The RFP Cover Letter

Also known as: Request for Proposal cover letter, Request for Proposal letter, RFP generic cover letter, letter of transmittal, RFP invitation letter, transmittal cover letter, invitation to tender letter, bid submit cover letter, ITT letter, invitation to bid cover letter, invitation to bid letter, request for bid letter, invitation for bids cover letter, ITB cover letter, IFB cover letter, transmittal cover, IFB letter, solicitation letter, solicitation cover letter, bid invitation letter, invitation to tender cover letter, ITT cover letter, invitation to bid letter, ITB letter, invitation for bids letters, or IFB letter.

Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own RFP cover letter.

The request for proposal (RFP) cover letter is part of our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit. A cover letter should accompany the RFP questionnaire. Why write a cover letter? Beyond being polite and presenting your project, the RFP cover letter gives you a unique opportunity to emphasize the timeline of your state-of-the-art RFP-based selection process, particularly the dates on which different documents are due. 

Your strongest weapon is in your reader's mind. It is highly recommended that you to read the suggestions below in order to properly and successfully use the RFP cover letter.


  1. Use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite the RFP cover letter. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own cover letter.
  2. First, invite the provider to submit a proposal based on the requirements defined in the RFP document you will attach to the cover letter.
  3. Next, present your company with a brief description of your principal business, objectives, and location, and a link to your web site. 
  4. Then, describe your existing systems, your project (size, budget, scope, etc.), and how you want the project to be aligned with your business objectives. 
  5. Present your project timeline.
    Missed due dates are the main cause of delays. The success of your process may depend on properly communicating both the critical steps of your process and the deadlines the providers should meet in order to have their proposal considered. Therefore, the more emphasis you put on deadlines, the shorter your process will be.

    Highlight the major events and the due dates for submitting information:

    • The pre-proposal meeting, whether or not you choose to make it mandatory 
    • Reservation of spots for the pre-proposal meeting. Decide whether or not vendors must reserve spots for the pre-proposal meeting. 
    • Questions for the pre-proposal meeting. For the sake of convenience, you may decide to publish questions and answers on your web site. Providers may also be able to submit their questions on-line. 
    • The letter of intent. A model of a letter of intent should be provided in the RFP. Decide if you want the letter of intent to be mandatory or to merely help you manage the process. 
    • The proposal itself. Specify your requirements (number of copies, structure, formats, electronic versions, etc.). 
    • The contract award of the project to the most satisfactory proposal. It is not necessary to commit to a firm date, but an estimated time frame could be provided.

    Regardless of the types of responses you receive, providing a clear, precise timeline will ensure that your selection process is on time and in budget. In fact, by making certain you get the right documents in a timely manner, you will avoid undue delays, and thus save money. 

    When giving a deadline, be aware of the non-interchangeability of the words "submit" and "receive". More often than not, RFP authors write "submit the document no later than", but expect to receive the document no later than that date, thus generating proposal disqualifications, protests, and significant delays. 

    Again -it cannot be said enough-, make sure prospective providers understand which documents to submit, receive detailed and precise instructions regarding the format of these documents, and are aware of your deadlines for receiving them. A consistent RFP format for their proposal will be very helpful in evaluating all responses in a faster and more precise manner.

  6. Thank the person for their time, effort, and interest in the project related to the issued RFP.
  7. Finally, close the letter formally with "sincerely" or a similar polite expression. Specify your name and title. Sign the RFP Cover Letter with a blue ink pen. This is obvious, but making your signature stand out from the rest of the cover letter gives it at once a personal touch. Be sure to provide correct, complete contact and reference information for future correspondence.
  8. Do not forget to send the cover letter, with the RFP document, via certified mail
  9. Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, remember to consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.
  10. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own cover letter.

Tips, templates, and samples of a professional RFP cover letter


Learn tips on how to write a professional, very impressive, and bullet-proof RFP cover letter in our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit.

You will find in it, amongst others, templates and samples of an RFP cover letter.

It's FREE!

"The cover letter is the most important one."
- Pascal PERRY

RFP Proposal Cover Letter

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