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5 Reasons Why Website Visitors Aren’t Reading Your Case Studies… And a Simple Fix for Each

by | May 10, 2021 | Collateral, Headlines & subheads, Lead Generation, Case Studies, Technology Marketing, Content Marketing | 1 comment

5 Reasons Why Website Visitors Aren't Reading Your Case Studies... And a Simple Fix for Each

Are you using customer case studies in your marketing mix?

If so, let me ask you this: Are your website visitors reading them?

I ask because I find a lot of technology company websites don’t make it easy for visitors to find and download case studies.

Why make it difficult for prospects to access your case studies after you’ve gone through so much trouble to publish them? Even if you view them primarily as tools for your sales team, wouldn’t you want your online prospects to read them as well? After all, in surveys, tech buyers consistently rate case studies the second most influential content form (trailing only white papers).1

That’s why I wanted to share with you five reasons why your website visitors might not be downloading and reading your case studies, and a simple fix for each.

Reason #1. They can’t find your case studies.

Early in my copywriting career, I would visit the websites of technology companies to see what types of content they were publishing. I was trying to determine if those companies might be good prospects for my business. If a company has white papers or case studies posted on its website, they’ll likely want more of them written.

Surprisingly, I often had to search diligently to turn up case studies.

It seemed many companies wanted to make their case studies hard to find. I often found them jumbled with brochures and data sheets on a Resources page. The link to that page was often buried at the bottom of some submenu or in the page footer.

Helping your online prospects find your case studies may take a little work, but it’s pretty straightforward. Just create multiple paths to them.

Put links to case studies on related pages of your website. These could be product pages, solution category pages, industry pages. Each link should be to an individual case study that is highly relevant to the material on the page where it’s found. On a product page, for example, link to case studies featuring that product as the solution. On a page describing solutions for customers in the aerospace industry, highlight case studies starring your aerospace clients.

Next, make those links highly visible. Consider showcasing case studies in text boxes or sidebars. Employ eye-catching photos or banners to attract attention. Highlight in-page links that open relevant case studies in new windows.

Finally, be sure to include links to case studies at the ends of pages. Giving visitors relevant paths off pages they’ve finished reading improves your chances of keeping those visitors on your website longer.

Reason #2. They won’t register for case studies.

Prospects love case studies. They know that no marketing document is more credible or more unbiased than a customer success story.

But they also know the main purpose of a case study is to tout a vendor’s solution. That makes many reluctant to fill out a registration form to access them.

Some fear that registering for a case study will trigger an immediate avalanche of promotional emails and time-wasting sales calls… long before they’re ready to buy. Others resent having to spend time filling out a form to access product information.

Website visitors, especially business buyers, are trying to find information rapidly. They don’t like being slowed down by registration forms. “In their journeys of seeking new solutions and service providers, prospects don’t expect or want to arrive at a locked door—especially for content that markets a vendor’s solution,” says case study expert Casey Hibbard, author of Stories that Sell. 2

Unless a case study has some intrinsic, problem-solving value that’s not tied to the purchase of a product (more on this in a moment), it’s probably best to dispense with the registration form. Give your prospects one-click access. Get that objective, third-party testimony into their hands immediately.

Reason #3. Your registration form is too long.

Now let’s suppose you have one of those rare case studies from which your prospects can benefit just by reading. A case study that shows them a more effective way of solving a nagging problem they have. A case study that’s truly suitable for lead generation.

That’s still no reason to play hard-to-get.

Your prospects have already seen too many cumbersome registration forms. They’re sick of them. Face it, each field you add is just another reason for your prospects to ask themselves, “Is this really worth my time?” If that happens, they’ll likely move on to something else.

Respect your prospects’ time. Ask for as little information as possible. Require only the data you absolutely need to continue the sales process.

And be aware that using a shorter form can actually boost your conversion rate and ROI.

Marketo, the marketing automation company, recently conducted a test of registration forms with five, seven, and nine fields. The five-field form increased conversions by 11.7% over the seven-field form and 34% over the nine-field form. It also reduced cost per lead by 10.6% and 25.4%, respectively, over the longer forms. 3

So, keep your registration forms short, neat and friendly. It’s a policy that pays dividends.

Reason #4. There’s no benefit in the case study’s title.

Your case study’s title is its calling card. It’s the story’s headline. It may be the only thing your prospect reads before making her download decision.

So, that title needs to capture your prospects’ attention. It has to make them want to learn more.

The best way to do that is with a benefit—a benefit that appeals to a strong need or desire your prospect has.

One way to draft a case study title with a benefit in it is to start with the following formula:

How [Customer X] [achieved big specific benefit] [by doing something specific]

As you can see, the formula is pretty easy to apply. You simply plug in your customer’s name, the biggest benefit they gained from your solution, and how they gained it.

All the elements are important. Any specificity you include increases credibility, especially a well-known customer name. But the key is the benefit— the more specific, the better.

Good title:

How ACME Corp. Slashed Software Testing Costs with RapidProto

Better title:

How ACME Corp. Slashed Software Testing Costs by 73% with RapidProto

If your benefit is enticing enough, your prospects will want to read more.

Reason #5. Your case study isn’t sufficiently described on your download page.

Even after you’ve crafted a great title for your case study, don’t rely on that alone to convince prospects to download. Too many do.

Most website visitors want to see an overview of your case study before they download it. In a survey by KnowledgeStorm and Marketing Sherpa, for example, 72% of technology buyers said the amount of detail in the overview is a major factor in their download decision. And 74% of those buyers want to see at least a paragraph of description before they click that download button. 4

It’s not hard to come up with that paragraph. A short sentence or two on the customer and their problem, one or two more sentences on how they employed your solution and the results they achieved, and you’re done.

Think of your description as a one-paragraph landing page. Give your reader a good reason to click your download link, and you’ll likely be pleased with your conversion rate.

Take-Away Points

If you want to encourage more website visitors to download and read your case studies, try the following:

1. Create multiple paths to your case studies with prominent links on relevant pages.

2. Allow registration-free access to all but your most valuable case studies.

3. For case studies with strong lead-gen value, limit your registration form to a few essential fields.

4. Be sure to include a strong benefit in the title of every case study.

5. Include one or more paragraphs of description of your case study on your download page.

Next Steps…

Need help creating effective case studies your online prospects will read? Contact CopyEngineer at info@copyengineer.com.

References

1 Eccolo Media 2008-2014 B2B Technology Collateral Surveys, www.eccolomedia.com.

2 Hibbard, Casey, Why Some Buyers Don’t Look at Case Studies, AIM Publishers, February 2014.

3 Kirkpatrick, David, Lead Generation Testing: form field length reduces cost per lead by $10.66, Marketing Experiments Blog, 27 June 2011.

4 KnowledgeStorm/MarketingSherpa Connecting Through Content Survey, Issue 2: Content Distribution—Where Information Intersects with Demand, May 2007.

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