Prospects who aren’t ready to buy – or who are “sitting on the fence” – tend to be resistant to even well-crafted marketing messages. But a bunch of well aimed marketing case studies can often tip the scales in your favour.
“Sell benefits, not features” is good advice, but benefit-rich copy can actually deter prospects who haven’t reached the decision stage yet.
And too many benefits in the absence of marketing proof elements can ring hollow in today’s increasingly sceptical marketplace.
We published our first marketing case study back in 2005 and I quickly realised the power of case studies as a versatile and effective marketing tactic.
Why are marketing case studies so effective?
Here are three reasons:
- Case studies show, they don’t tell. Telling you I can get you more qualified leads is one thing. Showing you how a similar company to yours got 145% more leads with 24% lower marketing costs is another.
- Prospects are typically curious to understand how others have achieved the results they desire. They will eagerly devour a well-constructed case study.
- Case studies are also a great tool for closing fence-sitting prospects. For many years I’ve asked prospects why they chose to work with us, and the most common response seems to be, “I was impressed by your case studies”, or “I saw you helped someone in my industry so I figure you can help us too”.
Now let’s look at how to structure and effectively promote a case study, and then some marketing case study examples for you to replicate.
Our Recommended Case Study Template
Here’s the case study structure we’ve adopted which has proven effective:
- Start with a major headline that summarises the key result achieved: e.g. “Investment Property Strategist Triples Leads In 6 Months”. This gets the prospect excited about reading on.
- Then introduce the background. In other words, the “Before” scenario.Don’t bore the reader with too many details about the history of the client. But DO provide an insight into the “trigger” that led to them seeking your assistance. e.g. “The client noticed smaller competitors starting to appear ahead of them on Google”. And, DO talk about the negative effects of the “Before” state. E.g. “New customer acquisition that had previously been growing by 10% every quarter had flatlined for the last 12 months.”
- Now talk about the solution. Here’s where you explain what you did to achieve the outcomes. I like to list different services or solutions in the form of bullet points. Also, include significant details and facts and figures to add “richness” to the story. Where possible, demonstrate with images, screenshots or other proof elements. Emphasise anything you did differently to the standard approach, or anything that highlights your point-of-difference benefits.
- Now talk about your results. Results are the crux of any good case study.I like to go with a number of punchy bullet points, populated with specific numbers. E.g. “Lead volume up 75%… New customer volume from online sources up 145%… 1,540 more organic search engine visitors per month.”
- Include a testimonial from the client. What was their reaction to your work? The “Before-During-After” approach is a good structure for testimonials. A strong testimonial adds texture and credibility to the data in your core case study.
- End with a call-to-action. This can be relatively low-key. For example, “Contact us to explore how you can enjoy similar breakthrough results.”
You can see more examples of different implementations of this concept on our online marketing case studies page.
How To Promote Your Case Study
A case study that never gets read won’t help you.
Here are some of our favourite promotional methods:
- Optimise each case study for search engines. A good start is using a <title> tag on your case study pages in the format: “<INDUSTRY> <SERVICE> case study”. For example, “Accountant online marketing case study” or “Car sales lead generation case study”. This will tend to rank you well for anyone searching for case studies about your industry.
- Send case studies to your email subscribers. These emails achieve high engagement both as broadcasts, and as “drip emails” within an automation sequence.
- Create a print booklet of case studies to send to prospects and clients via snail mail or distribute at trade shows.
- Case studies make great social media updates and can be recycled every few months using different headlines.
22 Marketing Case Study Examples
1. Fuji Xerox Australia Business Equipment
Tripled leads for 60% less marketing spend
In 90 days, we doubled web lead flow with lower marketing costs.
2. Surf Live Saving Foundation
Surf Lottery Grows Online Revenue 47%
Marketing Results delivered tangible business improvements, including 47% higher revenue from digital, year-on-year.
3. ABC Reading Eggs
Integrated Search and Conversion Management For ABC Reading Eggs
Marketing Results have been instrumental in profitably expanding our ad spend, while removing waste.
4. MAP Home Loans
From 70 hour weeks to 40 hour weeks with 100% annual growth
I now make twice as much money, have less stress and fewer hours.
5. Inkjet Wholesale
Online Advertising ROI Doubles – In Just Three Months
We couldn’t be happier – conversion rates are up, costs are down, ROI has doubled.
6. Breaking Into Wall Street
Info-Marketing Business Achieves 300% Revenue Growth With 7-Figure Profits
Marketing Results provided the marketing support to grow my annual revenue 300%+. They don’t just advise – they implement.
BRW Fast 100 Online Retailer LatestBuy.com.au Boosts Sales By 45.3%
Revenue had flatlined… Now it is up by 45%, with over 80% of that due to conversion rate optimisation.
More Traffic, Less Cost, Lead Volume Doubles!
More than doubled the number of qualified enquiries via our website for the same ad spend.
9. Business Coach and Author, Pure Bookkeeping
Successful Marketing Automation and 100.95% Year on Year Growth
50%+ of business comes directly through online channels and none of this would have happened without Marketing Results.
10. Positive Training Solutions
Higher rankings plus more, higher-quality leads
Marketing Results excels in strategic and online marketing.
11. Geelong’s Gym
From 5-6 Leads A Month To 60-70. 10X Increase!
We’ve gone from 5 – 6 leads per month to 60 – 70!
12. Super Finance – SMSF Property
A New Pipeline Delivering a Steady Flow of Web Leads
Outstanding quality of web generated leads!
13. College For Adult Learning – Training Organisation
300%+ More Sales With 60% Lower Cost Per Sale
I expect at least another 60% more leads and 80-90% more revenue by continuing to work with Marketing Results.
14. The Gourmet Guardian – Food Safety Programs
4 times more leads and a 269% revenue increase
Your AdWords strategies have quadrupled leads, almost tripled revenue and reduced my dependence on contract work to zero.
15. Quick Coach – Life Coaching Courses
More Qualified Sales Plus A Facebook ROI of 1285%
The results have been fantastic… I have had over 500 potential students opt in via Google wanting to change their lives and those of their clients.
16. Investment House – Property Development
Clients lined up for everything we can find
We have clients lined up for everything we can find.
17. Cosmetic Surgery Lead Generation
257% increase in qualified lead volume
In less than a year, our enquiry volume increased by over 257% while increasing the quality and conversion rate of those leads.
18. All Suburbs Catering
61% ROI gain in less than 5 months…
20% more enquiries for 34% less cost – a compounded gain of 61% in only 5 months.
19. Trilogy Funding
549 qualified sales leads in 3 months
549 qualified sales leads in 3 months.
20. Customized Stickers
Online revenue rockets by 800%
With Marketing Result on our side, our website revenue has increased by over 800% in only 18 months.
Engaging CEOs of ideal target companies
We’re routinely seeing CEOs of Australian hi techs with turnover of $5 million to $50 million (our target audience) opting in and proceeding to self-qualify before they contact us for a meeting. This is what digital marketing is supposed to do.
22. First Aid Training
Specialist First Aid Training Company Doubles Revenue In 6 Months
We’ve streamlined customer acquisition, increased customer lifetime value, and doubled our revenue in 6 months!
I encourage you to put these tips into action and see how they work for you.
What other ways have you used case studies effectively in your business?