How to Ask for Client Testimonials: The Only 2 Email Templates You’ll Ever Need

So, you’ve just finished a project.

Your client is over the moon, and you know that now would be the best time to ask them for a testimonial, right before you say your final goodbyes.

But you feel uncomfortable.

You just hate asking people for a favor, even if it takes a minute. Also because in the past, not every client replied, which hurt your feelings so hard you cried a little was disappointing.

#ugh 🙄

Today, I’d like to share with you my personal testimonial request email templates, which have a success rate of…<checks her notes> 100%.

Meaning, I got a great testimonial every time I asked for one, and if I wanted to edit it, the client was fine with that, too.

Two testimonial request email templates that make getting great client testimonials easy

Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re on the same page re what makes a great testimonial.

A great testimonial is one that is specific enough to sound authentic and credible while covering:

  • the challenges your client was struggling with
  • how you help them overcome those challenges
  • what specific results your work had for their business

…so that your prospects who’ll be reading this testimonial can relate to it and see that you successfully helped people with the same problems in the past.

An example of an effective client testimonial

credible testimonial example

Which also means that “Ann did a great job. We highly recommend her.” is a bad testimonial.

Agreed? Good.

Now to the templates.

Testimonial request email template #1: The initial ask

Hi X,

I’m writing to ask if you wouldn’t mind giving me a short testimonial about [thing X we worked on together]. I’m updating a few pages on my website and was hoping to add something from you.

Just a couple of words about:

  • what you were struggling with when you reached out to me
  • what I did for you
  • and how you found the results to be

…would be enough. But only if you’re comfortable doing it, of course.

Thank you in advance.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a clear and specific testimonial right away.

But sometimes, a client is so excited about the job you did that they’ll send you a whole novel about how they found you and what they thought about working with you.

And although it will make your ego jump from joy, you may find yourself in a difficult situation.

It looks like you have only two choices now:

  • To put that novel of a testimonial on your website (and bore the hell out of your prospects), or
  • To thank your client but not use their testimonial (and lose valuable social proof you so totally deserve)

Thankfully, there’s a third way.

Edit your client’s testimonial and ask for approval

It’s totally fine to rewrite your client’s testimonial to distill it to the “meatiest” parts. You just need to ask for approval after that. I do it all the time, and not a single client has ever objected.

You need to do it properly though, and make sure your client knows you appreciate their feedback and understands the reasons for the changes you’d like to make.

Here’s the template I use.

Testimonial request email template #2: Getting an edited testimonial approved

Hi X,

Thank you so much for sharing with me [these details]. I usually don’t get to hear this part, and it was interesting to find out [about XYZ].

The problem is, though, that my prospects care more about:

  • what challenges you faced when you reached out to me (in my opinion, it was [this and this])
  • what exactly I did ([these great things])
  • more details on what results my work brought for your business

So how about this as your testimonial:

[insert the edited testimonial you’d like them to approve here]

Would that be ok?

If you want me to change / add something, let me know. That’s totally fine with me.

Thanks.

And here’s a specific example.

Email example: Getting an edited testimonial approved

Hi Jane,

Thank you so much for sharing with me the story of how you decided to work with me. I usually don’t get to hear this part, and it was interesting to find out that you were actually on my list, and that it was one particular email that made you reach out.

The problem is, thought, that my prospects care more about:

  • what challenges you faced with your website (in my opinion, it was structuring all the info and describing your services clearly and in enough detail to get qualified leads, but not to overwhelm them with info)
  • what exactly I did (copy + mockups)
  • more details on what came out at the end

So how about this as your testimonial:

“Our website used to have very little traction – almost all of our leads came through other channels. When Gill rewrote our copy, this changed dramatically. Now we get inquiries through our website all the time.”

Would that be ok?

If you want me to change / add something, let me know. That’s totally fine with me.

Thanks,

Gill

Got a long testimonial that’s too good to shorten? Do this.

Funny story: An effective testimonial isn’t necessarily short.

On a big scale, an effective testimonial needs to do only two things:

  • cover the challenge, process and results
  • be written and designed in a way that prospects will read it till the end (or at least absorb the most important bits)

Obviously, a short testimonial takes care of #2 automatically.

But there’s still a way to present a longer testimonial effectively.

Here’s how I do it (on my website as well as on the websites of my clients when I write new web copy for them):

An example of a long client testimonial

Final words of wisdom

You may feel a bit scared or uneasy when asking for a client testimonial (and totally terrified when asking to edit it).

Don’t be.

Your happy client likes you. And when we like someone, we’re more than happy to do something nice for them.

Go get them*, tiger 💪

* – and by “them” I mean both your new killer testimonials and your new clients those testimonials will help you get.

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