14 January 2020

How to Write a Case Study that Converts Leads to Sales

A well-written case study is B2B SaaS content marketing gold. It’s an opportunity for you to share your customers’ success with your prospects, and as a result, demonstrate the value of your service. Think of it like writing a story, not a report—although it does need to be factual and should include numbers, it also needs a compelling narrative and lots of quotes.

A B2B SaaS case study is a tool you can use throughout your marketing mix. It’s an extension of your brand and should be written in your brand’s voice. It’s a chance to position your company as a trusted leader and the clear choice for your prospects’ business. 

Here are some of our go-to tips to walk you through how to write a case study that keeps readers engaged, leaves them informed and gets them interested in hearing more from you:

  1. Find a case study format that keeps prospects hooked
  2. Hit a home run with your headline
  3. Keep your executive summary short
  4. Focus on your customer, not your company
  5. Use quotes to add personality and credibility
  6. Don’t let a lack of statistics stop you in your tracks
  7. Guide your reader with a call to action
  8. Keep your case studies interesting by using multimedia
  9. Find inspiration for your content from other case study examples
  10. Give your case study visibility and longevity

1. Find a case study format that keeps prospects hooked

Every case study needs a story arc that captures the reader’s attention. It should begin with a compelling executive summary that illustrates how your reader will benefit from what they’re about to learn. Next, the piece should outline the challenges your customer faced that led them to seek out your SaaS solution (and dive into that process). Spend some time on the solution and how it enabled your customers to level up their business while positioning them as the hero in the story. Wrap it up with a results section that shows off hard numbers, then close with a call to action to guide your reader where you want them to go next.  

Get a step-by-step guide to a case study format that converts.

2. Hit a home run with your headline

Keep three elements in mind when writing your B2B SaaS case study headline. Include your customer’s company name. This helps show readers that your case study is a real-life example of how your service helped someone. Reference the product or service your customer used. This gives readers an idea of whether the case study is relevant to them. Finally, if you have one, highlight a statistic that references the results your customer got from working with you.

Check out a few examples of how to write a case study headline.

3. Keep your executive summary short

The executive summary of your B2B SaaS case study should be short (a few sentences) but impactful, and should provide a clear understanding of your service. First, introduce your customers and the challenges they were facing when they hired you. Next, explain what your company did to help. To finish strong—don’t skip this crucial step—outline a few results backed up with statistics that reinforce your main message.

Read some sample executive summaries that follow this format.

4. Focus on your customer, not your company

Readers don’t want to hear about how great you are—that’s not how to write a case study. They expect a B2B SaaS case study to provide insight into your customer’s opinion of your service. Include details like what industry your customer is in, the size of their company and the name of the person you interviewed. Incorporate direct quotes to tell the story from your customer’s point of view. Explain why they chose your solution and how it impacted their business, but keep the focus on them and their success.

Learn how to make your customer the hero of your case study.

5. Use quotes to add personality and credibility

There’s a time to paraphrase when you’re writing, but sometimes, no one can sing your praises better than your customer. If you want to master how to write a case study that’s engaging and honest, using quotes is a go-to tactic. Readers want to hear from your customers whether they recommend your service, and why. The quotes you highlight should be specific and resonant, with detail that brings them to life. Feature testimonials as pull quotes in your design, and include a headshot of your customer to make it personal—and trustworthy.

Get tips on how to choose testimonials for your case study—and what not to do.

6. Don’t let a lack of statistics stop you in your tracks

Statistics are a surefire way to measure success in a B2B SaaS case study. Hard numbers are objective, reliable and convincing. But, you may not always have statistics to tell your story. We’ll walk you through how to write a case study without them. First, lead with your best quote. Social proof can be just as powerful as numbers. Describe a clear before and after the experience—for example, time or money saved. Have your customers explain what your service has meant to their business. List a few benefits (infographics come in handy here).

Check out an example of a B2B SaaS case study benefits list.

7. Guide your reader with a call to action

Your reader has stuck with you until the end of your case study. Don’t leave them hanging—guide them where you want them to go next with a call to action. This should be a specific statement that speaks directly to your target audience. Use design to make your call to action stand out. It should be obvious and clear what you want your reader to do. Tip: you can have more than one call to action in your B2B SaaS case study, and you can intersperse them throughout.

Hone your call-to-action writing expertise.

8. Keep your case studies interesting by using multimedia

An essential part of knowing how to write a case study is using multimedia to engage your audience with visually compelling content. Does this by incorporating imagery in your SaaS case studies. Photographs add visual interest, break up text and reinforce your brand’s identity. Use icons and infographics in your case studies to introduce sections or outline information in a digestible way. Finally, display data with charts and graphs. This is more impactful than plain text.

Read more about how to incorporate multimedia into your case studies.

9. Find inspiration for your content from other case study examples

When you’re looking to sharpen your company’s B2B SaaS case studies, reviewing your competitors’ content is an excellent way to gather inspiration. Critique their case studies for what worked well and what could be improved, such as titles, imagery and use of testimonials and statistics. We’ve done some of the legwork and reviewed three case studies from GitLab, Sendoso, and Front so you can take notes on the hits and misses. 

See what worked and what didn’t for three case studies by GitLab, Sendoso and Front.

10. Give your case study visibility and longevity

You already know why the B2B SaaS case study is a powerful marketing tool. Now that you know how to write a case study, you can likely imagine it’s a time consuming effort. To leverage your case studies to their full potential, create a section on your website for them and promote them from your home page as well as from relevant landing pages for your services. Create case studies in various formats including video, and promote them on social media as well as in your e-newsletter. Get your case studies into your sales team’s hands, and use them at any presentations or conference talks you give.

Learn more about how to squeeze the most value from your case studies.

Next steps

With these tips on how to write a case study, you’ve got a great overview of the elements you need to pay attention to when writing a SaaS case study. Now you’ll want to dive a bit deeper into each of these tips to round out your knowledge and learn actionable steps you can start taking towards better case studies today. 

First up is to dive into our post on how to format your B2B SaaS case study so it reads like a natural story narrative. This will help you keep your prospect’s attention and allow them to imagine themselves as the central character—your next customer!

Need a hand?

With our case study writing service, you can:

  • drive more leads and sales with case studies that resonate
  • grab back more time to work on other high-value tasks like strategy and planning
  • impress your bosses, colleagues and the sales team with the excellent results you’re getting from the content you’re responsible for creating

Check out our case study writing service for details on how we can help.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads teams in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and white papers for high-growth SaaS companies. Check out her bio.

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