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How to Write a Proposal Cover Letter (Examples + Templates)

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Rejected proposals are always hurtful. Whether it’s a romantic scene or an answer to a business request for a proposal, doing it right the first time and getting that “Yes!” right away is crucial for you to succeed.

That’s why writing a perfect proposal cover letter should be on your to-do list. It’s how you’ll impress your future business partners, convince them that what you have to offer is simply the best, and get that deal done! Let’s find out how to write the deal-winning cover letter for a proposal!

This guide will show you:

  • What is a proposal cover letter.
  • A proposal cover letter example that will help you answer any RFP.
  • How to write a proposal cover letter in 8 simple steps.
  • Proposal cover letter writing tips and hacks to boost your chances of closing the deal.

You might be too busy to have a brainstorming session on how to impress your future business partners. Especially since you can have it generated automatically within just a few clicks. Pick from 18+ cover letter templates to help you catch your prospects’ attention, get remembered, and win the bid! 

Create your cover letter now

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

See more great cover letter examples:

Now, let’s have a look at a great cover letter for a proposal example, shall we?

Proposal Cover Letter Example

Lillian Mills

CEO Lylo

2226 Torch Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

532-165-2222

lillian@lylo.com

lylosome.com

13/03/2023

Craig Torrens

CEO Bankello

135 Washington Street.

Santa Barbara, CA 93107

Dear Mr. Torrens, 

Did you know that 84% of the US population uses at least one social media? And crypto market is full of competitors, with new start-ups rising each month, and all of them targeting the same audience, mainly through different social media channels. That’s why having the right social media team to lead all your actions, create content that sells, attract new customers, and generate valuable leads is a must.

There are upwards of 300 million cryptocurrency users all around the world. We can help you make Bankello their first choice when it comes to easily and securely buying, selling, and holding their digital assets.

Here at Lylo we truly understand the significance of choosing the best team to run your social media channels. As the leader in creating content that reaches millions of potential users across different platforms, we are well-equipped and 100% ready to take over Bankello channels. We are certain we will exceed all your expectations and deliver the best quality content and the highest quality leads to your company.

Bankello is often referred to as the number one crypto bank in the US. And no wonder why. With your outstanding customer service, specialization in Bitcoin ATM operations, and integrations with Shopify, Square, and many other small business SaaS tools, your solution is truly the best there is. However, with that many competitors often offering what to the novice seems like a similar solution for a smaller price, your company is no longer growing as fast as you'd like it to. Outsourcing your social media management will share awareness about why you’re better than your new (and old!) competitors. 

The information about Bankello’s professionalism can be shared quickly and efficiently. And it doesn’t require an expensive in-house team of creators. But it requires some help from people who specialize in informative social media advertising, with an average 4.6% conversion rate and a young team of copywriters, graphic designers, and video creators. Lylo has all it takes to have outstanding Bankello ads all over social media. And we helped another company with a similar problem just a month ago.

AI All is a start-up specialized in delivering AI and chatbots to SaaS start-ups that don’t have the space to create an entire customer success team. Their concern was similar to what Bankello is facing at the moment: they were the industry leader when suddenly AI became the number #1 topic in every discussion. And more companies specializing in similar solutions appeared out of nowhere, claiming they have what every modern SaaS needs. So we’ve had a closer look at what AI All were doing on their social media channels. It turned out that all 8 of their campaigns were not optimized well enough to respond to the rapid change we were witnessing in the AI industry. After optimization and creating look-alikes based on the 10 most successful ads from the past, we’ve managed to increase the CTR by 2% in a month. That led to increasing AI All sales by 5% in the first month, 7% in the second month, and 10% in the third month, making them consolidate their position as the number 1 chatbot solution on the market.

Bankello and Lylo will work perfectly together. Creating crypto-related content was among our goals for 2023, and we've been preparing to offer our solutions to one of the top players on the market. We were hoping that it would be your company, as we have always admired your fresh approach, straight-to-the-point communication, and professionalism. These qualities make our companies quite similar. We're looking forward to the chance to combine our experiences together, brainstorming some ideas and creating campaigns that will let everyone know who’s the go-to crypto bank in the US. Let’s schedule a call and discuss the terms of our cooperation.

Sincerely,

Lillian Mills

CEO Lylo

532-165-2222

lillian@lylo.com

lylosome.com

That’s a great example of a proposal cover letter. Now let’s find out more about it and learn how you can write one yourself!

What Is a Proposal Cover Letter?

A proposal cover letter is a one-page document that helps you pitch your offer to a client, business partner, or any kind of prospect you want to do business with. It is usually written as a response to an RFP (Request For a Proposal) and can sometimes be referred to as a cover letter for an RFP

If you work in a non-profit organization and you want to ask for philanthropic foundations that will support a certain cause, you should write a grant proposal cover letter. 

A proposal cover letter is often confused with an executive summary. But it’s not the same thing!

So what’s the difference between a proposal cover letter and an executive summary?

  • A proposal cover letter functions as an introduction with the goal of gaining the reader’s attention. 
  • An executive summary is the first section of a business plan or proposal. It provides a short overview of the document and contains its main points. 

So a cover letter for a proposal is all about making a great first impression. A well-written one will let your receiver know immediately whether you’re truly interested in going into business together—have you done your research, are you engaged, do you know precisely how you can cooperate, etc. 

What’s the purpose of writing a cover letter for a proposal?

  • It gets the attention of the personyou want to do business with.
  • It helps you stand out amongst your competitors.
  • It shows your commitment and seriousness about doing business together.

In other words, it’s a first chance to persuade the second party that they should read your proposal further and have a closer look at other documents they received. You can even think of it as trying to sell yourself. Try to write it as though you’re answering the “Why should we hire you” question.

Another great way of impressing a potential prospect? Read our guide: How to Make an Elevator Pitch

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Proposal

It’s business talk, so money is involved, and quite often larger numbers. So it is quite obvious that certain parts are necessary for your proposal cover letter. And not only to make a great first impression but also to help you stay in touch with the recipient, show your achievements, and outline the benefits that they will gain with your cooperation.

1. Read the RFP Carefully

It’s hard to put a price on good research. But you know well that doing no research can break the deal very early. 

The survey found that writing a single RFP takes on average 10.5 days. Since your prospects put so much work into writing it, you should put a lot of work into understanding it perfectly.

You want to ensure that everything you write is personalized specifically for your prospects. And they want to feel that you’re well-prepared and that you speak directly to them. Otherwise, they might think it’s just a copy-paste from another proposal cover letter. Thorough research will also help you understand the situation the second party is facing. And therefore, it will allow you to tailor your offer better.

2. Begin Your Proposal Cover Letter with a Header 

It's necessary to include your contact information at the beginning of your proposal cover letter. Otherwise, how will they contact you if they're interested in your offer? 

Your proposal cover letter header should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your position
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Information about your organization (its name, and its website or social media pages)
  • The date and city you’re writing from

Pro Tip: You can include your company information automatically and make your cover letter for a proposal even more professional by using the company’s letterhead. It’s the heading at the top of a document, which consists of a name, address, logo, trademark, and sometimes a background pattern that’s characteristic of your company.

3. Address the Recipient in Your Cover Letter for a Proposal

The cover letter salutation of your proposal cover letter should depend on the level of acquaintance you created with your recipient. The usage of the last name should also depend on the company culture. You can write a first name when addressing a startup founder, but perhaps not when addressing a CEO of a big corporation.

How to address your cover letter for a proposal?

  • Dear John,
  • Dear Ms. Freeman,
  • Dear Mr. Washington,
  • Dear Mrs. Lee and Members of the Selection Committee,

Also, remember to include the recipient's job title and the company's address to give an even more professional touch to your proposal cover letter. And then catch their attention by writing a captivating first sentence of your proposal cover letter.

Pro tip: You want to make it professional but also personal. Don’t start your proposal cover letter with To Whom It May Concern; you can come across as lazy. And no one wants to do business with lazy people.

4. Write a Strong Opening Line for Your Proposal Cover Letter

Did you know that, according to research, most people make a first impression of someone within 7 seconds? In this situation, the first impression depends on the right start of your cover letter. That’s what makes them either read further or dismiss your entire proposal.

How to write a captivating first sentence of your proposal cover letter?

  • Focus on your reader and their company. Show that you understand what they are facing, what they need, and what might benefit them. A fun fact or an industry statistic will tell them you've done your research and know who you're dealing with.
  • Start with a question. That's an easy way to make them curious. And you know that after curiosity comes interest. And that's how you keep them reading.
  • Hint the pain point. It might seem bold, but it’s another good way to start. They are dealing with something, and you might have a solution. Start with showing you understand their current situation.

You’ve got their attention. Now it’s time to show you understand the challenge they described in the RFP.

5. Highlight the Problem from The RFP in Your Proposal Cover Letter

Whether you’ve mentioned the pain point in the first sentence or not, now is the perfect time to highlight it more. Talking more about the situation described in the RFP is how you show you understand what they are dealing with. By doing that, you can prove yourself to be the perfect fit for answering their RFP.

How to address the situation described in the RFP?

  • Compliment them. A proposal cover letter is a starting point of the selling process, so talking about the second party’s professionalism in high regard can be beneficial. After identifying them as professionals, it will be easier to express your expertise in a different area—the one they need help with.
  • Prove you understand the second party’s way of thinking. You can do it by removing all the obstacles from their way before they express them. Those obstacles can be determined by time, cost, efficiency, effectiveness, etc., depending on the industry.
  • Speak with confidence. What’s a challenge for them is a cup of tea for you because you deal with these kinds of situations on a daily basis. You’re a pro, and you’ve done this before. So they can be calm and trust you.

The addressee of your cover letter for a proposal knows you understand the challenge and their perspective. But perhaps so do other responders to their RFP. That’s why you must prove you’re better than the rest! 

Pro tip: Don’t talk about yourself. That’s the easiest way to do it. And there’s a chance that’s how other proposal cover letters will start. Also, you’ll have plenty of time to show your achievements later.

6. Convince the Reader of Your Solution

This is perhaps the most important part of your proposal cover letter. After you’ve explained to your receivers what they already know (and proven that you also know it well!), it’s time to say why they should pick your solution over others. Convincing your prospects that you’re a perfect choice should be simple, specific, and short. 

How to prove that your solution is the best answer to the RFP?

  • Keep it simple. There’s no place for specific jargon you might use in your company. Remember that they are facing a situation for which you have the answers, but they need to understand these answers fully. If the RFP comes from a medical university that wants to appeal to Gen Z, and you represent a group of young influencers, don’t name the latest TikTok challenge. Use their lingo instead.
  • Remain specific. They don’t need many answers to their questions, tens of options, and a few variations on how to approach it. What they are looking for is the perfect solution. However, being specific doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them feel like they understand your offer 100%. Make your readers feel like your proposal highlights everything required for an informed decision.
  • Make it short. That’s the perfect way of showing that you fully know what you’re talking about. That’s how you show your confidence. Remember, if you understand something, you can explain it in just a few sentences.

You might think that it’s time to conclude your proposal cover letter. But you can convince your readers to your offer even more.

7. Impress the Reader with Your Achievements on a Proposal Cover Letter

Showing that you have a solution to the situation the RFP’s authors are facing is not enough to convince them you’re the right choice. Think of it this way: who would you rather choose to fix your roof? A candidate with a perfect solution but no proof of previous success or one with the perfect solutions and can back it up with hard evidence of success?

Exactly.

How to show your achievements on your cover letter for a proposal?

  • Focus on the business outcome of each action. The action you’ve taken is less important than its impact on a company. To do it right, use the PARE (Problem-Action-Result) formula.
    • Problem: The XYZ company struggled to get more followers to sign up for their events.
    • Action: Optimizing campaigns and creating look-alikes based on the most successful events from the last 6 months.
    • Result: The number of interested followers grew by 25% for the first event and by 45% during the second one.
  • Quantify your achievements whenever possible, as it lends more credibility to your proposal cover letter. Results-focused business owners and decision-makers often love to see these details. They are also what help your offer stand out amongst other offers!

Pro Tip: Have you got any awards that can impress your prospect? Now is the time to show them!

8. Close Your Proposal Cover Letter by Suggesting Some Next Steps

You reached the end of your proposal cover letter. Now you need to encourage them to take action even further. Knowing how to end a cover letter for a proposal can help you be remembered and chosen for the deal!

How to finish your proposal cover letter?

  • Show how the two of you will prosper together. After talking about them and about yourself, it's time to tell them why you're a perfect fit.
  • Express your excitement about the chance to work with them. Some ego-boosting can work magic.
  • Let them know the ball is in their court, and now it’s time for their action. Whether it’s a meeting, a phone call, or an answer to your email, tell them specifically how things should unfold from now on.

After that final statement, it’s time to write a cover letter enclosure. But don’t just hit that Send button yet!

9. Check the Formatting of Your Cover Letter for a Proposal

Having your proposal cover letter formatting done properly is how you show your attention to detail. And that’s a valuable quality that lets your business partners know you’re efficient and productive.

How to format your proposal cover letter?

  • Select a good cover letter font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman with a size between 10 and 12 points.
  • Set 1-inch margins on each side of your proposal cover letter.
  • Use double cover letter spacing between paragraphs and 1–1.15 between lines.
  • Save your document in PDF format. It allows your proposal cover letter layout to stay intact
  • Make sure it’s one-page long.

And that’s it! Your proposal cover letter is ready to impress your prospects. 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Just for a quick recap on how to create a deal-winning proposal cover letter:

  1. Do your research and study the RFP carefully. 
  2. Start with a proper, spotless header.
  3. Create a proper salutation by addressing your receiver directly by their names and job titles.
  4. Catch their attention by writing a strong and captivating opening line.
  5. Highlight the problem to let them know you understand it completely. 
  6. Show your solution in a specific, short, and understandable way.
  7. Impress the reader with your past achievements.
  8. End your proposal cover letter by telling your prospects precisely what are the next steps.
  9. Double-check your document before sending it their way.

You’ve got a perfect proposal cover letter in your hands. Now you’re ready to wow your future prospects with an amazing answer to their RFP. Good luck!

Thank you for reading our article. Do you want to know more about writing a perfect proposal cover letter? Let us know in the comment section below!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Maciej Tomaszewicz, CPRW
Maciej is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert and resume writer with a versatile professional background, creating tools for job seekers in various industries. His creative writing background and HR-related experience allow him to create highly readable articles clarifying even the most complicated professional development aspects. Since 2022, he has authored guides on professional resumes and cover letters, written articles on work-related scenarios, and developed research-based career advice.
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