3 November 2020

SaaS Case Study Examples: 8 Critiques to Learn From

Case studies are powerful tools for B2B SaaS companies to generate revenue. Over 90% of consumers trust a non-paid recommendation like a customer success story over traditional advertising. Reviewing SaaS case study examples regularly is one way to ensure your case study game stays on point.

How to evaluate your competitors’ SaaS case study examples

Over 82% of tech marketers use case studies, so there’s a lot of material online to choose. You can hone in on your specific industry to identify case study best practices and trends. See what other companies excel at, and where they could improve—and save a few SaaS case study examples in a swipe file to draw inspiration from.

Get started with our 8 SaaS case study examples

As a busy SaaS marketer, you may feel strapped for time when it comes to finding case studies to review. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve done the legwork for you. Every month, we explore a case study from a well-known SaaS company, analyzing where the content hits the mark and where it falls short. 

The purpose of critiquing these SaaS case study examples is to help you see that even the top dogs aren’t untouchable. We can all learn from what they do well with their content and what they need to work on.

SaaS case study example 1: ServiceChannel

ServiceChannel’s case study on its customer Freshpet offers a strong example of an executive summary that provides a concise overview of the case study, giving the reader the highlights right away. The case study also uses numerous design elements to create an engaging presentation.

However, ServiceChannel could improve in a few areas. For example, there are no product-related links embedded in the case study PDF to drive users to ServiceChannel’s website. The call to action (CTA) is also buried at the bottom of the page.

Read the full ServiceChannel case study critique.

SaaS case study example 2: Zenefits

The title, hero image and fast facts box in Zenefits’ case study on Skilljar are visually engaging and offer an excellent example of case study design. In addition, the “Get Started” CTA button in the top right corner of the page stays in place as you scroll through the case study.

The challenge section of this case study is weak, though, and doesn’t describe in detail the customers’ issues before purchasing Zenefits’ software. The results section could also use more statistics to emphasize the pros of Zenefits’ solution.

Check out our full Zenefits critique.

SaaS case study example 3: AppDirect

AppDirect’s case study uses a short video to introduce its customer ADP, which is a great feature for audiences who prefer not to read text. The case study also uses a pull quote to explain the value of AppDirect from the customer’s perspective. 

However, the title of this case study could be stronger if it included a statistic and mentioned AppDirect by name. In addition, the written portion of the case study should explain why ADP chose AppDirect and how the implementation process went.

Dig into the entire AppDirect critique now.

SaaS case study example 4: Expensify

The executive summary of Expensify’s case study on Philz Coffee shows which Expensify product Philz purchased, and highlights the results Philz achieved. The case study also uses headers that walk the reader through the journey in a structured format.

But, the case study would be stronger with a link to Philz’ website so the content is a win-win for both Expensify and the customer. It would also help to include links to other Expensify case studies for readers who want to learn more before purchasing a product.

Read the full Expensify case study critique.

SaaS case study example 5: GitLab

GitLab makes the interviewee (the customer) the hero in this case study by highlighting how he advocated for change at his company, Fanatics. This is an excellent way to achieve resonance with your readers. The case study also features a CTA to sign up for a free GitLab trial, which appears at the bottom of the page and stays in view as the reader scrolls.

This case study is a bit heavy on jargon. It mentions three acronyms in one paragraph alone, which the reader may not understand. The case study is also missing a pull quote. Adding this visual callout would break up the text and give more weight to the story from the customer’s point of view.

Check out our full GitLab case study critique.

SaaS case study example 6: ServiceNow

ServiceNow features 3 stats at the top of this case study, immediately highlighting the value the company’s products delivered to its customer, SAP SuccessFactors. In addition, the sidebar provides educational ‘fast facts’ about SAP SuccessFactors.

The case study title does not mention ServiceNow or include a statistic. A results-oriented title would be more compelling. And, the challenge section relies too heavily on quotes to tell the story. Alternating between a regular paragraph and a quote from the customer interview would make for a more dynamic flow.

Dig into the entire ServiceNow case study critique.

SaaS case study example 7: Splunk

Splunk’s case study on Domino’s Pizza is full of fun pizza-style infographics that help illustrate the story and communicate the facts. The story is divided into 5 sections based on Splunk’s components for a successful user experience. This is a unique way to structure a case study and provides clarity for the reader. 

This case study focuses more on the customer’s aspirations than on the pain points that led Domino’s to Splunk. It’s generally understood that pain resonates more with prospects than aspiration. In addition, the lack of hard numbers is a big miss. 

Read the full Splunk case study critique.

SaaS case study example 8: Zendesk

Zendesk makes good use of graphic elements by placing social media icons near the top of the page. The case study is also full of visually compelling imagery. Fortunately, Zendesk’s customer Airbnb has lots of great shots to work with.

This case study needs headers and subheaders to help break up the text so readers can scan with ease. It’s also an essential component of healthy search engine optimization. Although Zendesk does include a stats box at the top of the case study, they don’t relate to the results that the company’s solution helped Airbnb achieve.

Check out our full Zendesk case study critique.

Get help with your B2B SaaS case studies 

As part of Uplift Content’s done-for-you case study writing service, we’ll work with you to share your untold success stories and showcase how your products help your customers solve tough challenges.

Explore our case study writing services.

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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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