(and stop feeling uncomfortable about asking) View in browser

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 was disappointing. 


Today, I'd like to share with you my personal templates I use to ask for testimonials, which have a success rate of 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.

2 templates that make getting great client testimonials easy

Before we dive in, let's make sure we're on the same page:

Among other things, a great testimonial is one that covers:

  • 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 see that you successfully helped people with the same problems in the past.

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

Agreed? Good. Now to the templates.

Email #1: Asking for a testimonial (template)

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 may look 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:

Email #2: Getting the edits approved (template)

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, thought, 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:

[We reached out to Y because we were struggling with these things. Y did this and this for us. Working with her was great because of ABC. The things she did for us brought these results for our business.]

Would that be ok?

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


And here's a specific example:

Email #2: Getting the edits approved (specific example)

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.



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:

  1. Cover the challenge, process and results 
  2. 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 websites of my clients):

Example of a long but effective testimonial

Final words of wisdom

You may feel a bit scared or uneasy when asking for a 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 💪

* - "them" being both, your new killer testimonials and your new clients those testimonials will help you get 

Gill Andrews

This would be all from me for the week.

Autumny greetings from Germany,


P.S. This email may contain typos, and I'm fine with them because cloning humans is, unfortunately, still impossible. Spending more time proofreading my emails would mean I'll have to share fewer tips with you. And sharing more and better tips is more important to me than sharing tips that are grammatically perfect. I hope that's fine with you, too.


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