How to Collect Testimonials (Without Being Awkward)

by | Mar 21, 2018 | Improve Efficiency, Improve Results | 0 comments

So. You want to gather a few new testimonials.

Maybe you’re redoing your website, redoing a brochure, or maybe it’s that you just wrapped up a class that you felt went particularly well.

But… asking for a testimonial can be awkward. I mean, it feels a little aggressive to say, “Didn’t I do an awesome job? Will you write something that says so?”

I used to think that too… until I came across a blog post one day that shared a template that made asking for testimonials easy. While I lost the link to that post a long time ago (if anyone finds it definitely let me know! I’d love to give credit), I did copy the template and save it for future use.

And I’ve included it here so you can use it too.

But before I share that, I’d like to address the doubters in the room… why bother with testimonials in the first place?

The Power of Testimonials

When we’re talking about testimonials, the truth is we’re actually talking about another T-word: Trust.

The first time a dog owner looks at your marketing materials, they have to quickly decide — is this going to be worth my time and money? Can this person actually help solve my problems?

And one of the most powerful ways to help build that trust and convince them that, yes you CAN help solve their problem and it WILL be worth their time and money is by showing them that you’ve fixed that exact problem for someone just like them.

Think about it.

What’s more powerful — seeing a weight loss ad that depicts someone with a perfect 6-pack saying “I can show you how to get one too!” or seeing an ad that depicts someone who is a little… less “hard” all over, with a bit more extra padding and a before label next to that same someone 50 pounds lighter?

(For more on before and after marketing, check out this blog post.)

Now, imagine you’re a mom with 3 kids, and so is the woman on the screen. That adds additional believability that it’ll work for you, doesn’t it?

What if instead, the woman on the screen says, “And I lost it all just walking my dog!” Does that help capture your attention?

Marketing research has shown over and over that people are more likely to buy a specific service or product if they are presented with the story of a person like them, who was facing the same challenges they are, who has overcome those challenges with a little help from that specific service or product.

Need more proof?

ConversionXL shared several tests focused on testimonials, along with the results.

The First Test

The first test looked at two versions of a the same site — the first had no testimonials. The second featured 3 short testimonials that didn’t even include a name, location, or other identifying information. The second site converted 34% better.

The Second Test

The second test looked at the location of testimonials on a website offering a free ebook. The first version had 4 testimonials, positioned right below the call to action button; the second had 2 testimonials above the button and 2 below. The latter converted 64.53% better.
Hopefully you’re convinced. And if not? Give it a try, and see if you can measure a difference on your site!

Alright, now for that template.

An Email Template for Collecting Testimonials

I usually try to send this out once a year to anyone I’ve worked with that year, asking them for their feedback. The email reads like this:

Hey [first name],

Thanks so much for your business this year. I enjoyed working with you — and I hope that was mutual!

I’m looking to collect some feedback on my services, so I’m reaching out to clients I’ve worked with recently. I’d really appreciate if you could take the time to answer the six short questions below—your input is invaluable in helping me offer you better service and I’d really appreciate any feedback you can provide.

Thanks again for your business and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Questions:

How did you find me initially (if you remember)?

How has my work helped you? Please be specific.

What were your challenges before finding my business?

Why did you decide to work with me over my competitors?

Were you satisfied with the work I did for you this year? What do you think I could do better?

What’s your biggest frustration with your marketing right now?

Talk soon,

Melissa

That’s it. Pretty simple right?

When I get a response, I read through it, and then find one or two sentences that would make for a good testimonial. Then I hit reply and send the following:

Hey [First name],

Thanks so much for the feedback! Would you be willing to let me use a few lines from your email as a testimonial on my website? Here’s the quote I’d like to use:

[Include the quote here].

Thanks again – I really appreciate it!

Best,

Melissa

I’ve yet to be told no, to be honest.

This approach works for a few reasons. First, it makes it less awkward for you to ask. Second, it eliminates the difficulty on their part of having to figure out what to write… they’re just answering your questions. And finally, it achieves your ultimate goal — testimonials, in your clients’ words, for your marketing. Perfect!