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Marketing Strategy
min read
July 18, 2023

How to Write a Good Case Study

Keelyn Hart
Content Writer at Letterdrop

Prospects often ask sales reps for social proof that a product will actually help solve their problems. Case studies are a way to show a prospect that a company facing similar problems used your product successfully and saw the promised results.

A good case study tells the story of how your customer went on a hero's journey from a bad place to a good one by conquering a problem using your product. It's engaging and convinces a prospect to become a customer. Remember that your customer is the main character. They are Luke Skywalker. Your product is just the lightsaber that helps him duel Darth Vader.

A bad case study wastes time for everyone involved — your prospects don't want to read it, you waste your customer's time, and you waste your time creating a case study that doesn't move the needle for your business.

You're in the right place if you're worried about screwing up a case study. We've written a couple of case studies at Letterdrop that our sales team has successfully used to convince prospects to buy our product.

We've learned firsthand how to write an excellent case study, so hopefully, we can help you do a bang-up job. Here's a checklist of how to run a successful process to write a best-in-class case study. We'll cover what questions to ask, the format, and how to conduct a customer interview.

Picking a Customer to Write a Case Study

There are a few factors in deciding who to interview for your case study:

  1. Success Look for a customer who has had a lot of success with your product. Talk to your Customer Success team to find the right customers who fit the bill.
  2. Segment Your sales team is trying to sell into a specific vertical or segment. Look for an existing customer that matches that segment. A large enterprise in the healthcare space doesn't care about your case study from a 10-person startup in sales tech.
  3. Friendliness People are busy, and the last thing they want to do is help a vendor. You're asking them for a favor when you want to do a case study. Find a customer who's enthusiastic about your product and friendly with your team.

Asking for a Case Study

Once you've identified your customer, ask them if they'd be down to do a case study. Some companies will give customers discounts at the time of purchase in exchange for a commitment to doing a case study, which makes your job easier.

Here are some tips on how to request a case study.

  1. Be clear about the ask: In your email, clearly explain what a case study is and why you're asking for one. Be specific about what you're looking for and what the process will involve.
  2. Offer incentives: Consider offering the customer something in exchange for their time and effort, such as a discount on their next purchase, a gift card, or a bottle of wine.

Here's a template email you can use as a starting point:

Subject: Request for Case Study

Hi there,

We've enjoyed working with [Company] for the past [duration] months. It looks like you've successfully moved [insert metric] using our product.

We love featuring successful companies on our website and would love to do a case study with you if you're open to it. Would you be interested?

We'll make sure it takes up as little time as possible on your end. We'd get on a recorded call and do a short interview, walking through some questions. We will send you the questions ahead of time so that you feel prepared to answer them.

We really appreciate your support, so we'd love to [insert incentive here] after the call.

Please let me know if you're interested, and we can discuss the next steps.

[Your name]

Setup for Interviewing Your Customer

Once you've identified who you want to talk to, you might be tempted to just connect with a customer over email, asking them to fill in some answers in a form for your case study. This is a terrible idea.

Unless serious distance separates you from your customer, going old school and meeting in person is best. They're more likely to open up, while body language and non-verbal cues can key you in on their feelings.

Video record the meeting with a professional setup so that you can capture meaningful quotes. (Or, here's how to film interviews on your smartphone.)

A video call is the next best thing if you can't meet in person. You can ask the customer permission to record the call so you can read facial expressions and get quotes. Zoom has built-in video recording, or you can use a sales transcription tool like Gong or Fathom.

Remember to ask for permission before recording. Also, ask them if it's okay for you to use recorded snippets from the call in the case study. Audio or video snippets are powerful indicators of social proof.

And you can transcribe the recording by simply pasting the video link into Letterdrop.

Pre-Read Questions Before the Case Study Interview

Before you get together, you should prepare questions under four important sections outlined below. These questions are designed to gather specific information about the customer's experience buying and using the product.

Before conducting a case study call with a customer, send them a list of questions to help guide the conversation.

Here's a Google Doc template you can use to get started.

What Was Going on in the Business that Made Looking for a Solution a Priority?

Here you're learning background information on your customer and what led them to you. What you're trying to get here is what happened at the company that made looking for a solution necessary. You need this information so prospects can say, "Oh, this company looks a lot like ours and was facing similar challenges. How did they think about solving them?"

This sets the stage for your case study and helps prospects relate to the featured customer.

Ask these questions:

Business Goals

What were your company's goals? What was the specific challenge you faced that led you to talk to us? Get specific numbers around the cost of the challenge and its negative impact on the business.

Prior Solution

How did you attempt to solve the problem at first? Did you use another vendor, solve it manually with internal staff, or did you do nothing about it? Get specific numbers around the cost of a previous solution.

Decision Criteria

What was your evaluation framework? What were the success criteria for any solution you picked? Why did you pick us?

As always, get a specific number on what they want to achieve.

What Was Your Experience With Our Product?

Here's where you dive into the customer's experience. The goal of these questions is to:

1. Show that change management is not a concern. People always worry about buying something new, only for nobody at the company to adopt it.

2. Demonstrate real-life examples of value-add from the product with some quotes.

When your prospects see how other companies have used your product, they can better understand what adoption might look like for them.

Ask these questions:


What was the onboarding or integration process like for you? Have them focus on the level of customer support, responsiveness, and ease of onboarding. You'd be surprised by how many products are bought and never implemented. Get a specific number on how long it took.


Who uses the product at your company? Quantify how many people use it and their titles.


What value are you getting out of the product? How does it help the company with a job to be done? Quantify how much time it saves or day-to-day value-add.

Many businesses think in terms of the "jobs to be done" framework. You need someone or something to do a job. You will pay some amount of money to get it done. How does this product successfully get the job done?

Moments of Joy

What are your favorite features of the product? Why do you like it? Can you quickly show me how you use it?

We're trying to get them in a positive mood and talk about their most used or favorite features. Getting a recording of this is gold because you can showcase how a real-life customer is using your product.

What Are The Results You Achieved With Our Product?

Businesses need to see ROI on any purchase. They don't just buy new products for fun (at least at responsible companies). This is where you can showcase the tangible value your product brings the company with concrete numbers. Ask these questions:

KPI and Metrics

What's the metric that adopting this product was supposed to help?

Before and After Product Adoption

Where was it before? Where is it now?

Advice on moving metrics

What advice would you give to other companies running into similar problems and looking for a solution?

Case Study Template

Get a basic case study template from us in your inbox.

1. The Title and Executive Summary

Both should be punchy and quantified with an ROI stat or tangible positive outcome.

Letterdrop has a short title and executive summary with punchy, tangible results

‎2. Customer Introduction and Background

  • Introduce the customer, their industry, and organization size.
  • Highlight any unique aspects of their business.
  • Include a company image or logo.

A customer snapshot from Gong.io

‎3. The Challenge Faced by the Customer

  • Describe the problem the customer faced that led them to seek a solution.
  • Focus on pain points that similar customers would relate to.

Letterdrop drives home the pain points

‎4. The Solution Offered by Your Company

  • Explain the solution your company or product provided and how the solution was customized to meet the customer's needs.
  • How are real business problems for this type of customer getting solved by your product?

Gong.io outlines the outcome in easy-to-read, punchy sections

‎5. How the Customer Implemented the Solution

  • Discuss how you worked closely with the customer to ensure a smooth transition or onboarding process.
  • You can include relevant timelines and milestones.

How MutinyHQ helped their customer onboard and orient themselves
How MutinyHQ helped their customer onboard and orient themselves

6. The Results and Benefits of the Solution for the Customer

  • Discuss the positive outcomes experienced by the customer because of your product, using specific metrics to quantify these improvements.
  • Include a customer quote that demonstrates their positive experience.

Letterdrop includes a customer quote that makes use of a specific metric of improvement

  • You should also add a CTA to invite readers to take the next step toward similar success.

Samples of Good Case Studies

Good case studies represent their target audience, have clear structure, and have real, quantifiable results. They also tell a story of success.

MailChimp Helps A Small Business Owner Reach Partner Status

The results of the case study are presented in a punchy and easy-to-read format in the title and summary. They also quantify how long it took for the customer to become a partner.

The study includes a photo of their customer, which really makes it personal and believable.

MailChimp also adds a quote from the customer, concrete numbers, and inserts a CTA at the end.

MailChimp includes a customer quote and quantifiable data

Brafton Helps a Customer Bring ~$30,000 in Traffic Value

Brafton gets straight to the numbers in the title and immediately draws the reader in.

‎They also share screenshots of metric tracking, proving how much they helped their customer's SEO with credible and quantifiable evidence.

Brafton supports their claims with tracking data

Metadata Helps A Customer Affordably Increase Their Pipeline by 60%

Metadata immediately nails their case study with a skimmable format.

There's a punchy title that shows relevant numbers, a table of contents, and a snapshot of who the customer is.

‎They also show how their customer implemented their product step-by-step, and close with a customer quote demonstrating positive results.

Metadata shows how their customer implemented and saw benefits from their product

Common Case Study Mistakes

So we know what case studies are supposed to look like. What makes a bad case study?

1. The Company is Not Representative Of Your ICP

This is a surefire way to tank your case study efforts completely.

Here's what happens if you perform a case study on a company that does not fall within your target audience:

  • It becomes irrelevant to your actual audience, which means fewer conversions.
  • You waste resources.
  • It can set false expectations.
  • All of this can reduce credibility.

You can only communicate the value of your product if your case study aligns with real customers.

2. Poor Communication with the Customer

The last thing you want is for the case study process to end up souring your relationship with that customer.

You need to make sure that the company you wish to interview is still an active customer and that there are no support conversations or records of a planned churn.

Poor communication leads to:

  • Misrepresentation of your customer's experience.
  • Limited insights and data.
  • A drawn-out process.
  • Your case study getting shelved.
  • Soured customer relations.

Long email threads and Slack channels full of spam lead to miscommunications and frustration for both parties. Meet regularly either in person or on video calls, clarify any confusion, and set expectations from the beginning.

3. You Don't Have Concrete Data

You need to substantiate any claims about the effectiveness of your product with real, measurable results.

Without concrete data:

  • You lose credibility with your readers since there's no solid proof that the case study isn't just anecdotal
  • Your customers don't have a benchmark to compare your product to others.

If you don't use tangible evidence, you'll probably find that your case study has a high bounce rate.

Make sure you and your customer use measurable KPIs to prove how your product can move business objectives.

4. Poor Structure

A case study should give a reader a quick overview of what your company did for a customer to improve their operations.

  • If relevant information is buried in a wall of text, a reader will likely miss something.
  • A rambling structure can drive readers to click off, meaning your case study isn't doing much to drive your business forward.

5. It's Not Engaging to Read

If your case study is a bore, it's not likely you'll get those conversions.

A case study without quotes or images that break up text can lead readers to bounce.

Visual appeal plays a big role in storytelling, and case studies should tell a compelling story.

Make Prospects Want To Get The Results They Read

Case studies are the ultimate sales pitch. They should make readers want to use your product for the same results.

Avoid long-winded and overly promotional BS. Get right to the point. Make it snappy with real-life numbers and quotes from happy customers. A little visual prettying-up doesn't hurt, either.

And while we're on the topic, why not check out how Explo increased their traffic 18x with Letterdrop? (See what we did there?)

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