you’ll need to customize your RFP to best articulate your business needs.

Free editable RFP request for proposal PDF template

Download a free, editable RFP template.

RFPs come in all shapes, sizes, and visual formats depending on the needs of your business and the work being done. At the beginning of a standard RFP you will find the following:

Project name or description

Name of the company




Post Code

Contact person for procurement

PCP telephone number

PCP email address

  1. fax number
  2. The main part of the RFP provides additional details about the project including:
  3. Background / introduction
  4. Project goals and scope of services
  5. Prospective selection plan
  6. Time and place of submission of proposals
  7. Timeline
  8. Elements of the proposal
  9. Evaluation criteria

Possible road blocks


Read on to learn more about what’s in each of these sections so you can create your own RFP.

1. Background / introduction

In your introductory section, you want to provide useful background information about your company – who founded it, what product or service your company offers, what sets you apart from your competitors, and where you are. If a vendor is serious about working with you, they’ll want this information before proceeding.

2. Project goals and scope of services

Next, you want to describe the project that you need to complete and the goals that you expect from the project. It is important that you are as specific as possible – even when describing individual tasks and criteria. You should include sentences such as “The award will be given to X firm,” where “X” is how you determine the best candidate.

3. Prospective selection plan

It is important that you provide a detailed schedule so that providers know if they can meet your deadlines. You also need to give vendors a window to ask questions about your project. This will limit the hassle for you and her.

4. Time and place of submission of proposals

Similar to paragraph 3, this is important information that you want to be clear so that vendors know how and where to submit for review.

5. Timeline

By including a time frame in your RFP, you can eliminate any vendor who cannot operate within your time constraints. If you have flexibility in your time, you can write: “Our company hopes to complete the project within six months, but we are open to negotiating the right candidate.”

6. Elements of the proposal

Unless you clearly and specifically outline what bidders should include in their proposal, you cannot necessarily blame them for not including it. It is important that you create a checklist so that vendors know what to expect. This is also a good test of who is capable of meeting your needs. If a vendor can’t complete all of the elements of your offering, you probably can’t trust them to complete your project either.

7. Evaluation criteria

Outlining your expectations will help you eliminate vendors who don’t meet them. This section is where you should brainstorm with your team to create a mandatory list of items that you think are the best indicators of impressive candidates. Your list can include examples of previous work, a proven track record with companies in similar industries, the expertise and technical skills to meet your needs, and the cost of services in your price range.

8. Possible road blocks

Here you want to point out all the obstacles, e.g. B. Limited resources or a custom website that may prevent certain vendors from successfully completing the project. That way, you can eliminate unsatisfactory bidders and determine which vendors have the skills and expertise to meet these challenges.

9. Budget

Every vendor needs to know how much you can pay for their services before they can bid.

RFP sampleThe above elements can manifest themselves on the page in different ways. For example, here is an RFP example from TemplateLab.

RFP example template lab with tables and red headings

Image source

After you understand the elements of an RFP, you can create your own template and then fill it out so you can accept bids. We’ll be using a fictional company, Caroline’s Websites, Inc., to illustrate exactly how each section should be executed, starting with the heading:

Project Name or Description: Marketing Services

Company name: Carolines Websites, Inc.

Address: 302 Inbound Ave.

City, state, zip code: Boston, MA 29814

Contact person for procurement: Caroline Forsey

PCP phone number: 227-124-2481

PCP email address: [email protected]

Fax number: N / A.

Next, we’ll go into each element of the RFP with information using the same fictional company.

1. Background / introduction

Caroline’s Websites, Inc. is a web design company founded by Caroline Forsey in 2010. Caroline’s Websites, Inc. prides itself on a team-oriented, solution-based approach to web design. We provide web design services such as coding, development and branding to our clients. Our employees are based in two offices in Massachusetts.

2. Project goals and scope of services

Caroline’s Websites, Inc. seeks the services of a full service communications and marketing firm to develop and execute a full integrated marketing plan that will increase our SEO presence. attracts more social media followers; and effectively completes a lead generation campaign. The award is given to a responsive and responsible company based on the best value and professional skills.

The selected company will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive and cost effective marketing plan.

The tasks include the following criteria:

• Lead generation campaign

• Paid media strategy

• Production of creative material including collateral and direct mail

• Online Marketing Campaign

• Website improvement

• Search engine optimization

• General account management

• Other communication and / or marketing support as needed

3. Prospective selection plan

The quote request schedule is as follows:

[Company Name] Application for tender: June 1, 2020

Deadline for submitting questions by tenderers: July 5, 2020

Answers to bidder questions: July 20, 2020

Selection of top bidders / notification of unsuccessful bidders: July 31, 2020

Negotiations start: August 5, 2020

Contract award / notification to unsuccessful bidders: August 31, 2020

4. Time and place of submission of proposals

The RFP will be published on our website Carolinewebsites.com and can be downloaded directly from there on June 1, 2020 from 10 a.m.

Respondents to this RFP must submit an original and five copies of their proposal. The answers must be received by July 25, 2020 at the latest. The answers should be clearly marked as “RFP MarketingServices” and sent by post or post to the contact person indicated above.

5. Timeline

Carolines Websites, Inc. must complete the project within 8 months.

6. Elements of the proposal

A submission must contain at least the following elements:

• Description of the company with a general overview, names and credentials of the creative team and number of full-time employees.

• A one-page presentation describing the strengths of the company and the variety of skills or abilities that may relate to Carolines Websites, Inc.

• A representative selection of social media ads, direct response material, collateral, and website development created for current and past clients.

7. Evaluation criteria

The successful respondent will:

• You have been working continuously as a marketing agency for at least 24 months and have internal full-service functions for marketing, creative services, production, media planning and placement, direct response and research.

• The education, experience, knowledge, skills and qualifications of the company and of the persons available to provide these services.

• The competitive cost of services.

• The company’s expertise in working with similar clients.

8. Possible road blocks

Currently, Caroline’s Websites, Inc. has custom coding on our website that bidders should be aware of.

9. Budget

Caroline’s Websites, Inc. budget for the project is $ 8,750.00.

These elements have been written to clarify the scope of the project that Caroline’s Websites, Inc. is trying to complete, so that suppliers will know whether or not to bid. By defining the project, the bidder can determine if it is a good fit for them and how much they would likely be charging. Being as transparent as possible serves (and even protects) both parties in the long run.

To use some of these elements in your own RFP, start with an RFP template and customize it to your liking.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for completeness. RFP template