Custom Approval Messages, Analytics and More

I’m SUPER excited about this release for three reasons:

  1. Your clients get a great experience (and you’ll impress them)
  2. You’ll get more insight into how your proposals are viewed/printed
  3. Several features were improved in the process

I should probably add that it’ll make you more money, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Ok, high level overview of what’s included in this release:

  • Custom approval messages (you’ll love this)
  • Analytics!
  • Version 2 of optional fees (yep, they’re improved)
  • Easier proposal navigation
  • Several new account and proposal level settings
  • More goodies…

Custom approval messages

Your client will now be able to see any message you want once they approve a proposal. This can be very powerful because you can create a very clear call to action for clients.

Approval messages can be set at two levels; the account level and proposal level.

To set a default approval message, go to the Account –> Settings page, then click on the “Proposal approval message” link to enter any message you’d like.

Notice the editor toolbar; yep, this means full HTML/CSS support for approval messages:

Approval Message Form

Once this is set, your client will see your message in a modal after they approve the proposal:

Approval Message Modal

They’ll also receive an email with the message in case they need to find it later. The email also gets sent if you manually approve a proposal (instead of your client).

If you’d like to override the message for a specific proposal, just click on the “Proposal settings” link when editing a proposal:

Proposal Settings Link

And that’s all it takes! This seriously has the potential to improve the experience for clients and persuade them to take action faster.


Ever wonder how long your client spent viewing a proposal?

Well now can see how long they viewed your proposal, and a lot more:


You’ll find a new link called “View activity details” on the proposal detail page which will show you this report.

Improved Optional Fees

Note: If you’re using a custom design template, please check the bottom of the post for an HTML snippet you’ll want to add for this feature.

Shortly after I released the optional fees feature it became clear that I missed the mark in two areas:

  1. PDFs would be more useful if optional fees were shown
  2. Viewing optional fee descriptions takes too many clicks

These two things have been fixed. You’ll now always see optional fees in all PDFs and descriptions will be shown when viewing a proposal with a browser.

Not only that but clients will have a better way of adding/removing optional fees:

Optional Fees Action Links

Proposal Navigation

Navigating within a proposal has been improved. Just click on the progress bar to jump to any of the areas you’d like to go to:

Proposal Progress

Because of this feature, the “Jump To” navigation links have been removed since they’re no longer needed.

Account and Proposal Level Settings

In your Account –> Settings page you can now change the following defaults:

  • Proposal Fees Title
  • Hide Project Totals
  • Hide Grand Totals
  • Optional fees title
  • Optional fees note
  • Custom approval message

All of these settings can be overridden at the proposal level by clicking on the “Proposal settings” link when editing a proposal:

Proposal Settings Modal

Other Goodies…

  • Use custom variables in “Send Proposal” email messages
  • Use custom variables in custom approval messages
  • Warning message on proposal fees page if you click Done/Save if your fee hasn’t been saved yet
  • Quickly reference custom variables when editing a proposal section or fee
  • Proposal filter options will be remembered for your session (in the dashboard)
  • Date/time your proposal was viewed is included in the Woohoo! message 🙂
  • Digital signature integration: you can delete an associated signature

Custom Design Templates…

If you use a custom design template, include this HTML — make sure you style with CSS as needed — in your template to make use of the improvements for optional fees:

<div id="optional_fees_section">
<h1 id="optional_fees_title" style="margin-bottom:4px">Optional Items </h1>
<div id="optional_fees_note"></div>
<table class="fees_container">
<tr id="optional_fees">
<td><div class="fee_name">{optional_fee_name}</div><div class="fee_description small-content">{optional_fee_description}</div></td>
<td class="price"><div>{optional_fee_price}</div><div class="optional_included" style="display:none;"><strong>Included</strong></div></td>

Hope you enjoy the update!


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Bryan Sayler

These features are all a great bonus to an already great product! I’ve tried Bidsketch, QuoteRoller, and Proposable. Bidsketch is by far my favorite!


Thanks for the update! It seems like a small thing but hiding the Grand Total line is huge for us. It was confusing to clients to see the project fee and a single monthly fee added together. This is great!


Thanks! Glad it’s helpful.

@Bryan – Love to hear that! 🙂

Greg Cross

Holy cow! I absolutely love your product Ruben. Your software saves me so much time when writing proposals for my clients. Plus, you make me look so good! Thanks for your commitment to improving an already great solution for my small business.

Greg Cross
President | CEO
Cross Creative Marketing

[Feel free to use this in any of your marketing stuff – I really do love your product]

Lisa Kirschner

Just wanted to say thank you for making an outstanding product even better–didn’t think that would be possible! These are all great enhancements. Our win rate has increased dramatically since we started to use Bidsketch earlier this year. We’re happy, clients are happy…it’s a win-win all around. Thank you!



@Greg – Thanks so much! It’s great to hear how it’s positively impacting your business. Also, I’ll likely take you up on that offer 🙂

@Lisa – Awesome; love to hear that! Especially the win rate. Let’s me know I’m on the right track.

Christopher Luciano

Great job Ruben. Love the product. I was told by one client that we won a bid because we submitted the proposal using Bidsketch. They had never seen anything like it.



Sean Callahan

Hey Ruben,

I don’t know what the record is for a proposal accepted via Bidsketch but I’m going to crack it this month 🙂

Great job on all the new features – I haven’t had a chance to check them all out but they seem very helpful (especially the improved proposal navigation and analytics).

Keep up the good work!


Nathan Sudds

Great work on the updates Ruben, and so many improvements at one time — I’m going to sound like an echo of what everyone is saying above, Bidsketch is already amazing and just keeps getting better! Thanks again!


@Christopher – Awesome; client feedback like that just makes my day.

@Sean – I’m not sure what the record is but that definitely would be an interesting stat to look up. Thanks!

@Nathan – Thanks! I really appreciate the help and feedback reworking the optional fees.

Kenny Phipps

… I am mid trial of Bidsketch as well as other proposal platforms, you might have just swung it 😉


Lisa Kirschner

@Ruben, definitely feel free to use my testimonial in your marketing materials as well. I hardly ever write reviews of anything, but I took the time because I love your product THAT much! 🙂



@Lisa – Thanks! It means a lot to me 🙂

@Kenny – Awesome; thanks for taking the time to read through the longish post.


Thank you so much for these updates. The optional fees and approval message added a ton of clarity and a chance to upsell our clients after they approved the proposal. I don’t know what I would do without Bidsketch!


Thanks Justin! Glad it’s been helpful 🙂

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