An RFP is usually just an email from the advertiser or agency. This email formally invites the publisher to submit a proposal for consideration and includes relevant details about the campaign such as:
An RFP will generally include two related documents:
If you’ve received an RFP, your next steps should involve reviewing the campaign brief and starting to work on completing the proposal document. The Premium section below contains some tips for addressing some of the more common challenges that arise when going through this process.
As discussed more in the Premium section below, receipt of an RFP is generally a very good sign. Advertisers or agencies typically only send RFPs to publishers whom they intend to seriously consider for the upcoming campaign. But getting an RFP does not mean that you’re guaranteed to see a spend; depending on the budget, timing, and several other factors, it is common for 10% to 50% of publishers who receive an RFP to be excluded from the final campaign.
There are three objectives in completing an RFP that will help to increase the likelihood of inclusion in the final spend:
Though the situation obviously varies by agency and advertiser, receipt of an RFP is generally a very positive sign. Most advertisers / agencies conduct the majority of the vetting process before sending out RFPs, in order to avoid reviewing a massive amount of proposals. This is especially true if the advertiser has run numerous campaigns before; they may regularly invite new publishers to “audition” to be included, but will often have a pretty good idea of the sites they want to include well ahead of time.
Still, it’s important to take all RFPs very seriously; a spend is never won until the ads start running.
RFPs generally come with some form of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements; this can be a formal document that publishers will have to sign and send back, or simply a notification within the email indicating that confidentiality is required. This requirement is understandable; advertisers don’t want details of their advertising campaigns to become public information accessible to competitors and publishers who weren’t included.
However, many publishers are happy to share information about RFPs with other sales reps anonymously. This occurs most frequently through SellerCrowd, a community where information is regularly shared with the aid of usernames that protect real identities (a link is included in the resources section below).
An RFP can be intimidating, especially if it’s one of the first you’ve received or a particularly large dollar amount. There are a few things to keep in mind: