Proposal Letter : Definition and how to write it

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Let’s say you have a groundbreaking idea for an exciting new sales campaign that will totally transform your business and bring in some lucrative figures. But how do you pitch it to your boss and the higher-ups? You write a proposal letter of course. Let’s say your idea does build some interest among your bosses and after you present it nicely in the next company meeting, it finally gets accepted. But you still need a huge amount of money to launch the campaign.

So, you write another proposal letter to the bank, pitching your idea again and requesting a loan. The bank complies and grants you the necessary funding. But as the campaign goes underway, you feel the need to write yet another proposal letter, this time addressing your customers, trying to persuade them to buy the products or avail the services from the campaign.

So, as you might figure, proposal letters are quite prominent and well-known in any corporate setting. Therefore, it is and will always be necessary for us to know how to write one.

What is a Proposal Letter?

A proposal letter is a professional letter or document, that is written to communicate a new idea to a party that can support or finance your idea, or to a prospective client to explain how your idea can solve their problems. As mentioned before, proposal letters are very common in a corporate workplace. Concerning the nature of the proposal, there are many kinds of proposal letters. But some of the more popular ones are:

  1. Partnership Proposal Letter
  2. Sales Proposal Letter
  3. Interior Design Proposal Letter
  4. Investment Proposal Letter
  5. Professional Services Proposal Letter
  6. Marketing Proposal Letter
  7. Admission Proposal Letter
  8. Proposal Approval Letter
  9. Sponsorship Proposal Letter
  10. Proposal Rejection Letter
  11. Proposal Letter to a Friend
  12. Business Proposal Letter
  13. Proposal Cover Letter (see Cover Letter)
  14. Proposal Acceptance Letter ( see Acceptance Letter)

 In this article, we demonstrate how to write a basic proposal letter.

Steps in writing a Proposal Letter:

The top half of the letter should contain information about both the writer and the intended reader or recipient. The information should be arranged in the following manner:

[Name of the Proposer]

[Proposer’s Company’s Name]

[Proposer’s Company’s Address]


[Name of the recipient]

[Recipient’s company’s name]

[Recipient’s company’s address]

Then, after writing the subject line as ‘Proposal letter for (grant/sponsorship/sales, etc.),’ the letter should be commenced with a formal greeting or salutation.

In the introductory paragraph, the proposal should be laid out in detail. A short background may also be provided, so it’s clear where the proposal is coming from, and the reader can thus grasp the context. Try to focus on the goals and purpose that your proposed idea or methods wish to serve. So in short, the opening paragraph shall typically include:

  1. The proposal in detail
  2. Background of the proposal
  3. The goal of the proposed idea

It’s not strictly necessary to follow this formatting. The intention is to introduce the reader to your proposal.

At the heart of the letter, focus on the problem that your proposal wishes to solve. Discuss why the problem is a burning issue and why the reader should be concerned.

After the problem is highlighted, focus on the solutions. This is usually one of the most important parts of the letter, as this is where you try to persuade the reader to accept your proposal. Try to sell why your proposed idea is the best solution to the problem among all the other alternatives. If your solution has been effective before, you may mention those successful campaigns or speak about how your previous clients embraced the idea. 

If it is a proposal for a business plan, then the writer must include a budget and timeline for the proposed plan.

Finally, close the letter with a conclusion that sums up the entire message in the proposal letter. Do not forget to request a follow up from the recipient. Sign the letter at the bottom, below your name.

A few tips to remember:

  1. The idea that you present must be sound, viable and practical. You must not provide any foul information whatsoever. Do a lot of research and your necessary homework before writing the proposal letter.
  1. If you think there is more information you would like to add but will only make the letter appear bulky, then you may include the information in supporting documentation and enclose it with the letter.
  1. Since this is a formal letter, the language used should be polished but persuasive.


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