How to Create a Microsite: A Step-By-Step Guide

A microsite is a webpage or group of web pages that have a singular purpose for a specific audience. Creating a microsite is the perfect way for you to elevate communication strategies and create rich content experiences. Many companies are using microsites to innovate their digital marketing and communication.

You might be wondering how to conceptualize one for your own company. These information-rich and engaging sites may seem highly sophisticated, but they’re simple to create and deploy with the right tools. Here are some ways you can use to get started. 

A step-by-step guide on how to create your microsite

Figure out your microsite’s objective

Before you sit down and begin creating your microsite, carefully consider its purpose.

Understanding the broad and specific goals you’d like to achieve through creating your microsite will make planning content and features easier. A microsite can be as specific and action-oriented as you want it to be, and the best way to make the most out of what it has to offer is by considering its objectives. 

Start with a general idea of what you want your microsite to do. A fantastic way to figure out your microsite objective is to consider SMART goals. SMART goals move abstract ideas about an overall objective into more specific action items that you can implement in your microsite.

Ask yourself these questions in your planning phase:

  • Specific: What specific outcome are you hoping to achieve through your microsite? Making your objective as specific as possible keeps it from being too broad to evaluate.
  • Measurable: What metrics can you use to help you determine if your microsite is effectively designed? Knowing the most valuable metrics beforehand makes it easier to pinpoint after launch.
  • Achievable: Can this goal be achieved with the strategy and features you are using? Coordinating with your team and figuring out what’s possible for your company will save a lot of stress later on.
  • Relevant: What content is most relevant to your goal? Knowing which pieces of content will play the largest roles helps plan navigation and site construction.
  • Time-based: What is the time frame you are working with? Mapping out when each phase will take place and how long the microsite will be active will make it easier to divide up responsibilities.

Find a microsite builder with all the features you need

The right microsite building platform will help you meet all of your objectives. 

It should be a simple, easy-to-use platform that anyone on your team can use to edit or contribute to your microsites. Try to avoid overly complicated solutions that require a sophisticated understanding of web development. Instead, focus on simple, necessary features like: 

  • Widgets (search bars, forms, sidebars)
  • Interactive content (chatbots, newsfeeds, maps)
  • Media (photos, videos, animations)

Including these elements will flesh out your microsite and keep users engaged with content, but it shouldn’t be a laborious process to integrate these features into your website. Instead, opt for a platform that’s intuitive and beginner friendly. This way, your microsite can be a collaborative, interdepartmental project.

Ease-of-use is also important when it comes to analytics. 

Meeting objectives can only happen when you understand successes and failures. A microsite builder should feature options for you to understand on a detailed level which parts of your microsite pack the most punch and which fall flat. It allows your team to address those gaps either by adjusting features or by tailoring targeted follow-up communication.

Create a memorable domain name

A small but very important factor when it comes to website design is URLs and domain names. Your domain introduces a user to your microsite, much like a title.

A carefully thought out domain name is the difference between a microsite that’s easily accessible with the potential to boost SEO and one that fails to perform to the highest level. 

In general, a good practice is to keep URLs simple and concise. Separate keywords in URLs with hyphens to help search engines recognize key phrases. Hyphens are more user-friendly than underscores because they’re easier to read and type. Also, keep capitalization to a minimum and make it as intuitive as possible 

The right URL will make your microsite far more accessible, shareable, and targetable by search engines. 

Be careful about your SEO strategy

Using a series of microsites solely to promote SEO growth is ill-advised. 

A microsite is meant to create a webspace for a specific, goal-oriented purpose. This includes digital communication and creating opportunities to create immersive web experiences. They may be seen as having good SEO potential because they’re targeted, engaging, and link back to your main website in a purposeful way. Plus, more websites mean more chances for high search rankings, right?

Ultimately, microsites can hurt your SEO if used improperly. Hollow and repetitive microsites can have an inverse effect on SEO. Microsites that are used to host thin content and use similar domain names may be treated as low-quality redirect sites by search engines. The algorithms that decide rankings will clump them up with other similar websites, including your main site.

More websites connected to your domain means less traffic to your company website. It’s better to focus SEO efforts on your website and use microsites for more niche purposes.

Create engaging content based on your objective

A microsite is an opportunity to create content experiences for users. 

You can craft these experiences with a robust microsite that is information-rich and has varied opportunities for engagement. Because the objectives and audiences of microsites are so targetted, you can curate specific, experience-based content that targets your objectives. 

Seven factors can impact user experiences, which can ultimately affect their likelihood to take action or continue to engage with your content.

  • Usefulness: How does content help solve a problem or address a need? 
  • Usability: Is it easy for users to accomplish what they need? 
  • Findability: Is important information and content easy to find? 
  • Credibility: Can users trust your microsite and its content? 
  • Desirability: Does your microsite leverage aesthetics and branding to keep users interested?
  • Accessibility: Is your microsite usable by everyone? Are there options for users to change their experiences and make content more accessible?
  • Value: Does your microsite highlight the advantages and usefulness of your products and services? 

Depending on the objectives of your microsite, some of these principles may be more important than others. However, all hold value when you consider creating an impactful content experience. 

Keeping these principles in mind as you design your microsite can help you tailor an experience that moves users toward your actionable end goal.

Design your microsite for excellence

Design can seriously impact user experience and the efficacy of your microsite. 

It determines a user’s experience which impacts their overall engagement and ability to navigate the microsite. Believe it or not, users judge design and content in as little as 30 seconds. Though we may not judge books by their covers, we certainly judge websites based on what we see. 

Using color, font, and mixed media can help you create an engaging design, and intuitive site construction keeps users around to engage with information on a deeper level. These strategies are far simpler than they seem, but if this is your first time, you can always use a premade template.

Set up marketing and analytics tools

Knowing who is reaching your microsite, when they are reaching it, and what they are engaging with can help you make the most of your digital space. 

It allows you to determine which content is most relevant to users and where there are gaps in engagement. This offers leverage when it comes to follow-up communication and additional content creation because you have a firm analytic base on which to build your strategy. Microsite analytics make it simple to win more business.

Launch your microsite and see what’s working

Now that everything is figured out, you’re ready to launch your home away from your homepage! Track its progress and see what’s working. Luckily, microsites can be as temporary as you’d like. If your microsite proves valuable, you can decide what you’d like to incorporate into your main website.

Create the perfect microsite easily with Zoomforth

To start creating your own microsites, you’ll need to choose the right microsite builder to get the most out of your next project. Zoomforth is a microsite platform trusted by enterprises to design and host their microsites, including three of the Big Four accounting firms!

Zoomforth allows you to leverage all the capabilities of a microsite builder and couple them with additional features to create more engaging user experiences. The Zoomforth Academy can help you make the most out of:

  • Advanced security features, including SAML and SSO options
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop design 
  • Granluar-level analytics
  • Effortless mobile integration and formatting 

Ready to see what we have to offer? Request a demo to see how we can help you elevate your next web-based experience. 

The Best Microsite Builder Has These 3 Essential Features

Microsites are powerful tools that pack a punch. From paperless options for deliverables to secure web sharing, a microsite allows you to leverage web tools to meet a range of needs. 

Creating a microsite that has the potential to do all of these things is made simple with the right microsite builder. Not sure what to look for? Here are three features you should keep an eye out for. 

The best features to look for in a microsite builder

An intuitive editing platform

Creating and editing your microsite should be simple. 

The right microsite builder cuts out the complication of coding and uploading tools that are hard to navigate. These barriers may discourage some from hopping on board with digital communication strategies, making it difficult to establish a consistent delivery method across your team. 

An effective microsite builder features simple development tools that make it possible for anyone on your team to create and share a microsite. 

Zoomforth makes microsite development easy with an intuitive drag-and-drop platform that doesn’t require any coding. It’s user-friendly enough for anyone to use and develop a robust, seamless microsite. 

It features a simple-to-use site editor that makes editing a transparent process, so there’s no need to go through several iterations of site editing before publishing. What you see is what you get when it comes to text editing, image cropping, and adjusting margins. 

Premade templates can be reworked in the theme editor to use your custom branding and style presets. Zoomforth even creates your first template for you using your brand guidelines!

Other ways you can customize your content include: 

  • Dragging and dropping content from your media library
  • Adding widget features like social media icons, forms, and search bars
  • Interactive content features such as maps, chatbots, and newsfeeds

Clear performance analytics

Knowing how your microsite is performing allows you to make the most of its features. According to Harvard Business Review, ineffective messaging and a lack of pre-sales resources are some of the top reasons businesses don’t close sales. Analytics cut the guesswork out of the early stages of communication and allow you to capitalize on the time and resources you need to stand out from the crowd. 

Your microsite builder should return both high-level and granular site and user data. Strong analytics features allow businesses to identify gaps in asset strategy. These insights are highly valuable when it comes to understanding what pieces of communication are most valuable to different targets. 

Robust analytics should allow you to see information like: 

  • Who is accessing your microsite 
  • When they access your microsite
  • What they most engaged with, downloaded, or shared
  • Engagement time with different site elements 

If your microsite is going to be used to create innovative business-to-business communications, then you’ll also want a microsite builder that notifies you about user engagement in real-time. Receiving notifications about stakeholder engagement with shared proposals and marketing material allows you to strategically execute a well-timed follow-up strategy.

Timing isn’t the only thing you can leverage, either. Granular-level site data also gives you insight on what information to include in your follow-up communications since you know exactly which key material was engaged with and what may have been missed. 

Extensive security features

Cyber security is a growing concern across industries. The convenience of online communication leaves us prone to the risk of cyber attacks, so much so that 20% of companies had at least one hacked email account in 2021

So much uncertainty and risk put businesses on the line for loss in several ways, including: 

  • Being financially responsible for damages in the form of compromised personal information
  • Lost business due to poor security practices 
  • Competitor insight through leaked information, leading to lost revenue 

Like many catastrophes, the likelihood of it happening to you may seem distant until it’s not. 

The right microsite builder should give the option to do more than just password protects your microsite. It should offer a range of security measures that keep your enterprise information safe and the data of your visitors safe as well.

Zoomforth features many security measures, including:

  • Password protection

Create a password-protected site that requires users to have access to a privately shared link and password

  • Multifactor authentication

Require approved users to enter one-time codes sent to their mobile device before accessing shared material

  • Email Authentication

Limit access with email-based log-ins. 

  • Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML) and Single Sign-On (SSO)

Integrate your microsite with your company’s internet system for streamlined access. 

At Zoomforth, we believe that your information is your own. That’s why our business is run on a zero-trust corporate network, which means that we don’t gain access to your content as your run on Zoomforth’s network.

Other great features offered by a microsite builder

A variety of microsite templates

Not sure how to begin designing your microsite? That’s why a microsite builder must offer you templates that you can use to get started. There are many design considerations you’ll need to evaluate, and having a good template can cut down the time it takes to make those decisions.

Zoomforth offers a range of templates you can use to get started. Here are a few templates that you can use to create innovative communication material:

Drag and drop editing makes it easy to customize templates as much as you’d like so that they are a reflection of your brand’s unique values and aesthetics. It helps keep everything consistent, from HR material to client proposals, a clean microsite elevates enterprise communication. 

Plus, there’s no need for coding in widgets or figuring out the right HTML code for font manipulation—anyone and everyone can make the most out of digital communication with the right microsite builder. 

Automated mobile layouts

A lot happens while we’re away from our desks. Handheld devices make it possible for us to access anything anywhere at any time. That means that mobile access to digital content is no longer the exception, but rather the expectation. A microsite builder that allows you to easily adapt to the dominance of smartphone use means that you can make the most out of your digitally shared content. 

Zoomforth automatically ensures that your microsite is mobile-friendly and allows you to enhance a mobile user’s experience with the mobile content prioritization tool. Plus, you can preview your content on a mobile layout before it’s shared. 

It eliminates the extra step of refitting your content for different mobile devices so that you can keep everyone up to speed, whether they’re using a phone or a laptop. 

A responsive customer support team

If you’re new to creating microsites, you’ll need support. We’ve all been on customer service lines for hours just to make a simple fix. Your microsite builder should have an award-winning customer service team that takes your experience seriously.

While Zoomforth’s platform is user-friendly enough for anyone to use, we’re committed to offering support whenever it’s needed. All of our users have access to the Zoomforth Academy, a series of videos and articles that will make you an expert in our platform’s features in no time. It’ll walk you through everything you need to know whether it’s design or analytics. 

Still have lingering questions? Our team has curated a collection of staff-written articles about microsite design and implementation that get into the nitty-gritty details you may still have questions about. Our microsite experts are here to help you with questions about design, security, and site analytics so that you get the most out of your microsite.

Get everything out of your microsite builder with Zoomforth

Microsites are powerful digital tools that can be leveraged to address a range of needs, but not all microsite builders are the same. 

Make the most out of what your microsite has to offer with an easy-to-use, feature-rich platform like Zoomforth

Zoomforth makes microsite creation simple, and enhanced security and analytics features allow you and your target audience to make the most out of purposefully designed landing pages. 

There’s no need to hire web developers, ask your marketing or sales team to code, or struggle with clunky platforms. Ready to see how Zoomforth can help you make the most out of a microsite? Try a demo with us today

The 5 Major Principles of Microsite Design

You may be interested in creating a microsite for your business. A microsite has several different use cases, and they can be used to extend your web presence even further beyond your company website.

Designing your microsite offers many considerations. Because a microsite is geared towards a specific audience, the content included is much more focused. Also, a great advantage of a microsite is that they’re more intuitive to navigate than your company’s website, so the design should accomplish this.

Even though the content is more targeted than other web pages, your microsite should follow some similar tenants of design. Luckily, some common design practices can help you understand what it means to have effective microsite design.

5 important elements of microsite design

Clear website purpose

As you begin to create your microsite, start by determining what the main goal of the microsite is. The purpose of your microsite should be at the center of its design. For example, if your microsite is meant to be a training portal, the design should be simple to read and engaging to look at.

You can figure out your microsite’s purpose by asking yourself some of these questions:

  • Who will be visiting this microsite?
  • What will they need to accomplish?
  • What kinds of content would be valuable to them?
  • Why would they need to visit this microsite rather than a landing page?

Having a clear grasp of your microsite’s purpose first will inform the rest of the decisions you make for your microsite’s design.

Visual hierarchy

You can manipulate different elements like font, spacing, and color to help users make sense of information. These strategies help lead your readers’ eyes to where they need to be. There are three key elements that help create a visual hierarchy on a microsite. 

Use color and contrast to emphasize important content. The power of color comes in manipulating saturation, shade, and contrast against the background. It’s important to note that subtlety is key, as too much of anything dull its impact. Using color and contrast sparingly—a palette of 2-4 colors—allows you to pack a stronger punch when you want something to stand out. 

Size matters, especially when it comes to cluing users in on what’s important. Scale is a useful tool to play with for both graphic elements and typography. To avoid overwhelming users and losing out on the impact of scale, stick to a handful of size standards and make them consistent. For example, your small, medium, and large fonts should be consistent in size and weight.

Structure plays an important role in well-crafted design. On a visual level, proximity can clue users in on where to look for related information. Grouping together similar information and links make a site feel efficient, intentional, and clean. You can do this with borders, backgrounds, or strategic spacing. For example, give main features plenty of space away from other distracting elements. 

Consistent theme and style

Microsites are an opportunity to experiment with branding. However, your microsite is still an extension of your web presence. Microsite design should be fairly consistent with the theme and style of your (or your client’s) branding. Striking that balance between consistency and innovation is imperative to good microsite design. 

It’s important to look at your brand’s visual guidelines. From there, you can figure out what you want to keep consistent and what you’d like to change. An important note is that if you have multiple microsites, they should all be consistent with each other. This creates an expectation from the audience, especially if they navigate between different microsites.

Consistency makes your microsite more user-friendly, while inconsistency attracts attention. Leverage consistency as you construct your microsite to ensure that it is harmonious with your goals, including the voice, typeface, and format.

Logical navigation

Navigation is one of the most important elements of web design. According to Nielsen Norman Group, website engagement follows a curve. Users typically scan a webpage and make an initial decision to remain within the first 10 seconds of their visit. Their rate of engagement typically flattens after thirty seconds of interaction.

Because microsites have a narrow focus, it should be easy for users to find the information they’re looking for. This means incorporating intuitive site navigation.

You can start thinking about your navigation by considering tried and true structures. For example, if you’re creating a microsite for a sales proposal, you might use a hierarchical model to put the most important information at the top. If you’re creating an onboarding portal, a sequential model to guide them step-by-step.

Most people are familiar with typical website construction even without knowing it. There are also reading patterns that they’re familiar with. A common reading pattern is the F-pattern, where readers go line-by-line, left to right. Another common pattern in web design is the Z-pattern, where readers go to each new element diagonally.

There are also some other common patterns in web elements:

  • A search bar on the top right of the screen
  • Social media links at the top or bottom of a site
  • Home pages and logos on the top left of the screen

By ensuring your microsite defaults to these patterns, you’re making it easier for your users to engage with your content without interruption.

Interactive elements

Microsites provide an opportunity to use interactive elements like virtual maps, videos, polls, or links to keep users engaged. This is also a great opportunity to push CTAs.

However, avoid throwing in interactive elements that don’t serve a purpose. They can lead to clutter and make microsites overwhelming. A good way to think about whether or not an interactive element is useful is to circle back to the purpose of your microsite.

Think about these elements as a funnel that moves your users closer toward the end goal you have in mind. It might start with a link to case studies. Your case studies might be image-rich or feature short videos with client testimonials. Below these visual elements, consider including buttons to move users to your services page, on which you might feature the opportunity to have a live chat with an agent for a quote.

Try to keep the funnel in mind when you are considering which interactive elements to use and where you want to place them. 

Other important considerations for microsite design

Keep an eye on user engagement 

Designing a well-crafted microsite may not happen in one sitting, and that’s okay! It’s good practice to check in on interaction so that you can pinpoint gaps in your design. By analyzing user engagement, you can see what worked well and what didn’t. Then, you can update your microsite based on those insights!

Zoomforth makes it easy for you to see exactly which parts of your microsite are being visited and which are not. Instead of sorting through code or clunky web developing platforms, Zoomforth allows you to easily edit your microsites after publishing as needed.

Make it easy for users to access microsites even when they’re away from their desks

Mobile web users make up 10% more of the market than desktop users, though most businesses realize the importance of focusing their user experience on both kinds of devices. Creating a user-friendly experience that works across platforms is a default in web development, so keep this in mind as you map out the experience you want users to have on your microsite. 

Not sure how to change the layout so it’s suitable for computers and mobile devices? Zoomforth automates that process for you! Our built-in features allow you to create content that looks well-designed on any device so that you don’t have to worry about it. 

Start designing your next microsite with Zoomforth

Now that you know the principles of microsite design, you might be excited to incorporate them yourself. While designing a well-crafted microsite may feel out of reach, Zoomforth allows you to do so with ease!

Our drag-and-drop facility allows you to put in all the elements you want: text, images, videos, links, and more. We offer a media library with unlimited storage, so you never need to worry about experimenting with different content. Our customer success team can also help you create a well-designed microsite that attracts your niche audience.

Start your next project off knowing that your hard work will result in a clean, user-friendly site that is consistent with your branding and site objectives. Request a demo today!

8 Microsite Examples To Help You Build Your Brand

A robust web presence is no longer an exceptional quality for most brands; engaging and information-rich digital content has become a standard across most industries. Typically, your company’s website is the most foundational starting point, but there are other avenues to extend your reach. You may consider creating a microsite!

A microsite is a miniature website for targeted audiences that features information-rich content. These highly specialized content experiences are tailored to achieve more specific goals than a general webpage. A microsite can be more successful in providing valuable, focused information to its audience.

If you feel like you’re hitting a plateau when it comes to content creation, microsites might lead you to your next project. They serve a host of purposes and can be as creative or immersive as you want them to be. They truly are only limited to the scope of your needs or imagination. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples to inspire your next microsite!

8 microsite examples to inspire your next project

Create a sales one-pager

Long gone are the days of slide decks! If you’re looking for a way to elevate sales pitches, look no further. By creating a microsite for your marketing one-pager, you can make your pitch stand out as both useful and engaging!

A microsite allows you to get all of the same information across to potential clients and partners in a more digestible way. You can narrow the focus to key pieces of information that you want to highlight. Importantly, by making use of an interactive interface for your one-pager, you give your audience control.

Here are some examples of what you can include in your one-pager microsite: 

  • Highlight your product features and services front-and-center
  • Include customer testimonials to add credibility to your pitch
  • Leverage the power of statistics with easily consumable charts and graphs
  • Tailor your one-pager specifically to your potential client or partner

Whether your client is on their phone, computer, or tablet, they’ll have easy access to product and service information. A microsite sales proposal beats looking through text-heavy emails or printed deliverables because it’s fashioned for the modern age. Communicating your message will be much easier when you have a content experience to pair with it. 

Create an interactive sales proposal

If you can create a sales pitch with a microsite, why not house your full business proposal on an interactive microsite of its own? 

A business proposal is your first date with opportunities that lie ahead. That being said, creating and delivering one can be nerve-wracking, and it’s made even more worrying when the industry standard for a proposal is a lengthy document with a full table of contents.

With a microsite, you can create the perfect proposal that has all of the information your prospective customer  will need in a medium that’s much more engaging. Along with necessary information, you can tailor content based on what you anticipate your audience will want to hear, making you better prepared. Plus, microsites are easy to update, meaning you can add more as discussions continue.

Here are some examples of what you can include in your business proposal microsite:

  • Your executive summary
  • Your business credentials
  • Deliverables, milestones, and case studies
  • Links to pertinent presentations 
  • Engaging layout and visuals

With a microsite, you can offer something more information-rich than a slideshow, more engaging than a bound hardcopy, and more accessible than a recorded virtual meeting. Impress your potential clients with an interactive experience and stand out from the crowd!

Create a site for your next big event

Is your company hosting an upcoming conference? Is it sponsoring a fundraising event for a charity? It can be difficult to get the news out about an event that isn’t just an email newsletter. Plus, it may be difficult to consolidate information about the event. You should consider creating a microsite for all event-related content!

Through the microsite, you can market the event as precisely as you need to. While providing the necessary details about the event, you can also check the pulse of interaction with event content. Customizable security preferences make it easy for you to keep the event as private or public as you’d like. 

Here are some examples of what to include in your event microsite:

  • An overview of the event’s purpose
  • Key speakers and figures attending
  • A schedule of the programs
  • Details on the location and venue
  • A registration portal

Create an interactive experience for your marketing campaign

As marketing evolves, more and more businesses are experimenting with the value of combining inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Leveraging the power of these strategies in conjunction with one another creates authentic, robust relationships between brands and consumers. A microsite is a low-effort way to capitalize on the power of both marketing strategies. 

If you’ve spent any time looking through creative ways to use microsites, you’ve likely heard about how companies have used them to make their new campaigns immersive and engaging. The nice thing about a microsite is that you can experiment with it, as it’s separate from your company website and main branding.

You can create highly immersive web experiences for users to become exposed to product and service information while interacting with brand content. This might include using games, customization tools, or leveraging consumer data. 

Here are some examples of immersive experiences created through microsites: 

Create a career portal for open positions in your company

Leveraging microsites isn’t just for marketing purposes—a microsite can also drive recruitment efforts! If you’re looking to get the attention of a young, tech-based workforce, having a microsite career portal is an easy way to embrace digital employment strategies. With a microsite, you can create customized postings and applications.

Having your own career portal is a great way to identify candidates who are specifically interested in your company. A microsite gives them all the information they need about your company and detailed descriptions of available jobs. Microsites are also very easy to update. If you fill a position, you can simply modify your microsite to remove that position. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in your career portal microsite: 

  • Available positions in your company
  • Compensation and benefit information
  • Available growth opportunities
  • Mission statement and workplace values
  • Past partnerships and awards

Create a friendly welcome page for a new hire

When you have a new hire, an online welcome page is a fantastic way to make them feel welcomed and appreciated; plus, it might cut out the time (and awkwardness) of icebreaker introductions. A microsite is perfectly suited for this!

A welcome page for your new hire allows them to dip their toes into your workplace at their own pace. You can roll welcome messages into information-rich pages by including information about onboarding dates, team contact information, and log-in credentials. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in your welcome page microsite:

  • A personalized greeting and welcome message
  • Important company and position information
  • Introductions from different members of the team
  • Helpful resources for them to get started

Making new hires feel welcomed and valued reduces turnover rates, which can go a long way in establishing a consistent workplace culture and staying productive. Taking the time to craft a welcome page microsite shows that you value them as a new addition to your team!

Create a personalized onboarding portal for your employees

After creating a welcome page for your new hire, why not create a microsite as a personalized onboarding portal for them?

Catching your new employees up on all of the important information they need to know about your organization can be an overwhelming task for everyone involved. Information overload and an inability to revisit shared information can make onboarding feel pointless. 

Creating a microsite that houses important onboarding information helps sidestep some of the most common challenges organizations face during onboarding. A microsite creates the opportunity for learning employees and new hires to always have access to information they need without having to run through several chains of communication. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in an onboarding portal microsite:

  • Workplace values and policies
  • Tutorials on standards operation procedures
  • Videos on your company’s impacts
  • Chain of command and employee directory
  • Interactive quizzes and games to gauge learning

Content can be focused on processes, policies, and other pertinent onboarding information. Your microsite can serve as your knowledge management system that is easily accessed and updated.

Create an interactive learning portal for employee training

Looking to update standard operating procedures, policies, or marketing strategies? Skip the long-winded email—or worse yet, the meeting that could have been an email—and try a microsite instead!

A microsite with engaging material like videos, quizzes, and discussion boards allows your employees to review new information as often as they need, working through it on their own time. 

It’s a robust solution that allows you to tackle getting your remote and in-office employees up-to-speed without sacrificing efficiency, time, and manpower. These websites are easy to update, too. That means that you don’t have to roll out entirely new training every time minor details change—you can simply update the webpage’s information. 

A microsite allows you to share all of this information through an encrypted site, making it just as secure as a traditional learning management system.

Inspired to create your own microsites? Get started with Zoomforth

If you’re looking for a way to make the most out of your web presence, microsites are just the tool you’ve been looking for. Have these microsite examples sparked some creativity? Luckily for you, most of the examples above come directly from Zoomforth’s Inspiration Gallery!

Zoomforth provides a platform to create your own microsites that offer valuable enterprise communication in this digital age. Zoomforth is easy-to-use, with no coding required! Using our platform, you can design your microsite, fill it with information-rich content, and publish it easily. Zoomforth also provides valuable performance data to ensure your microsite is the best it can be.

Looking to see how you can make the most out of your microsite? Request a demo and our team can help you make the most out of your web presence. 

Microsite vs. Landing Page: Which Works Better For Your Business?

With the persistence of digital background noise, getting consumer attention can feel like a fruitless effort. Once attention is earned, keeping it is an entirely different effort. Research by the Nielsen Norman Group suggests that user attention dwindles quickly with time, and most users know if a webpage is useful for them in the first ten seconds of their visit.

Using the right method of delivery attracts users’ attention and keeps them engaged. A delivery method that is most aligned with your goals moves your audiences to take the right actions and quickly find the information most important to them. You have different options for making the most out of your web space, including using microsites and landing pages.

Many confuse the two. While microsites and landing pages are similar, they are by no means the same thing. In this article, we’ll define what each one is, the advantages and disadvantages of both, and how to decide which one is best for your business.

Microsites: a website for a specific audience 

A microsite is a standalone webpage (or collection of webpages) with its own subdomain or specific URL, meaning it’s independent of the company’s website. If you’re looking to offer highly specialized content for a target audience, then this may be the right choice for you. 

What is the purpose of a microsite?

Not all information neatly fits into an organization’s website. If your website is congested with all kinds of information, microsites provide specialized locations for content to clean things up.

Content that serves temporary purposes, leverages niche audiences, or experiments with a unique design generally belong on a microsite rather than a website. 

Some examples of content that may be featured on a microsite include: 

  • An immersive webpage for a product launch 
  • A short-term marketing campaign
  • A specialized sales pitch
  • Internal training, learning, and communication portals 

Microsites work well for curated experiences. These pages allow you to create content that is flexible in delivery and duration, which can save you the heartache of reworking content on a more stable homepage or landing page. 

What are the advantages of a microsite?

Depending on your goals, using a microsite offers several advantages. 

Without all the distractions of a website, microsites allow users to find what they are looking for faster. Easy access to pertinent information means that users are more likely to engage with your content longer. 

Though a microsite can include elements of your branding, its detachment from other more consistent landing pages means you have more creative and analytic flexibility. This makes them excellent for experimentation that would otherwise be a risk to your brand.

Microsites are great for building engagement for a specific campaign. Determining the efficacy of niche experiences or tailored content is easy because the analytics reported on a microsite are specifically about the target audience and exclusively report on the included content. 

Microsites are also easy to change, update, and remove, so there’s no need to worry about the hassle of returning main landing pages to their original state when marketing campaigns and special initiatives are over. 

Ultimately, the possibilities of a microsite are only limited by your imagination.

What are the disadvantages of a microsite?

While microsites can help boost SEO by adding more websites under your brand, they can drive traffic away from your main website. This means that you’ll be tracking SEO in both your website and the microsite. If you’re trying to boost traffic to your main website, microsites can interfere with this.

Microsites can also be confusing and costly if you’re not using the right service. They require the ability to maintain a different domain, which can be cumbersome. However, if you select the right platform, developing a microsite is easy. Zoomforth, for example, leverages intuitive drag-and-drop design features and takes care of hosting.

Landing page: a page with a purpose

A landing page is a single web page on your main website to promote a specific product or service that your company offers. Your home page likely includes a menu of different landing pages. A landing page includes links to your product catalog or a subscription page and encourages users to complete a call-to-action (CTA).

What is the purpose of a landing page?

A landing page is meant to promote conversion. It’s housed on your main website and can be accessed through your homepage. It’s created with a specific purpose geared towards prospects. 

It may seek to move people to a certain action, such as subscribing to your newsletter or understanding products and services.

These landing pages may serve the purpose of offering high-level introductions to different aspects of your business. They are consistent with the surrounding construction of your website in terms of branding and design. 

Landing pages are typically fixtures on a website because they offer information that people frequently return to and which infrequently change. 

What are the advantages of a landing page?

A landing page is a reliable way to share information about aspects of your business. They’re simple and affordable to create, only constituting a single page with no need for navigation. They don’t require a lot of maintenance, as they’re located on your company’s main website. Generally, the low time investment spent on making a landing page is more time you’ll spend on creating web content.  

They also infrequently change because they are meant to be consistent. They outline key products and services that your business offers, which are not likely to change. If change is needed, though, they’re easy to remove and revise.

Also, they’re great at promoting conversion and offer many excellent tracking capabilities. They can be keyword-rich with a simple URL, meaning they’re great for your SEO. 

What are the disadvantages of a landing page?

A landing page includes basic information and has a narrow focus. They do one thing, and they do that well, but they’re not a robust solution. It tells parts of a story, but it won’t be content-rich enough to tell a whole story on its own. If you’re looking to create substantial promotions for your businesses, landing pages will likely not cut it.

Because of its small scope, it can be hard to collect detailed user experience data. It’s interspersed with your general content, meaning there’s not a lot of distinction that can be made for specific audiences. 

Landing pages are attached to your main domain, so they may also lend themselves to some design restrictions. This might make it difficult to integrate creative and interactive elements that are inconsistent with your branding. 

Microsite vs. landing page: which do I need?

Consider your goals

Determining whether a microsite or a landing page is right for the content you are creating starts with considering your goals. 

How you determine which delivery method you need should be aligned with more than just aesthetic goals, but also execution and maintenance. 

If you’re trying to decide whether a landing page or a microsite is better suited for your campaign, try answering the following questions: 

  • Is the information you are sharing specific, in-depth, and for a limited audience? 
  • Will the page only be temporarily accessed?
  • Are you looking to create an immersive experience for users that keeps them engaged with the content?
  • Are you hoping to gather detailed user and experience data about specific elements? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to most of these questions, it may make sense to use a microsite to help you create a curated and immersive experience for a targeted audience. 

Otherwise, if you’re looking to outline a key product or service geared towards general prospects, a landing page is more suited for that. 

Consider your budget

There is a lot of flexibility in creating web content. The starting cost for creating a website runs anywhere from $200 to $10,000. These quotes depend on whether a developer is commissioned, design software is used, and how complex the webpages are. 

Paying to develop microsites can be more costly than adding landing pages to existing domains if contracted developers are used. However, different services offer easy-to-use platforms to create content on your own. This is an affordable way to create immersive content without involving out-of-house experts. 

Why not both?

Your business and your market are robust. Meeting all of their needs means using dynamic solutions.

Using both landing pages and microsites effectively ensures that you are targeting the appropriate needs of all of your users and making the most of what web-based tools offer. 

Users expect to easily find information that is delivered engagingly. Knowing which form of web publishing to use to achieve your goals can mean using both landing pages and microsites. 

Publish your microsites easily with Zoomforth

If you’re looking to create a tailored web experience, expand your business’s intranet, or experiment with different online tools, a microsite is a perfect option. 

Using intuitive development software means that you can do this in-house, without paying web developers or struggling with complex coding languages. 

Zoomforth’s drag and drop design features have made it easy for leading brands to create immersive, unique, and engaging contentYou can demo Zoomforth to find out how your business can do the same. 

What is a Microsite?

The ability to share valuable information in easily accessible ways was once a bragging right. Now, it’s an expectation across industries. Outdated enterprise communication isn’t going to cut it, and businesses are looking for new ways to interact with their consumers.

It’s likely you already have an information-rich website that has been carefully curated with information and landing pages that are helpful for a general audience. However, if you’re looking to target a niche audience, offer web-based access to certain clients, or create highly interactive experiences for short-term initiatives, you might consider creating a microsite.

Microsites are miniature websites (or single web pages) that offer simple, malleable solutions to many complex communication needs. In this article, we’ll cover what a microsite is, the benefits of using one, and how to get the most out of your microsite.

What exactly is a microsite?

A microsite is a branded content site outside of your main website, serving as a specialized extension of your existing web presence. It’s a platform that hosts content that would be valuable to certain audiences, rather than a business’s general audience.

A microsite is typically on its own subdomain or unique URL. It can be an individual web page or a small collection of pages. Microsites are packed with content all their own, providing a highly curated experience. They’re perfect for digital marketing campaigns, business proposal showcases, or onboarding tools for new employees.

Instead of having others parse through your website, you can share your microsite with the parties it’s most relevant to. This is especially helpful if you strive to elevate your web presence, create highly accessible deliverables, or analyze specific data regarding your targeted content.

A microsite is more than a website—it’s a content experience

A microsite is not a website. Your company’s website is reserved for all the basic, general information about your business and brand. A microsite is a unique web destination to tailor the content on one topic with a distinct purpose, what we at Zoomforth call a content experience.

Because of their specialized content, microsites are flexible spaces that you can use to address a range of organizational needs including: 

  • Create sites for events, newsletters, sales proposals, and employee learning portals. 
  • Design rich, highly interactive user experiences.
  • Promote or announce brand partnerships and sponsorships.

The possibilities of a microsite are limitless. Designating a microsite for a certain purpose keeps your main website from getting cluttered with temporary content and your web presence organized and targeted.

The benefits of microsites for your brand

Microsites allow you to push the boundaries of your web presence. Microsites can help you address short-term goals, like promoting a new product or service, but that’s not all! They can also help you work towards various long-term goals: customer engagement, SEO performance, and brand visibility. 

More than 50% of readers spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage after accessing it. Such a low rate of engagement calls for strategic campaigns that are immediately useful to consumers. Microsites allow you to focus your content and design on specific needs, interests, and goals. Because of how specialized they are, they hone in on what the user needs, making engagement more successful.

Because all of the content is independent of your website, visitors can quickly access the information they need. Also, the content is specific to them, meaning you can reduce your bounce rates. Packing the microsite with keywords makes microsites a great SEO tool if you’re hosting it on your own domain. If you’re having the microsite company you’re using host it, you’ll be provided with array of performance analytics.

Reduce the risk of experimentation

Tailored content gives you access to the granular site and user data, meaning marketing strategies involve less guesswork and more analytics. You’ll know where, when, and how much consumers engaged with your content.

Microsites also allow you to strategize new approaches to campaigns that don’t work. Microsites can be as permanent or temporary as you need them to be, meaning experimentation is doable with little risk. No more overhauling your website for one purpose and finding it doesn’t work—use a microsite instead!

How can I make my microsite effective? 

Content-rich pages

Your microsite is the place for users to dive deep into one distinct topic, and content is key. Once you’ve determined what the purpose of your microsite is—marketing, experiential, informative—you can start to collect all the important details that your user is seeking and craft content to answer those questions.

Your microsite is your opportunity to connect users to information-rich material that moves them to action. Keep it specific to a designated topic, goal, or action. You can keep content rich by including: 

  • Testimonials 
  • Case studies
  • Initiative backgrounds 
  • Research

Intuitive design

Effective microsites keep users highly engaged with content from the get-go. Making the microsite as user-friendly as possible is an important part of creating an engaging user experience. 

You can keep the design user-friendly by checking that your microsites include these elements:

  • Keep design consistent across different content and layouts
  • Make hyperlinks visible by changing their color or underlining them 
  • Create accessibility elements such as video transcription and voice-to-text options

Interactive elements

You have the option to create highly interactive and immersive user experiences that may not be appropriate for your traditional website. This might include games, polls, and interactive maps. 

Brands use interactive elements to keep users engaged and excited to immerse themselves in product features and marketing campaigns. 

Here are some examples of microsites that capitalize on interactive features to create immersive experiences:

Interactive experiences can make consumers feel connected to products. Recent marketing research conducted by Accenture finds that is the case for as many as 47% of users. 

Performance analytics

Gathering data and conducting meaningful analysis about created content can be as difficult as creating content in itself. General site data can tell you some things, but not everything about how effective your engagement strategies are. 

Because microsites reach out to specific markets, the data they generate is highly specific. You can determine which strategies were most effective with granular information about different user experiences. 

Design your very own microsite with Zoomforth

If you’re interested in creating your own effective and user-friendly microsites, the first step is figuring out a platform to design them. The service should be comprehensive to use, easy to update and provide valuable analytics. 

At Zoomforth, we know that creating an interactive user experience that capitalizes on a range of web features shouldn’t be complicated. Without the need for a formally-trained developer, you can design and publish your microsites with ease.

Zoomforth offers many features to create your microsites, including:

  • An intuitive, drag-and-drop design interface
  • Style presets and custom brand styling
  • A media library with unlimited storage
  • Automated mobile layouts
  • Comprehensive, real-time analytics 
  • Real-time in-app support and help center

Many enterprises, including three of the Big Four accounting firms, have used Zoomforth to elevate their business. If you’re interested in taking advantage of microsites’ many uses and benefits, request a demo with Zoomforth to start creating interactive user experiences that last.

sales proposal

Here’s why you should send a microsite with every RFP response

sales proposal

Are you part of a busy bids team responding to requests for proposals (RFPs)? Are you tired of flicking through massive RFPs and sending equally bloated responses? 

While RFPs have been an integral part of the procurement process for as long as any of us can remember, there’s often no need to limit yourself to responding to one by enclosing a text file.

Zoomforth’s microsite builder technology allows you to create miniature websites that really make presenting your bid more exciting for both parties. They’re more fun to put together than Word documents and for the receiving party, they’re also a lot more interesting to engage with. 

Here are four strong reasons why you should make microsites – and not documents – your default methodology for sending in RFP responses:

They’re great for overcoming the remote communication barrier 

These days, we’re all getting used to working with one another in remote contexts. Of course, there’s always something quite distant about communicating with people over the internet.

The key to maintaining that personal touch is using whatever technology you have at your disposal to humanize the relationship. There are a few great ways to do that, and they all involve elevating how you communicate by using more immersive forms of media than text:

  • Including photos in your bid
  • Including embedded video objects or videos 
  • Including audio snippets or podcasts

These can all help break down the sense of distance between you and the evaluation committee and you can include all of them when you sit down to create microsites. Some of the creative ways we’ve seen all these techniques pulled off:

  • Custom photographs of the team pitching for the business
  • Video presentations. These work particularly well for executive summaries.

These days, digital natives are sitting in the buying seat – and they expect experiences rather than dry information

The millennials of this world have left their Playstations behind and are now holding down serious office jobs as buying managers at businesses (actually, they might still own a PlayStation). 

What divides millennials from any generation that came before them is that they’re true digital natives, having grown up with technology. 

Unlike Gen Xs, who are advancing to executive roles, and Baby Boomers, some of whom are now nearing retirement age, millennials can often be found sitting at the head of purchasing departments and making influential decisions on buying committees. 

As such, they bring an entirely new set of expectations to the table. Many digital natives actively resist forms of technology that they view as “old school” — and if the best you can manage for a bid is a Word document, then your offer may be headed straight for the shredder. They’re also looking for information presented in the form of an experience that they can navigate through. 

To impress digital natives, give them the kind of experience that they thirst for in non-professional contexts. Microsites resemble much more closely the kind of experience that they’re likely to find engaging. 

Digital is the norm these days

Online selling has evolved over the years. During the present remote-first era, digital experiences have become the norm. From that perspective, microsites can provide a much more powerful user experience:

  • Different media types can be leveraged to explain points in a more immersive manner than by using just a text document
  • Menus can be used to make the document navigable. From the perspective of buyers, this is incredibly useful as it means that different parties of an evaluation committee can focus on the parts of the proposal that are pertinent to their role.

Microsites provide a self-service bidding experience

While the remote-first era certainly poses some challenges for salespeople — for one, there’s that gap of human communication to work through — on the other hand, it brings with it some advantages.

One of those is that remote salespeople have been forced to find new ways in which to communicate. An advantage flowing from this is that they can use processes that make it easier for purchasing committees to consume information whenever it suits them. 

This is, essentially, the move towards asynchronous communication – when two parties don’t need to come together at the same time in order to exchange information.

Consider the difference between:

  • Communicating a bid by putting together a Word document and then following that up with an extensive Zoom committee interview.
  • Sending over your bid as a microsite which contains embedded video that can be consumed whenever those on the committee have time to watch through it. 

The first process is outdated and synchronous: everybody has to show up to the meeting whether they’re in a good frame of mind for it or not. The second uses heightened technology to deliver a richer experience and the information can be accessed on-demand. 

Create a microsite next time you need to submit a digital proposal 

For the time it takes to get used to an easy drag and drop editor, shifting to a microsite-first bidding mindset can be seen as a quick and easy win in the battle for winning RFPs. It’s a great way to overcome the remote barrier; they appeal to digital natives; and the buying committees you’re trying to woo will positively love the fact that they can see your bid whenever it’s convenient for them to do so.

To learn how you can create compelling RFP proposals with Zoomforth’s no-code microsite platform, request a demo today. 

rfp response

5 keys to writing an effective RFP response

rfp response

What is the key to writing an effective proposal in response to an RFP?

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, the key to getting ahead in the ultra-competitive world of bids and pursuits is showing that you’re not just another RFP-responder. You need to demonstrate that you stand out from the crowd and have unique capabilities to get the job done. Otherwise – welcome to the slush pile. 

In this blog, we wanted to share some interesting uses of our microsite technology that we’ve seen from among our clients. These are ideas that can give your bid an edge. But, of course, it’s not an exhaustive list. Every month, Zoomforth clients continue to share innovative best practices with us that are helping them win business in industries as diverse as accountancy, real estate, legal, pharma and IT. We’ll also share some other key tips based on what we’ve seen clients not doing right. 

Ready? Let’s go. 

1. Humanize your team, and your bids, with video 

Right now, we’re witnessing an explosion of the use of video in marketing. That’s why we’ve baked full video functionality into Zoomforth. Using our platform, you can record, link or upload videos directly into your digital sales proposals. 

Something that can really give your bid an extra edge when writing an RFP is if you include a team video allowing those thinking of hiring you for the project to get up close and personal. 

In the new remote-first environment that we’re all living in, video is one of the most effective ways to forge real human relationships despite the distance between us. 

Thankfully it doesn’t take a lot of effort or investment to get started. For the price of a basic camcorder and some microphones, you can put on a basic production and then embed the video pitch. 

One of our favorite uses of video: a client put their bidding team in front of the camera to share why they were excited to be pitching for business with the brand they were trying to woo. This is exactly the kind of thing that can help you stand out from the masses. 

See here for more video best practices

2. Mimic your client’s language

One of the subtle but clever ways to make sure that your bid response gets the attention it deserves is to study the way your prospective client sees the world and try to mimic it. We’re not only talking about the language that your prospect uses, although that’s a good start, but also the visuals that they choose to communicate their brand with.

For example, if your client refers to their mission statement as “disrupting the shipping industry” then don’t start writing an RFP response by asserting that you’d be eager to help them “change the name of the game in freight.” Small points of dissonance like this can communicate to your client that you’re not on the same page about their challenges. To win business, you want to show your client that you speak the same language.

That means how you communicate and speak visually too. One of Zoomforth’s most useful features is the ability to set up proposal templates with core content that you can then use to create the bones of a site. From there you can personalize your content, swap in imagery that will resonate with your audience and even add their brand fonts and colors if you wish. 

3. Showcase your previous best work

Whenever you’re sending in an RFP response you want to highlight:

  • How good you are
  • How good others say you are
  • What you’ve done previously and what results you’ve obtained

It’s usually a good idea to include any relevant work samples alongside your RFP response. As always, these should be presented as attractively as possible by using case studies, graphs, photos, and infographics.

Consider showcasing:

  • Video testimonials from your previous clients. These can be short one minute video interviews. If you can get buy-in from your clients to use these, they can be used to support multiple bids. They’re a great ROI asset. 
  • Embedded PDF case studies.

4. Include thought leadership

Thought leadership involves leveraging your thinking about key industry developments in order to impress prospects with your knowledge and expertise.

Unlike content marketing, it’s not necessarily about driving leads through inbound marketing funnels. Rather, with thought leadership you’re trying to reassure a high-level audience of your competency and vision for the future of your industry. 

It’s a good idea to include, alongside your RFP, any relevant thought leadership that you or your organization has authored. Start building this thought leadership library before you require it. Then, link out. 

5. Pay attention to the brief

This is, without doubt, the most common cause of frustration among buying audiences. 

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, before initiating an RFP, a whole process has to be undertaken that involves assessing whether the resources and time required to apply can be justified. 

During this evaluation phase, have a second pair of eyes available to make sure that the spec set out in the RFP is being understood correctly. It’s much easier to draft properly the first time than it is to revise something based on misunderstandings. 

Every RFP response is a chance to shine

In order to maximize your success every time you go through the RFP process, we recommend evaluating each RFP response opportunity on its own set of merits.

The biggest danger for RFP responders: getting into the habit of regurgitating almost the same material for every bid opportunity that comes in the door.

The key to success? Being able to reuse those aspects that remain common across bids —like the skeleton template—and customizing everything else.

Every RFP response is a new chance to find a clever way to get your bid in ahead of the competition. These 5 tips should set you off in the right direction!

To learn how you can create compelling RFP responses with Zoomforth’s no-code microsite platform, request a demo today.

win RFP proposals

These 10 B2B sales tips will help you win more RFPs this year

win RFP proposals

Have you been struggling to see your RFP win metric move in the right direction? Do you feel like your competition is winning out on those juicy bids you’d love to win and you can’t figure out why?

We’ve provided a lot of tips in our RFP series so far. Those include:

  • The value you can derive by using microsites to send bids and cultivating the resulting data
  • How to get a professional process in place for responding to RFP opportunities 
  • Why maintaining relationships with key decision-makers at RFP-issuing organizations can allow you to get an edge on the competition and close the deal

In this post, we’d like to offer some B2B sales tips to turn your potential customer into the latest addition to your roster. The idea is to help you stand out from the crowd. Because when you’re competing in a down-to-the-wire B2B bid, that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do to land the business.

1. Use microsites

One of the most dreaded sights in the world of B2B sales is the 100 page PDF that has to be trudged through in order to discover what a prospect has entered as a bid. 

In order to elevate the bid review experience for your reviewers, you can send a microsite instead. A microsite is essentially a miniature website.  You can use it to divide your bid into pages. It doesn’t have to be exposed to the internet — in fact, Zoomforth supports multiple secure means of authentication. 

2. Develop some great templates

Busy firms that rely on winning procurement opportunities aren’t able to write every bid that goes out the door from scratch. That’s why the secret to making your bids team a slick machine is to develop a comprehensive template library. Zoomforth supports both templates which you can base sites off and themes, which configure template-based designs.

3. Always include a cover letter and executive summary

Even when the bid doesn’t make explicit that these are required. Remember that your bid response is going to be read by a few different sets of eyes. One of those might be a high-up stakeholder in the organization who’ll want a very quick download on the essential terms and parameters that you are proposing. An executive summary tailored for this audience can be invaluable. 

4. Make sure to sprinkle in some social proof 

Your RFP bid is going to provide you with plenty of space in which you can talk about how great you are and what you can do to validate the trust placed in you if you win the bid. But don’t forget that to be really convincing, you’re going to need to also show that others think that you’re great too! Have a skim through your bid. And make sure that there’s ideally at least one testimonial or reference to a case study in the mix. It can make a powerful impact. 

5. Make sure that you include some statistics

From a writing perspective, your proposal should contain a balance of concrete language —facts and figures to support your arguments —and abstract language, which are the ideas and concepts you’re presenting. If you don’t have statistics of your own to rely on, then you can find ones from a trusted third party provider such as a national statistics body or an independent website. Management consultancies also produce detailed reports into happenings within an industry.

6. Resist the temptation to pad

Reviewing in detail a bunch of proposals is not an easy job. Be respectful of the RFP committee’s time. You may think that adding a lot of filler text is going to result in a longer RFP response that will automatically make your bid look more serious. From the company’s perspective, the unnecessary verbiage is unlikely to be appreciated. 

7. Study how the client uses language and emulate it

Here’s one that RFP writers often skip over. Study the firm who you are trying to win business from. Take a look at their marketing materials and anything else that is public-facing. Can you find out something about how they view your industry? If they have a certain take on a key issue or favor one acronym over another, for instance, then it makes sense to try to subtly meet them in the middle. Telling a company that they’re doing it all wrong is unlikely to impress.

8. Format it for easy skimming 

You want to make it as easy as possible for the bid committee to skim over your RFP and jump straight to the important parts – or the parts that impact upon their job function. This is, after all, a document that may be passed around (physically) and only glanced at during busy client meetings. This is another reason why many clients have success with the microsite format – it allows bid authors to easily silo information in certain pages. If you’re going for a static document format bid then make sure to use lots of formatting to make it easy for somebody reading the bid to jump to the right section. 

9. Evaluate if it’s worth bidding on before starting the process 

As we discussed in our blog post about setting up a great bid team, you have to be very cognizant of the resources involved in bid-writing in order to begin winning lots of them. The majority of firms that have success with the bid process engage in a go:no-go process before even committing resources to pursuing the bid. This process aims to use some kind of standard logic to objectively determine whether a bid is worth the time and effort involved.

10. Finish with a compelling ending

Don’t forget to include some kind of compelling conclusion to the bid. You want to start out with a summary. Then spell out all the details. And then, towards the end of the bid, circle back to those top-line benefits. This sandwich-like formula makes the bid extra skimmable. Somebody reading the document can follow through a well-thought-out train of logic, seeing exactly how the proposer is capable of executing the project. 

Bidding on projects is always a competitive game. Follow these tips to maximize your success rate. 

If you’d like to know how Zoomforth can help you win more business with digital RFP responses, request a demo here.

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