Building the Perfect Testimonial

You know you should be gathering testimonials from your past clients, but you don’t know how to ask for them. Here’s a two-step template you can use to politely reach out to without feeling like a pest.

First Email

First, send a message to all your past clients asking if they’d be open to the idea of providing feedback on your work together. Here’s an actual example of one I sent:

Hi $first_name!

I’d ask how your holidays have been, but... I’ve been following your escapades on Instagram and can see you’ve been having a grand season :)

Hey, I’ve got a fave to ask...

I’m planning to revamp my website and toward that end, I am collecting feedback from past clients. It’s totally okay to say no, but do you think you’d have time to answer a few questions based on the work we did together? If so, just shoot back a yes/thumbs up and I’ll forward the questions.

Cheers, beers, and reindeers!

—J

NOTE: This client and I are quite close and I sent it around Christmas. Obviously, you would want to personalize each of your messages to suit the timing and your relationship with the client.

Second Email

For each “yes” that you get back, reply with the following list of six questions. Here’s an example:

Awesome, thanks!

You can write anything you want, but here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product/service?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  4. What would be three other benefits of this product/service?
  5. Would you recommend this product/service? If so, why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thanks again!

Yours,

—J

NOTE: This list of questions is from The Brain Audit by the handsome and talented Sean D’Souza. It’s a very useful book and I highly recommend you grab a copy.

Notes

  1. Do NOT send the list of questions in the first email. You want to get their permission first, and then send the questions. Sending the questions first is a bigger ask and is more likely to get you moved to the “maybe someday I’ll reply to this (but probably not)” pile in their inbox.
  2. Do NOT send your clients a form for them to fill out in the second email. Doing so is too impersonal and limiting. Just include the questions in your email.
  3. Customize the tone of each message to suit your personal style, professional image, and relationship with the client. BUT don’t:
  4. Once they provide the answers to the questions, be sure to thank them for their time.
  5. If you want to publish the testimonial on your site, make sure you have permission to do.

Okay, that’s it! If you have questions (or successes - yay!) please shoot me an email at jstark@jonathanstark.com and let me know.

Cheers, beers, and reindeers!

—J

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