Nothing convinces a prospect of your promised value more than a real account of success you achieved for a previous client or customer. This customer success story is popularly known as a marketing case study.
Writing case studies, among other bottom funnel content, can go a long way in growing your business. In fact, 78% of B2B buyers use case studies when researching solutions.
Case study writing sets you apart from competitors, solidifies your thought leadership and aids in acquiring new clients.
So in this guide, I’ll go over what a client success story is, what makes for persuasive success story writing, and how to write the best one for your brand, with success story copywriting examples. Let’s get started.
Get Your Free Starter Kit ($27 Value)
Tired for scrolling? Get instant access to the following, 100% free:
- A PDF version of this article for offline viewing, printing or sharing.
- A one-page PDF checklist to put all these points into action.
- Email notifications about new articles on the Smemark blog.
What Is A Case Study?
A case study can mean different things depending on the context. It could be an academic analysis or a success story meant for marketing to potential customers.
This guide is about the latter. In the marketing context, a case study is a review which briefly analyzes and summarizes details of a project, campaign or experiment.
Marketing case studies show your prospects the results other buyers have achieved as a result of using your product or service. So the prospects can envision similar success for themselves.
For example, look at this customer success story of how Lattice helped Button achieve 100% performance review completion rate. You can also review our own Smemark case studies on how we have helped client businesses.
As long as the process involves usage of your product or service in a significant manner, it can make for a valid client success story.
Case study writing involves reaching out to your happy customers and requesting them to collaborate on creating a story around their success. A good case study clearly outlines:
- The core problem that your client/customer was facing before they bought your product or service.
- What service approach or product features helped them solve the problem and how (without giving away any confidential information).
- The concrete results achieved (with real numbers/data if possible) by the end of duration associated with the case study.
- A short summary/blurb that you or your sales team can easily share in customer calls or emails.
Once you have some marketing case studies prepared, the most common way to distribute is by creating a portfolio/case studies page on your website. Then make your customer success stories available on that page.
Writing A Case Study
At its core, a client success story is a professional, informative resource. But that doesn’t mean it should be written in a dry manner.
Reading a great marketing case study is like reading a captivating story, with a conflict, action and resolution.
Let’s go over the ingredients and guidelines you need for engaging case study copywriting.
Case Study Title
When it comes to success story copywriting, titles are unique in a certain sense. In other types of content, you don’t want to give away too much in the headline. It spoils the ending.
But when writing a case study, you want to do the exact opposite. A case study title should let the readers know about the big ending right away. A proper case study title will have:
Name of the subject - the main entity for which the project was carried out is one of the most important parts of case study writing.
If it was your own experiment, then you’re the subject. For example, if I did a case study on how I increased by website traffic from SEO in 3 months, then I am the subject. If it was for a client’s website, then they are the subject.
Name of the product/service - This is optional for case study copywriting but recommended. In a world of short attention spans, the more you can remind the reader of brand, the better.
Performance Score - Another thing you need to put in the title is the value (possibly numerical) of the main metric chosen for measuring the results. This value will demonstrate exactly how well the project performed.
For example, consider this customer success story title:
“How Tubloo Increased Their Product Adoption By 120% In 6 Months Through Smemark’s Knowledge Base platform.“
As you can see in this case study headline, the subject is Tubloo. Metric is change in product adoption. And the product is Smemark’s KB platform.
Introduce The Subject
The initial part of a client success story introduces the subject. The subject is the customer who tried your product or service.
If it’s a person, introduce the person with details that your readers could relate with. These could include his or her name, age, occupation, gender.
If it’s a company, open with a brief overview of the company, what it does, who are their target audience and the job title of the person who approached you on behalf of the company.
In addition, also cover the process/task they needed help with, how important it is for them, and how they were previously carrying out the project.
But make sure to keep the information relevant to what the case study is about. For example, consider this introduction from the Patagonia fashion case study by AMP Agency.
Patagonia is driven by its mission statement – “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
While that message resonated with their existing core audience, the company wanted help connecting to a younger demographic. Here’s how we brought Patagonia’s philosophy to life and delivered it directly to people across the country.
In writing a success story, AMP does a great job of introducing the subject - Patagonia - in the beginning of the marketing case study. It explains the subject company’s mission and what did they need help with when they approached Patagonia.
Identify The Problem
Now that you’ve provided the context, it’s time to explain the problems and challenges with your subject’s previous situation.
Success story writing involves explaining what they were struggling with, why and how it was negatively impacting them? What needs were not being fulfilled or goals not being met? What were they trying to achieve but failing at?
These pain points will ultimately establish the subject’s objective, along with a one or two sentence summary of the results they’d like to achieve.
For example, consider this success story copywriting example where Curata explains the problem and the solution their client CS2 compliance was looking for.
It not only explains what the client wanted (building a community), but also why they wanted to do so (save time and increase productivity).
Approach & Plan Of Action
This is where you get into the real meat of case study writing. Your readers know the problem and why it’s important. So now it’s time to show them how your service or product solved that problem.
This portion of your study is about describing the specific actions (for a service) or features/benefits (for a product) that were put to use to achieve the subject's goals.
Cover what was unique about the subject’s situation and how did you tailor your approach accordingly to achieve the best outcome. This part of your case study copywriting could be in form or paragraphs or concise bullet points.
Now, you might be wondering,”How much should I reveal?”
This will depend on a number of factors. For instance, if there is some secret sauce behind how your product or service works, you wouldn’t want to let in others on the secret.
Another factor is subject confidentiality. You don’t want to reveal information about a subject which they don’t approve of. So you’ll have to check in with them too.
As long as these factors don’t come into play, I encourage you to share as much as possible. The more specific details you can share, the more useful and trustworthy your case study will be.
For instance, see this customer success story of how LinkedIn advertising helped the Callaway Golf company.
Here’s are some snippets from what it says in the solution part:
- LinkedIn is home to Callaway’s target demographic—professionals who are passionate about playing golf.
- The application used the LinkedIn API to tap into information in member profiles to round out the foursome.
- Members playing “Hit the Links” could then share their foursome on LinkedIn and submit it to Callaway for the chance to win custom golf clubs.
Using details like the above, the client success story provides a good amount of detail on how the process worked to get the desired outcome for Callaway Golf.
Outcome Of Case Study
At this point, you’ll follow up with the end result you teased about in the case study title. Make a statement on the outcome of the campaign.
This part will share with readers how things went, how you measured the impact and the concrete difference between the subject's previous and new situations.
In addition to writing about the outcome, also try to add visuals. Graphics like charts, bolded quotes, and graphs are good opportunities to present data in an easily digestible and professional manner.
Take this Bell Bank case study by eMoney for example.
They included a quote in the case study which speaks to their improved efficiency. It mentions they were creating 40-50 plans before, and the new count is 120.
Case Study Conclusion & CTA
The final part of writing a success story is about wrapping it up with key takeaways and directing the reader towards a call to action.
When writing a conclusion, refrain from repeating what you’ve already said elsewhere. Instead, draw emphasis back to your key takeaways. Then call your readers to action.
Show them what they can do next to see this same success in their life, work or business. Prompt them to buy your product or enquire about your service.
This is not the time to be shy. Sell away. For example, here’s how Fractl - a marketing agency - uses a call to action at the bottom of their case studies.
In big and bold letters, it highlights the ask for booking a consultation with them for a brand to get the same results for their business.
So that was it from me on success story copywriting, and now you certainly know enough. It’s time to put all the tips and tricks into action.
If you get stuck, there are a number of marketing case study examples I have shared above. Use them for reference and inspiration.
Once you have some customer success stories, put them on your website, and distribute them to your employees and prospects.
As I said, case studies are a crucial part of your bottom funnel content, and having this type of content is sure to boost conversions and empower your sales team.
Did I miss anything? Did you try these steps? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.