Build proposals

Start and complete proposals and proposal line items

Learn how to start and complete proposals and proposal line items

This article shows you how to start and complete a proposal and its proposal line items so that it's ready to submit. If you're working with programmatic proposals, supplement this article with Start programmatic proposals.

A submitted proposal might need to go through post-submission business rules or a "workflow" as defined by your organization. A workflow ensures that a proposal adheres to your organization's rules and best practices. When it successfully passes through workflow, it's considered sold: DFP then creates a corresponding order and line item for the purposes of delivery and reserves inventory.

We'll cover the following topics:

Start a proposal

You can start building your proposal from either the "Catalog" or the "My proposals" page under the "Sales" tab. The procedures are very similar, and this step-by-step covers both scenarios. The "Catalog" page contains products. When you select a product and add it to your proposal, the product settings are copied to your proposal as a newly created proposal line item. Similarly, if you add a package (a group of products that can be sold together), all the products in the package are copied as a newly created proposal line items.

  1. Navigate to Sales and then Catalog.
    My proposals

    You can also start from the My proposals page under the Sales tab. Click New proposal, enter a name for the proposal, then click Add products. When you do so, DFP takes you to the Catalogs page.

  2. Select the rate cards you want to use from the Rate card menu on the Catalog page. The resulting list of products is filtered for the rate card selected. Note that once you save a proposal using a specific rate card, you can only use this rate card for the proposal in future.
  3. You can filter the list of products or packages by various criteria.
  4. Add products or packages to your proposal cart from:
    • The All products tab. Click the plus (+) symbol next to a product or package from the list to add it to your proposal.
    • The Sponsorship products tab. If you you need a sponsorship product, under this tab you can see a calendar view, making it easier to check day-by-day availability and other forecasting details of sponsorship products. To add a sponsorship product, click and drag across the desired dates on the calendar, adjust dates as needed under the product name, and then click Add to cart.

    Each product you add to a proposal (and each product in a package you add to a proposal) becomes a proposal line item. The line item type and rate type are fixed in the product and cannot be changed in the proposal line item. It's important to understand which products you need to choose while building your proposal so that the advertiser is being billed correctly and so that the reconciliation process goes smoothly. Learn more in Choose the right product for your proposal line item.

    The cart allows you to modify some initial proposal settings and details of proposal line items. You can, for example, enter a desired volume (impressions, clicks, days), budget, or adjust the net rate. These details can also be edited after you create or update your proposal by going into each proposal line item's detail page.

  5. When you are done adding desired products, click Create proposal or Update proposal if you've started from the My proposals page.

Depending on your permissions and how your DFP administrator set up a given product, you might be able to change customizable targeting. Learn more about how you can customize targeting in Customize proposal line items.

The next sections cover how to complete your proposal, from setting up cost and billing settings to configuring delivery options.

Complete proposal line items

A proposal line item is similar to a line item. Depending on the kind of product you used to add the proposal line item, a proposal line item can have attributes like start and end time, contracted quantity, and targeting that can be modified. Proposal line items contain additional settings you won't find in line items created under the "Delivery" tab. These include cost settings and billing settings. We'll explore these options in more detail below.

Programmatic video proposal line items have a few extra fields and requirements. Learn more.

The product you choose to add a proposal line item determines how the advertiser is billed. Review Choose the right product for your proposal line item to ensure you're making an informed choice when selecting products.

Complete a proposal line item:

The steps below outline the general procedure to configure a proposal line item, along with links to supporting information that help you make informed choices. Note that settings for proposal line items vary slightly depending on the product you used to create your proposal line item.

  1. Navigate to the proposal details of the proposal line item whose inventory you need to release.

    Click the Sales tab and then My proposals or All proposals on the left navigation panel. Find the desired proposal and click its name.

  2. Click Add products to view the catalog and add products to your proposal cart if needed.
  3. Modify existing line items. From the proposal details page, select the Proposal line items tab. From the list, click the name of the proposal line item you want to modify.
  4. Update the proposal line item name if necessary. Names are required and must be unique. They can be changed at any time.
  5. Optionally set a proposal line item time zone. By default, this is set to your DFP network time zone.

    The proposal line item time zone is unique from the trafficking time zone and the network time zone. The main reason to change the proposal line item time zone is to determine when to process a line item for reconciliation. The proposal line item time zone can also be used for dayparting. Note that DFP does not compensate for shifts in time as a result of daylight saving time. Learn more in Time zones in proposal and proposal line item and in Day and time setting (dayparting) in proposal line items.

  6. Sizes are derived from the original product. Some products allow ad sizes to be removed if your DFP administrator has designated them customizable. You must include at least one ad size in your proposal line item. If customizable, you can: 
  7. Set a quantity for the proposal line item.

    This value varies or is nonexistent depending on the line item type and the product type you used to create the proposal line item. Review a table of the available rate types for each product in Choose the right product for your proposal line item.

  8. Some DFP networks allow you to modify the numeric delivery priority value if applicable to the product type upon which this proposal line item was based. This setting should generally be left as is unless you've negotiated an exception with your advertiser or, during the delivery phase of a line item, a trafficker needs to change it to ensure delivery.
  9. Optionally add comments to your proposal line item. These comments display as read-only text for traffickers viewing the line item under the "Delivery" tab and can be used in reporting. Learn more.
  10. Configure cost for the proposal line item.

    The cost section contains various financial details for the proposal line item. Some of these values can be modified, while others are derived from the product and rate card and cannot be changed. If the proposal settings have been set to a gross pricing model, which allows you to account for agency commission, you'll see additional items for "Gross rate" and "Gross cost". Expand the below to see a list of cost related details for proposal line items with links to additional information about each item.

    List of cost related details for proposal line items
  11. Set delivery options if applicable. Not all proposal line items have delivery options. Proposals that originated from an "Offline charge" product with a "Cost per unit" or "Flat fee" rate type, for instance, do not require configuration of delivery. Expand the below to see a list of delivery options with links to additional information.
    List of delivery options
  12. Configure billing options for the proposal line items. Billing options are inherited from the "Settings" tab of the proposal. However, you can override these for an individual proposal line item. Learn more in Summary of billing options.
  13. Optionally set a third-party ad server. This third party is inherited from the one specified at the proposal level unless you override it.

    A third-party ad server tracks delivered volume for your advertiser and its reported numbers are often used during the reconciliation process. Specifying the third-party server gives you and your advertiser greater visibility into third-party services being used and, potentially, allows you to use DFP partners to help manage third-party reporting during reconciliation.

  14. Configure customizable targeting. You may be able to customize targeting if the rate card and product you chose allows it. Customization may incur a premium charge. These charges are enumerated in the "Cost" section and can be removed if needed.
  15. Optionally add custom fields for the proposal line item. These fields carry over to the corresponding line item. Learn more.
  16. Optionally add labels. Labels can be used used to group objects for a variety of purposes, including competitive exclusion and frequency capping. Learn more.
  17. Click Save.

Good to know about the table of proposal lien items

If your proposal contains many proposal line items, you can expand the table to view them in full screen. Learn more.

Complete proposal settings

Proposals are analogous to orders created under the "Delivery" tab. Their settings are similar to the setting of an order but contain additional items to configure. These additional settings include:

  • Financial details for the proposal
  • Billing options
  • Terms and conditions
  • Resources

The procedure that follows helps you complete the configuration of proposal settings. 

  1. Navigate to the proposal details of the proposal line item whose inventory you need to release.

    Click the Sales tab and then My proposals or All proposals on the left navigation panel. Find the desired proposal and click its name.

  2. Click the Settings tab to view proposal settings.
  3. Modify the proposal name if necessary. If you started your proposal by selecting a product from the catalog, DFP automatically generated a name for you. Update this name to conventions followed by your organization. Names are required and must be unique. They can be changed at any time.
  4. Set a probability of close. This value indicates the confidence that this proposal will be sold. A higher number means there is more confidence that a proposal will sell, while a lower number indicates less confidence. A proposal that is sold automatically becomes a 100% probability of close. The probability of close percentage is important in determining potential revenue in unified revenue and sales pipeline reports. The numbers from the list of probability of close are configured by your DFP administrator and specific to your organization.
  5. Add the advertiser. You can select an existing company or you can add a new company from this page.
  6. Optionally set a proposal line item time zone. By default, this is set to your DFP network time zone.

    The proposal time zone is unique from the time zone you can set for individual proposal line items. Proposal line items do not automatically inherit changes to time zone made at the proposal level. Generally, the time zone set at the proposal level and the time zones set at the proposal line item level should be the same unless there is good reason for them to differ. Learn more.

  7. Under "Advanced settings", you can find additional optional settings. Expand the below to see a list of advanced settings with descriptions.
    List of advanced settings
    • Advertiser contacts. You'll be able to add a contact only after you've selected an advertiser for the proposal.
    • Agencies. Add agencies involved with this proposal and indicate the role each is playing in your transaction with the advertiser. Adding an agency here is purely informational and for reference only. Including one here does not impact DFP reconciliation. Note that if you're using a gross pricing model for your proposal, it means you want to account for agency commission in your proposal. To later help in identifying this party in reports, you can indicate this agency here.
    • Currency. By default, your proposal uses the currency set by the rate card. You can change this currency here. All proposal line items use the currency set at the proposal level.
    • PO number. Add a reference number to invoice the proposal.
    • Notes. Notes added here will appear as entries in the corresponding order for this proposal. You can include information important to the trafficking team here.
  8. The financial details section contains cost related information for the proposal. Some of these values can be modified, while others are calculated based on the proposal line items contained in the proposal. Expand the below to see a list of financial details for proposals with links to additional information.
    List of financial details for proposals
  9. Add assignees.

    Only "Salesperson" and "Trafficker" are mandatory to successfully submit a proposal. The percentage listed adjacent to the salesperson represents the amount of effort the salespersons has put into a proposal. This percentage does not represent the amount of commission that a salesperson will win as a result of the sale. The percentage is used simply to measure contribution to a proposal.

    Secondary salespersons can also contribute to a proposal and, therefore, percentage values can be added for each one. These amounts do not need to sum to 100%. For example, two salespeople could have worked equally as a team on a sale of a proposal and are, therefore, both entitled to 100% credit for the closing that sale.

  10. Configure billing options. Proposal line items inherited the billing options set here unless you override individual proposal line items. Learn more in Summary of billing methods.
  11. A third-party ad server indicated here appears under every proposal line item in the proposal. However, you can override individual proposal line items with a different third-party ad server.

    A third-party ad server tracks delivered volume for your advertiser and its reported numbers are often used during the reconciliation process. Specifying the third-party server gives you and your advertiser greater visibility into third-party services in use and, potentially, allows you to use DFP partners to help manage third-party reporting during reconciliation.

  12. Optionally add custom fields for the proposal. These fields carry over to the corresponding order. Learn more.
  13. Optionally add labels. Labels are used to group objects for a variety of purposes. Learn more.
  14. Add or remove sets of terms and conditions that will apply to this proposal.

    Terms and conditions are configured by a DFP administrator and contain text that describes the additional details under which a campaign should fall. Your proposal might already contain some terms and conditions. This means that your DFP administrator marked these as defaults to be included in every proposal.

    Add a set of terms of conditions clicking inside the field. You can search or scroll in this field. To add, select the checkbox next to the name of the set of terms and conditions. To removed, deselect the checkbox. You can also view the contents of any set of terms and conditions by clicking View.

  15. Add a resource link. You can add important or relevant URLs along with descriptions that should be included in a proposal.
  16. Click Save.

Export proposals

Before you can submit a proposal, you likely need to share the details of the proposal and its proposal line items with the buyer (advertiser or agency) and secure its agreement.

You can share the details of a proposal and its proposal line items by exporting them into a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet and sending it to the buyer. This allows the buyer to review these details and provide its agreement to the terms before you submit it.

To export a proposal:

Your DFP network may have more than one export template from which to choose. Make sure you work with your team, manager, and DFP administrator to ensure that you're selecting the right template.

  1. Navigate to the proposal details page of the proposal you want to export.

    Click the Sales tab and then My proposals or All proposals on the left navigation panel. Find the desired proposal and click its name.

  2. Click Export from the top of the proposal details page.
  3. In the dialog that appears, click Export to select the template you want to use for the proposal.

Exported files are always in the Microsoft Office Excel Open XML Format, using the *.xlsx file extension. You might consider converting the spreadsheet into an Adobe PDF file before sending it to the buyer depending on your organizations conventions and best practices.

Formulas in exported files

If your export file contains formulas that depend on values exported from a proposal or proposal line items, formulas may not be applied immediately upon opening the file. This is a performance feature specific to Microsoft Office Excel . To trigger formula calculation in Excel, you click into each cell containing a formula. Sending the file to the buyer without doing so might result in sharing incorrect information.

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