How to Write an Advertising Proposal That Wins (+Templates)

Discover how to craft compelling advertising proposals that win clients: Expert tips, proposal design strategies, and practical examples to elevate your pitch.

How to write an advertising proposal

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Short answer

What makes an effective advertising proposal?

An effective advertising proposal clearly outlines objectives, creatively presents strategies, and demonstrates understanding of the target audience, backed by data-driven insights and a compelling narrative to engage and persuade potential clients.

Your advertising proposal needs to shine even when you’re not in the room

So, you might be a real-life Don Draper, charming clients with a smile and a handshake. But, let's face it - in today's world, most buying decisions are made when you're not in the room.

Your deck is your frontline soldier - it's what sells your vision when you're not present.

But if your advertising proposal is not up to the mark, you might as well wave goodbye to potential clients.

This guide will teach you the art of creating an advertising proposal that captures attention and converts prospects into loyal clients. You’ll also get a library of ready-to-use advertising proposal templates, so you can put that knowledge into practice right away.

Let’s dive in!

How to write a highly-persuasive advertising proposal

In the words of Don Draper, "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness." A successful advertising proposal should offer more than just a service - it should also sell the promise of success and satisfaction.

Let's dive into the key steps to create an advertising proposal that resonates with clients and brings that happiness to life.

1) Do research on your client

Before you even start drafting, immerse yourself in understanding your client. Research their business, market, competitors, and audience.

This deep dive will inform your strategy and demonstrate your commitment and understanding, building a foundation of trust.

2) Define the challenge

Clearly articulate the specific challenges your client faces. Whether it's low brand awareness, stagnant sales, or ineffective previous campaigns, your proposal should address these challenges head-on, offering tailored solutions.

3) Set SMART goals

Your proposal should outline SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals. These goals provide a roadmap for the campaign and set clear expectations.

They're essential for measuring success and ensuring both you and the client are on the same page.

Here's a great video explaining how to set SMART goals:

How to set SMART goals

4) Conduct a situational assessment

Analyze the current market conditions, customer behaviors, and competitor strategies. This situational assessment will guide your strategy, ensuring it's relevant and effective in the current market landscape.

If you'd like to learn more, check out this article on how to complete a situational assessment.

5) Present your strategy

Showcase your strategic skills and creativity. Include your media marketing selection, target audience analysis, and creative content ideas. Remember, your strategy should pivot the client's narrative towards success.

6) Showcase your agency’s capabilities

Explain how your agency's specific services and expertise will address the client's needs. Be clear about the tasks and services you'll provide, and ensure your proposal reflects your agency's unique strengths.

7) Introduce your team

Build credibility by introducing the team members who will be working on the campaign. Highlight their skills and past successes. This personal touch can make your proposal more relatable and trustworthy.

8) Incorporate social proof

Include case studies, client testimonials, or other forms of social proof. This builds trust and demonstrates your agency's track record of success.

Here's a great example of a social proof slide:

Testimonials slide example

9) Provide transparent pricing

Be upfront about your pricing. A clear breakdown of costs helps justify your value proposition and sets transparent expectations regarding the investment required.

Here's an example of a clear pricing slide:

Pricing slide example

10) End with a strong Call to Action

Conclude with a clear call to action. Guide the client on the next steps, whether it's accepting the proposal, scheduling a meeting, or providing feedback. This final push can be crucial in converting a proposal into a successful partnership.

Here's an example of a strong Call to Action:

Next step slide example

In the world of advertising, where catching and keeping attention is key, adding an 'Accept' button to your proposals can really stand out.

This neat little button can speed up the whole approval process, making it easier for clients to say 'yes' to your creative ideas and boosting your close rates.

Here's an example of a proposal with an accept button:

Proposal accept button example

How to design an advertising proposal

Designing an advertising proposal is more than assembling text and images; it's about creating an experience that reflects your agency's creativity and understanding of the client's needs. Let's explore how you can achieve that in several easy steps.

1) Use narrated design

Narrated design, or scrollytelling, is an innovative design technique that turns your proposal into an interactive journey. As the reader scrolls, different elements of your strategy and ideas come to life, maintaining interest and anticipation.

By integrating visuals, text, and interactive elements in a scrollable format, you create a narrative flow that guides the client through your proposal, making complex information more digestible and the overall experience more memorable.

Here's an example of narrated design:

Advertising proposal scrollytelling example

2) Make sure the design is responsive

In today's digital age, your proposal is likely to be viewed on various devices, from desktops to smartphones. Responsive design ensures your proposal looks great and is functional on any screen size.

This adaptability enhances the user experience, making it more likely that your proposal will be read and appreciated in its entirety.

Here's an example of a mobile-responsive deck:

Responsive deck example

3) Tailor your proposal to each client

Personalization is key in making your proposal stand out. Tailor the design elements to reflect your client’s brand, such as using their color scheme or incorporating their logo.

This not only shows attention to detail but also helps the client visualize your ideas as part of their brand.

Personalization can extend to the content as well, such as addressing the client by name or referencing specific challenges they face. This approach makes the proposal feel more like a custom solution rather than a generic pitch.

Here's how you can do it in just a few clicks:

Personalized proposal example

4) Maintain visual consistency

Maintain a consistent visual theme throughout your proposal. This includes using a uniform color palette, typography, and imagery style.

Consistency in design elements fosters a sense of professionalism and makes your proposal more readable and aesthetically pleasing.

5) Use white space strategically

Don’t underestimate the power of white space. Cluttered designs can be overwhelming and detract from your message.

White space helps in making the proposal look clean, organized, and more inviting to read. It allows your content and key visuals to stand out, making them more impactful.

6) Embrace interactivity

For digital proposals, consider adding interactive elements like clickable contents, embedded videos, or animations. These elements can make your proposal more engaging and memorable.

For instance, an embedded video could showcase a successful campaign or a testimonial from a satisfied client. Interactive elements hold the reader's attention and provide a dynamic way to present complex information.

7) Make your deck easy to navigate

Ensure your proposal is easy to navigate. This includes a clear and intuitive layout and clearly defined sections. Easy navigation enhances the user experience, making it more likely that the client will engage with the entire document.

8) Emphasize key points

Use design to highlight key information. This could be through bold text, animation, or using grayed-out content to draw attention to important data or testimonials.

Highlighting key points ensures that they are not missed and reinforces the most crucial aspects of your proposal.

Here's a great example of using grayed-out content:

Grayed-out content example

Interactive advertising proposal templates

Creating an advertising proposal demands a deep understanding of your client's needs, but also a blend of creativity, strategic thinking, and technical know-how. It can be time-consuming and, frankly, a bit overwhelming, especially when you're balancing multiple projects and tight deadlines.

Advertising proposal templates are a lifesaver for busy professionals. Instead of starting from a blank page, you get a head start with a pre-designed layout that includes all the essential elements of an effective proposal.

Grab one and see for yourself.

No templates found
Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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