A request for proposal (RFP) is common practice when going through the website redesign process, especially if you are working on a website for a large organization, a government organization, association, or simply want more eyes or bids on the project. However, it can be tricky to know where to begin when writing a website RFP.
Here are some of Yoko Co’s helpful tips to consider when writing an RFP for the first time:
Two types of RFPs for websites
Generally, there are two types of website RFPs: executional and strategic.
Executional RFPs are very specific. It’s used when you know exactly what you’re looking for. You need to know your content management system, know your technical requirements, and know exactly what needs to be built. All of this information will be given to the third party that you’re asking to bid. You’re asking for specific components to be built, and you want to figure out the pricing, timelines, and pros and cons of each bid. This way, you can make a comprehensive comparison of all of the bids, and chose the best one for your project.
Strategic RFPs are more ambiguous. It’s used when you’re not sure exactly what you want to build, but you know what you want to accomplish. With these RFPs you usually shop around for ideas and concepts from bidders. With these bids, it isn’t as easy to make a comprehensive comparison of each because each bidder will give you different ideas and different approaches to solve your problem.
What to know when writing a website RFP
It’s important to know exactly what you want to accomplish. The more specific you get with your goals, the better your results will be. For example, a broad goal would be wanting to “increase lead generation”. This goal is hard to track because it is too ambiguous. How much do you want to increase lead generation by? Without knowing this, you won’t know how to work toward your goal- or know when that goal has been achieved.
A better goal would be to look at the current number of leads your website produces – and at what conversion rate – and decide what you want those numbers to be in the future. Concrete metrics allow organizations to create specific plans to meet your goals. Additionally, having specific goals makes it easier to understand each organization’s reasoning behind their approaches, and this will make your decision easier when it comes time to choose a partner. If you’re not certain what to include, you may want to read the most important things to know before you write a website RFP.
What to include when writing a website RFP
An RFP is the start of a conversation between you and your future web partner. So the more information you provide at the start of the conversation the better. Here are few key things to include in your RFP:
- Technology Stack – What marketing technology do you have (or want to have)? Are you tied to a certain CMS or are you open to suggestions? Do you have a CRM or Marketing Automation platform to integrate with the site?
- Project Scope – How much content do you have? Do you have resources to deploy it in the new site or do you need your partner to do all of that for you?
- Timeline – Do you have an expected launch date in mind? Are there any big commitments on your team such as a conference or new product launch that would keep them from working on the project?
- Project Purpose – Let the vendor know why you are taking on this project. Is the design out of date? Need new technology? New leadership? Strategic change for the organization?
Bringing it all together
Remember when writing a website RFP to think about your project in-depth. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to track your success and meet your goals. Having a specific goal will also help you understand how each bidders solution will work to solve your unique problem. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to writing a stellar website RFP. And if you need a little help, you can always download our Website RFP Template for inspiration or to help you get started.
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