Free request for approval template and best practices

Easy ways to submit a successful request for approval (incl. 8 templates)

Every once in a while, everyone faces a moment when they have to request for approval. Whether you’re seeking feedback from your teammates, or looking for a deadline extension approval from a client, in both (and in many more) situations you’ll need an approval request. 

But, different situations call for different requests for approval, which is why you should treat all of them differently and adjust your request to a specific situation.

That’s why in this article, you’ll find everything about different types of requests for approval and easy ways to successfully submit them. Plus, eight different request for approval templates for every situation.

So, let’s dive in.

What is a request for approval? 

A request for approval is a formal process in which you ask a senior team member for their approval. This could be a project manager, the head of a department, or even an external client. 

A request for approval is used in a wide variety of cases, including: 

  • Requesting approval for a proposal
  • Seeking permission to finalize a complete task or project 
  • Asking for a deadline extension
  • Seeking a budget adjustment
  • Creating a new asset, e.g. a social post or a marketing campaign 

FREE TEMPLATE

Get the free request for approval templates

Why is it important to request approval? 

Requesting approval is a fundamental business process. By implementing this process, you can achieve more consistency, accuracy, and quality across your projects, while being able to more effectively oversee the work of your team members. 

The benefits of asking your team to request approval for tasks, projects, and proposals include:

  • Fostering an environment of collaboration
  • Providing them with useful feedback, which they can utilize to deliver better results next time
  • Keeping everyone in the team on the same page
  • Minimizing the risk of errors 
  • Avoiding major revisions and changes at the end of projects, which would otherwise put your team under significant time pressures
  • Enabling you to complete projects more efficiently and on time
  • Achieving more consistency across creative projects, particularly regarding brand guidelines
  • Allowing you to manage budgets, proposals, and workflows more thoroughly

How to write an email or letter to request approval?

Submitting a request for approval is a formal process, which is centralized and consistent across all team members and managers in a company. 

You could request approval in one of three ways:

  1. Write an informal message (not recommended)
  2. Send a formal email request for approval 
  3. Submit a formal request for approval form
  4. Share the formal request through a platform like Filestage

The benefits of using approval request emails and tools are making the request official and documented, which can be used as evidence later down the line. 

Although using a platform may seem to take longer at first, it actually allows you to achieve faster and more efficient turnaround once the whole team gets familiar with it. 

Five steps to follow when submitting a request for approval

How to write an email or letter to request approval

When submitting a request for approval, we’d recommend that you follow these standard steps: 

1. Choose your communication channel

Decide how you’re going to send the request, either via chat messenger, via email, or through a feedback tool like Filestage. Your choice should largely depend on the formality, importance, and scope of the request.

For instance, if the request needs more explanation, an email or a shared letter on Filestage would be the best option. Messaging apps, like Slack, are better for short messages to be answered quickly.

2. Give some context

Outline in your request what you need approval for and why it’s important to get the approval.

3. Add the file you need approval on

This could be either a word document containing a proposal, a video, or a PDF or JPEG containing the completed asset, for example.

4. Communicate deadlines

Tell them when you need the approval (or notice of any amendments). Or, even better – set a due date within the tool so that the reviewer will get automatic reminders about the deadline.

5. Conclusion

Thank them in advance, and sign off with your name. You may also wish to provide your contact details if required. 

Best practices for approval request message format 

Whether you’re dealing with time constraints, geographic restraints, or it’s just the nature of your business, there are many situations where you cannot make face-to-face requests. And even when they can be made, they are often followed up by having something in writing. 

For managers, some requests are easier to approve than others. Milestone completion and approval may be easy. But it’s a different case with deadline extension.

That’s why the best request for approval example is being persuasive while using valid justification and arguments to convince your boss or other stakeholders that your request deserves to be approved.

When crafting a request for approval, take the following best practices into consideration:

  1. Be clear and concise – flowery words and overstating the purpose is not productive
  2. Craft your subject line well to communicate the intent of the email
  3. Know your audience. Craft your email request for approval with your audience in mind
  4. Break up long requests into smaller sections with headers and bullet points
  5. Describe the positive impact on the company this request would have if approved
  6. Show Your enthusiasm for the matter pending approval
  7. Put your best argument forward. You may be competing with other project teams for limited resources

💡 Online proofing tools can help you review and approve digital content and speed up the time to approval.

Eight types of approvals every marketing project manager needs to obtain (incl. request for approval templates)

Project managers in agencies and companies of all kinds have a longstanding, committed relationship to requests for approval. That is especially the case if the nature of their projects is complex and requires a significant amount of company resources.

For any team member or project manager whose typical day includes requests for approval, templates are a great way to start with a request outline and customize it to their needs.

The more streamlined your request for approval writing process becomes, the more comfortable you’ll become asking for approval and advocating for yourself and your team.

A well-crafted request based on a consistent template will do just that, and it will provide a familiar, easy-to-read format for the reviewers.

Situation #1: Project proposal needs approval

Project proposals may need approval both internally and externally. While the specific language may change slightly depending on the recipient, a standard format will serve as a good template for future project proposal requests.

Request for approval email template

Approval | Project proposal

Hi [Name],

Our team has been hard at work envisioning the ideal [insert project] for your [insert organization]. We would like to request your approval for our project proposal so we can continue innovating!

For the past two weeks, we’ve spent a great deal of time investigating the myriad ways to approach this project, and to identify the ideal solution. We’ve come up with a really exciting project and we hope you’ll share our enthusiasm as we look forward.

Here is a brief summary of our proposal including the scope, budget, and objective:

[Insert Relevant Data]

Here are a few aspects of the proposal we are most excited about accomplishing. We hope these highlights accurately demonstrate the goal and vision of our project to you:

[Insert proposal highlights here]

Please let us know if there is any other information you need regarding our proposal to help you make your decision.

Thanks,

[Your Name]

Situation #2:  Project manager needs to ask his supervisor for approval for hiring more freelancers

For this situation, a project manager needs an internal approval from a manager to release funds for hiring outside help. The focus of the email should be on justifying the need for a freelancer. Since it’s likely that the additional help hasn’t been planned, your argument should be convincing. 

The style of this email may not need to be formal. But, make sure you’re reading your audience appropriately. Be sure to include things like the current workload of your team members and the gaps in production that should be overcome, as part of your justification.

 Request for approval email template

Approval | Additional help

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to hire a freelancer to help with the increased workload on Project _________. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. We are currently in ________ phase of the project. We’ve come across shortages in personnel due to unexpected increased workload as a result of _____________.

Reasons we have fell on increased workload include the following:

______

______

______

Hiring a freelancer to perform __________ work will remove an anticipated delay in project deliverables by _________ days. Furthermore, a freelancer will assist in work we are not able to perform because of __________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #3: Project takes longer than expected and the budget needs to be adjusted

Either internal or external stakeholders may be addressed with this request for approval. And depending on whether you’re talking to the client or internally, you should always adjust your language.  

When requesting an adjustment in the budget, your language should be specific. Detail the exact circumstances around why the project was delayed. 

Project timeline and budget adjustments are a common thing. But the better you justify the reason for the adjustment, the higher chances you’ll have to get the approval that you need. 

Request for approval email template

Approval | Budget adjustment

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to adjust the budget on Project ______due to a delay in our timeline. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable. However, we’ve encountered unexpected delays in our deliverables due to the following circumstances:

__________

__________

__________

An adjustment of the budget will result in the following positive outcomes:

______

______

______

We are fully invested in staying on track for the remainder of this project. It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #4: You’re about to miss a deadline and the project needs adjustment

This situation is a little less sticky than a budget adjustment. However, you should still provide a clear and convincing justification to reassure your approver, whether internal or external. Your missed deadline may affect subsequent deadlines, so being truthful and transparent is the key.

Explain the circumstances surrounding the delay, and what would the extension do for the project’s quality. Reiterate your commitment to sticking to the project timeline, and communicate your understanding of the importance of doing so.

Request for approval email template

Approval | Deadline adjustment

Hi [Name],

I’m writing to request approval to extend the deadline on Project ______due to a delay in our forecasted timeline. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable. However, we’ve encountered unexpected delays in our deliverables due to the following circumstances:

__________

__________

__________

An adjustment of the deadline will result in the following positive outcomes:

______

______

______

We are fully invested in staying on track for the remainder of this project. It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #5: Requesting feedback and approval for a particular project deliverable (for example, video, graphic, or PDF)

Feedback and approval for a particular project deliverable is a much more routine process than requesting adjustments of time or budget. Because of that, your language can be more standardized. 

And, you can present the information in a more structured way that reflects the project management approach you’re using. 

Here’s everything you can include in this type of approval request: 

  • Project name
  • Phase completed
  • Next phase
  • Deliverable
  • Tracking ID (if using one)
  • Deliverable due date
  • Acceptance criteria 

You can consider presenting this in table format or another format that flows best with how your  company usually does these things

Request for approval email template

Approval | [Deliverable name]

Dear [Name]I’m excited to inform you that we’ve completed phase ______ of project _________. We request your feedback and approval for this video project deliverable. Please see the following details for further background:

Project Title:_______________________________________

Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Deliverable: _______________________

Deliverable Format: _______________________

Deliverable Due Date: _______________________

Current Phase: _______________________

Description of Deliverable:_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Acceptance Criteria: _______________________

Required Action: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?       YES / NO

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Best

[Your Name]

Situation #6: Project scope has been changed and needs some adjustment

Getting approval for changing the scope of the project should be straightforward if it’s coming from the client. In this case, a simple and clear explanation of the inquiries and how they change the project scope is all that you need. 

On the other hand, if this causes subsequent changes in budget and timeline, then you should offer more exploration of the situation. Otherwise, the purpose of this approval is to make sure all stakeholders are informed about changing the scope of the project, and that everyone supports it.

Request for approval email template

Approval | Scope adjustment

Hi [Name],I’m writing to request approval to change the scope of Project ______due to a new inquiries regarding ________________________  of the project. As you’re aware, our team has been working on [project] for the last [no. of days/months/etc.]. Our team has been hard at work and completely invested in creating an excellent __________ for _____________. We are currently in ________ phase of the project, and we’re excited to approach the next deliverable.

The current scope of Project ______________ is defined as follows:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

The new scope of Project ____________________ will be defined as follows:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Impact of the change in scope on the project:

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

It has been our pleasure to create this _____________ for ______________.

If you need any other information to help inform your decision, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Situation #7: Project milestone is completed and needs approval

Depending on the structure of your project, your project milestones can take different shapes and forms. But regardless of what the milestone looks like, you should always keep your language standardized. 

Within this approval request, include data such as project name, phase completed, next phase, deliverable, tracking ID (if using one), deliverable due date, acceptance criteria, etc. 

Request for approval email template

Approval | Project milestone

Dear [Name] I’m excited to inform you that we’ve completed milestone ______ of project _________. We request your feedback and approval for this milestone. Please see the following details for further background:

Project Title:_______________________________________

Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Due Date: _______________________

Current Phase: _______________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Acceptance Criteria: _______________________

Required Action: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?       YES / NO

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Best

[Your Name]

Situation #8: Entire project is completed and you’re asking for feedback and approval

This is perhaps the most comprehensive form of approval request compared to past examples. While you won’t need to relive the entire project in the content of your email body, you’ll need to provide enough information to give your reader a clear idea of the project’s journey from start to finish.

Depending on your firm’s organizational structure, you may need to submit a more formal  approval request. If your agency is smaller, you may simply ask for approval and attach a link to the project site or original project proposal.

Approval email template

Project completion

Project Title:_______________________________________Project Start Date:__________________________________

Project Due Date:___________________________________

Actual Project Completion Date:________________________

Project Sponsor:____________________________________

Project Manager:___________________________________

Project Contact Info:_________________________________

Team Members:____________________________________

Project Phase #1:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:____________________

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date:_______________________________________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone:_____________________________________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Project Phase #2:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:_________________

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Project Phase #3:_______________________

No. of Milestones in Phase:_______________

Phase Completion Date:________________-

Milestone #1: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone:_____________________________________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #2: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Milestone #3: ___________________________

Name & Tracking Number (if relevant) of Milestone: ___________________

Description of Milestone: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Included Deliverables:

Deliverable #1: _____________________________

Deliverable #2: _____________________________

Deliverable #3: _____________________________

Deliverable #4: _____________________________

Deliverable #5: _____________________________

Milestone Approval Date: _______________________

Approver: _______________________

Approved?:       YES / NO

Approval Date: _________________________

Feedback: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Additional Comments: _______________________

_______________________

_______________________

Conclusion

Whether you’re a large firm invested in large-scale projects with multiple stakeholders, or a small-scale startup with a cohesive design team, formulating a clear, well-articulated request can mean the difference between approval and project delay. 

Using a template can help you streamline the approval process, and keep the red tape down to a minimum.

If you want to see first-hand how Filestage can become your go-to software for faster approval process, make sure to start a free trial →

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