According to data from research by Publicis Sapient, 87% of buying decisions begin with an online search (source). It’s not surprising – when someone is considering purchasing a product or service that they’ve never used before, it’s common practice to seek opinions about it from others. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family (source).
Buyers want to be certain that their investment will live up to their expectations and be the right product for their needs, rather than end up being a disappointment. And it’s your job to provide customers with enough trustworthy and useful information to make it easy for them to make that final buying decision.
A great way to convince potential customers that your company can solve their problems is by providing real-life examples. Case study emails can do this by being the social proof that showcases how your customers use your products or services and what results they get. That could be driving sales, increasing productivity, or improving customer service, just to name a few examples.
In marketing, a case study is an analysis of a campaign, project, or use case. A case study should show clear results, determine whether they are a success or failure, identify the factors that lead to that outcome, and recommend solutions or actions to put in place in the future.
The aim of a marketing case study is to prove to potential customers that you can help them with a certain problem. It is a piece of content that tells the story of how your company assisted a previous or existing client with overcoming a particular pain point.
Case studies are an important element of the marketing funnel and are best used near the bottom of it since this kind of content is usually read or sought out by prospects who are close to making a purchasing decision. That’s why you should do your best to present your case studies to a wider audience.
There are a few methods that work well, all of which could be embedded in, attached to, or linked from a case study email:
They are one of the best ways to provide social proof that your business will be able to help potential customers solve their problems. Case studies can provide evidence that your company offers high-quality and reliable products or services because past results clearly show how they have been used by other clients to achieve their aims or overcome hurdles. It should come as no surprise then that case studies are one of the main elements of the content strategy for many marketers.
Usually in the third person, meaning from the perspective of an independent reporter. Case studies are more like news stories than features, so they should contain facts and quantitative figures. They are best suited to the middle, appraisal stage of the sales funnel, when prospective clients are already familiar with your products or services. Yet unlike most other content that is utilized at this stage of the buyer journey, case studies are all about displaying the best of what your brand has to offer by showing off what it has already achieved. Don’t start bragging or overselling yourself though – focus on how you can solve particular problems and describing how it is to cooperate with your business, reinforcing your claims with actual quotes of appraisal from previous clients.
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