At Quantcast, we’ve had the privilege of working with a wide variety of brands, agencies, and publishers. Over the years, agencies have told us about the most common mistakes publishers make during the RFP response process.
Agencies sometimes sort through as many as 20 proposals from publishers that are being evaluated for an advertising campaign. As they sort through the proposals, they put them into “no” and “maybe” categories before they find a few they’ll say “yes” to. As a publisher, make sure you avoid these common mistakes that will get your response shifted into the dreaded “no” category.
To ensure you’re on your way to a “yes,” avoid these pet peeves advertising agencies have shared with us.
The response was not proofread
Surely, you and your team proofread your responses many times before you send them, right? Based on our feedback from agencies, the number of responses they receive that are riddled with typos is staggering.
Sending a response with typos makes agencies think twice about how effective partnering with you might be — and it’s likely to get you a “no.”
Look at it from the agency’s perspective: If you can’t bother to double-check your work before you click send, why would it want to partner with you?
Take the proposal seriously. Before you click send, make sure multiple people from your team have read your responses out loud and that there are no mistakes.
The questions weren’t fully answered
Just as typos put a dent in your reputation, leaving an agency’s questions only partially answered will hurt your chances of winning a deal. Not only that — we’ve heard countless stories from agencies about publishers responding to RFPs with entire sections left blank.
Making this mistake can’t get into you the “maybe” or “yes” category because you haven’t given the agency what it needs to know. It makes the media planner at the agency have to email you back asking for further information. And media planners don’t like doing that. Remember, each question on an RFP is important.
Instead of leaving a question or section blank or only partially answered, ask the agency for clarification. Then answer every question fully and to the best of your ability.
The proposal didn’t include enough specifics
When you submit a proposal with few or no specifics, it’s more difficult for the agency to decide if a partnership with you is right for them. The last thing an agency wants to do is spend time asking you for more information.
To make things easier on the agency — and to make getting a “yes” more likely — include as many screenshots, images, assets, and demographics as you can. And make sure you collect these metrics consistently. To learn more about this, read our blog, Collecting the Right Audience Data for an RFP.
The publisher was too slow to respond
While it’s smart to take your time on your ad sales RFP responses and not rush, you also have to remember that agencies often need to move quickly. When a media planner is giving you a week to respond to their RFP, they think they’re giving you loads of time — even if you don’t feel that way. Sending a complete response that’s error-free and full of relevant metrics will net you a “no” if you send it after the agency has made its decision.
Don’t let that happen! Start working on your RFP responses right away. Aim to submit them as soon as you can without sacrificing quality. If it takes you longer than a week, you risk losing the deal to a competitor. Remember, the media planner is on a deadline as well. They need to have their media buying proposal ready to review with the advertiser at some point.
Having worked with hundreds of publishers, brands, and agencies, we know exactly how you can turn your RFP response into a “yes.”
To learn more about how to create ad sales RFP responses that convert, be sure to check out our Guide to Winning Ad Sales RFPs.