A Request for Proposal in email marketing answers specific questions about how the vendor solution will meet needs and goals. It provides detailed information on requirements such as function & workflow, business goals, integration specs, etc to the vendors. These are often lengthy documents. An RFP might be used in conjunction with a RFI (Request for information) and RFQ (Request for Quotation) or those might be included in an RFP.
Content of an RFP
The RFP often includes Scope of Work (SOW), pricing information, price quote, contract terms & conditions, as well as detailed reference information. The client has a business problem and the bidders are proposing their possible solutions to the problem. An RFP may also use an evaluation tool such as a Weighted Factor Matrix that considers the relevancy and weight of predetermined criteria. This provides a level playing field in terms of evaluating products and services other than just ‘the lowest price’.
An RFP assists a client in a thorough requirements analysis. The process of creating an RFP often forces the organization to think through what it really needs. The same is true regarding the creation of an evaluation team and the evaluation criteria that are to be used in narrowing down the field to the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) stage.
Loose use of the term RFP
Formal procurement documents are used worldwide and aren’t always called an RFP. For example they might be called ‘Tender Offers’, ‘briefings’ or be part of a creative pitch. The terms are used loosely so always be sure what is expected and set the expectations right. An RFP might be used in conjunction with a RFI (Request for information) and RFQ (Request for Quotation) or those might be included in an RFP.