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How to Write a Business Proposal Email (Examples + Templates)

Despite the widespread use of Viber, Slack, WhatsApp, and other chat applications, email remains the number one channel for business communication. However, people often don’t use mail in the most effective way, which leads to many messages never being opened and never answered.

Emailing someone in an unsolicited manner to generate business for yourself is a big ask and difficult to do well. Your business proposal letter should attract the attention the specific person you’re reaching out to and create interest in collaborating with you. This could be you buying their service,  vice-versa or just exchanging some professional advice.

This type of reach-out is called a cold email. The term derives from the “cold call,” which refers to those annoying companies offering you something. Unlike calls, these business arrangements are much less intrusive and are a great channel to approach someone.

The Subject is Important

According to recent case studies, 47% of participants decide whether to open an email based on its subject. On the other hand, messages without a subject have an opening percentage of only 8%. This information alone is enough to conclude that the subject is one of the most critical parts of the email. Accordingly, if you do not use it to attract receivers to open your message, there is a high probability that they will not read it at all.

The so-called moment of urgency can also attract a potential customer to open your email. This effective business tactic is primarily used in those situations when a solicited business proposal promotes a current offer or action. Sentences like “Just two more days…”, “Incredible offer…” and the like can cause a certain kind of excitement that will make them look at the content of your proposal.

The First Paragraph Attracts Attention

Now that your business proposal letter is open, let’s make sure the recipient will consider it. Most users use Gmail which means it’s easier for them to read the first paragraph, so it’s important to really grab your readers’ attention right away. We have a detailed guide on the topic that may be useful to explore as well.

A magnet showing how your business proposal, a cold email attracts prospective clients.

It would be best to introduce clients, offer support, partnership, or something else. Say it clearly and unambiguously. Successful tactics suggest you be direct right away and say why you’re sending a business proposal letter so that you can start like this:

“Dear Mr. Smith,

I want to offer you to become a distributor and reseller of the software developed by my team. It is specialized software for document management…”

Of course, you need to respect the formal style of business communication. Otherwise, you can look frivolous and make a wrong impression. Here is our comprehensive guide on general dos and don’ts on writing an effective business email.

Tell Why You Chose That Person

After you have said what you want, tell a client why you decided to contact them. There must be some reason why that person can help you. Again, this is an opportunity to flatter the reader by showing that you have done your homework by offering basic knowledge about this business. Just be careful. You want to sound like someone familiar with the work of that company/person.

Remember that even when you’re getting in touch with businesses, you are talking to someone, so always address that way. Companies are not some imaginary entities, and they employ services you need.

In our business proposal example there is the following sentence, but you can also learn more by reading  free essays online for students who want to get more information about this kind of business communication writing. So, here it is: “We decided to approach you because we see that you have experience selling software, such as ACME, and we believe that our offer will be interesting to you”.

Introduce Yourself and Your Company Briefly

Now is the perfect moment to include additional information and say who you are and what you do. Don’t exaggerate – give a few  essential details and leave a link where a prospective client can research more, provided he is interested.

Then, when presenting your proposed solution, indicate your website that lists relevant details of your project, summary, product features, benefits, etc. No need to drown in a business proposal. If anyone is interested, they will get to it. Also, don’t forget the “About Us” page when creating your website. You can talk more about yourself and your goals, and your customers can find more details here.

The Action

Say what you need, why you are writing to that person, and who you are. Now, say what you expect that person to do. For example, if you say, “I need some advice on software development,” you have not said anything specific. You have not defined whether you need advice on a particular piece of code or perhaps advice on functional development. Don’t make the reader guess but say specifically.

Also, if you are looking for advice, state whether you want to meet, talk via Skype, or receive an answer by email. Say and ask for tangible things.

By defining the expected action, you facilitate the reader to take the next step and answer you. Then, if he doesn’t have to spend too much time learning, thinking, and responding, he will help you.

The Result

A client doesn’t have any interest in dealing with your problems, so make it easy. Write simple, short, and precise sentences with a clear message about what you want and how they deliver it to you. Clear instructions increase your chances of getting what you need. Finally, our example should go like this, and you can modify the template according to the specific terms of the job you’re offering:

“Dear Mr. Smith,

I want to offer you to become a distributor and reseller of the software developed by my team. I decided to approach you because I see that you have experience selling software, such as Acme, and I believe my business proposal will be attractive to you.

First, let’s say a few words about our company: we develop software for agricultural companies and offer them support for introducing information technology into everyday business. Our goal for 2022 is to expand our offer and establish a network of clients who use our solutions. Developing a network of clients is a segment where we need a partner like you.

If you are interested in this type of cooperation, reach us by email or phone, and we will talk about all the details of our meeting.”

The Takeaway

To get most of the opportunities this type of marketing offers, it is essential to know when to apply which form of writing. This will make it easier to tailor your business proposal and achieve a better effect. Approaching people this way you should always remember to be polite no matter what their response is. Even if you lose them as a client now, cooperation is still possible in the future. Following these simple examples will help you avoid unnecessary mistakes, be precise and concise and get what you want in no time.

 

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By Susan Barlow

Dr. Susan Barlow has recently retired from academia after teaching a business administration, project management and business writing courses for over 20 years. She also served on the board of directors at a non-profit that provided free English lessons to underprivileged children in at-risk neighbourhoods.

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