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If Your Testimonials Aren’t Specific, Don’t Bother Using Them

Last week I posted about the benefits of using testimonials to pump your camp. Testimonials lend credibility to your marketing. When someone from the outside says something nice about your camp, their comments are more believable, and credible, than anything you can say about yourself. But I think I forgot to tell you something.

Your testimonials aren’t credible in the least if they don’t specifically mention the actual people who gave them. Here’s what I mean.

My daughter attends a few camps each summer. The other day we got a flyer from one asking us to pre-register for next year. The flyer includes testimonials from parents and kids (nice effort by the camp), but the testimonials lack credibility. They’re only attributed to a “Camp Parent” or “Camper,” not the specific person who gave the quote.

You tell me which of these sounds more believable:

“My child loved your camp. We’ll be back for years to come.”
Camp Parent


“My child loved your camp. We’ll be back for years to come.”
Jennifer White, Camp Parent of Johnny White, age 6, Las Vegas, Nevada

No brainer, right? If you’re gonna use testimonials — and you SHOULD — you need to use them the right way. The best place to start is by using specifically believable quotes attributed to real people, because the whole point of marketing with testimonials is to increase credibility for your camp. Never forget that specifics (like the person’s name, age and where they live) automatically do that for you.

You know what? I’m gonna take this thought one step farther. I wouldn’t even bother using testimonials unless you make specific attributions to the people giving you the testimonials, otherwise your testimonials might work against you.

A general testimonial with no mention of the person who gave it could actually HURT your credibility because it sounds like anyone in the world could say it.

In fact, in the reader’s mind, it might raise suspicion that you made it up yourself … and if that’s the outcome your testimonials achieve…ouch!

Here’s the deal. Your goal is to achieve positive and believable compliments from actual, real-life customers, then to share those comments with other potential customers to demonstrate that your camp is just what they’re looking for.

Since you’re not believable unless you’re specific, here’s how I’ll end this blog today:

This post was written by Eric D. Naftulin, age 45, on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 8:07 am in Los Angeles, California.  


  1. Anonymous Anonymous October 26, 2010

    Isn't it our responsibility to protect the Child and the families identity?

  2. Camp Marketing News Camp Marketing News October 26, 2010

    You always need to get permission before using anyone's name, personal information or their quote. Just ask them — they'll probably be flattered.

    And BTW, why didn't you include your own name here … Anonymous?….

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