How to Take Your Case Study From ‘Yawn’ to ‘Rock On!’

Here’s how you can write case studies prospective customers will want to read

Case studies. They’re not sexy, but they can be an effective sales tools. And most businesses get them really wrong.

But it would be a mistake to overlook case studies as a marketing tool to promote your business. They provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase how you’ve helped your customers. If the case study is done well, your prospect should be able to identify elements of it which they can relate to. They ideally should see themselves in your case study.

I’ve encountered numerous clients who want to build their catalogue of case studies, but they don’t feel they have the time to create them, or they’re not sure how to write them.

The good news is there’s a very simple formula you can follow to make creating them easier.  

Let’s break it down. Here are the four elements every case study needs:

  1. Define your customer’s problem

To get this information ask your customer questions such as:

  • What problem were you facing?  
  • What pain was associated with this problem?
  • What was the impact of this problem on you / your business?

You may know what your customer’s problem was, but it’s still useful to ask them directly. Your customer may use different language than you would to describe their problem, and they may reveal insights you hadn’t previously appreciated.

There are two areas that trip people up when writing about their customer’s problems.

The first is how much detail to include. You want to provide enough detail that an outsider can clearly understand the issue, but not so much detail that you induce boredom.

The second challenge describing the problem is that it needs to sound painful. Ideally, really painful, as customers pay big money to solve painful problems.

  1. Explain the solution you provided

Once you’ve indicated the problem the customer faced, you can then reveal how you solved their problem.

There should be a clear link between their problem and the solution you provided. Your reader should be able to see why that was the best solution to provide.

  1. Detail the results you helped the customer achieve

In this section you can detail the outcomes (quantifiable and qualifiable) you helped the customer produce.

What were you able to help your customer achieve? Were you able to help your customer achieve something they couldn’t have on their own? What were the results, and what did it mean for your customer’s business?

  1. List the reasons why they chose you

This is your opportunity to have a third party sing your praises. What was their criteria for selecting your company to solve their problem? Was it related to your product or service, availability, price, location, innovation, support, or customer service?

In addition to listing the reasons why they chose you / your company / your product, it’s also helpful to clarify what they liked about working with you. This may be related back to the criteria they had for selecting you initially, or perhaps they discovered something once they started working with you. It doesn’t have to be all business, humour can go a long way too.

A Few More Case Study Tips:

Case studies should reference a person, ideally your main point of contact with the customer, or someone senior in their org. Using some direct quotes in your case study are useful and add credibility to the content.

The typical length for case studies is 1-2 pages, as you’re trying to capture a high level snapshot of the work you did for the customer.  

And finally, make your case studies visually appealing using different colours and images.

What has been your experience with case studies? What have you found to be effective? What’s been challenging? Feel free to send me an email, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

About The Author

Eric Moeller

Eric Moeller is the Managing Director of Copy Dojo, an agency which helps startups improve their sales copywriting to rapidly grow their business. He has two decades of experience in high tech marketing and product management. Eric has an MBA in marketing, and completed Seth Godin's altMBA in the summer of 2015.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field