A step-by-step process for link building through case studies


We recently launched a link building campaign for ourselves that has already earned us several highly authoritative links from websites in the Internet Marketing industry. With a little bit of effort, it’ll be easy for you to replicate our process for your business.

A couple months ago, we set out to set a goal to be featured in as many case studies as possible with the various vendors we work with. Case studies are a great tactic for link building because you already have an existing relationship with that company making it easier for you to reach out and request to be featured on their website.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make a spreadsheet of every vendor you work with and I mean EVERY vendor. This includes all the SaaS tools you work, the tools you use for billing, any companies you have partnerships with or certifications through, even vendors related to office management.

If you pay someone to use their service put them on this list. Take a look at their website. Have they done case studies in the past? If so, do they have a set process for you to be included in the next one? See if they have a form on their site, like this one from Grasshopper, to kick off the case study process.

2. Research contact information for each vendor. Do you have a primary point of contact that you’ve spoken with before? If so, put their contact info on the list. If not, dig through the company’s website to find the best contact information. In some cases, this might be just a contact form on their site. We also had luck sending messages through our vendors’ Facebook pages as this will typically connect you with someone on their marketing team.

3. Write a template offering to do a case study, but make sure you leave room to make each message unique when you send them out. Here’s the template we used:

Subject: We’d love to be in a [Vendor Name] case study!
Body: Hi [First Name],

We are happy [Vendor Name] customers over here at [Your Company Name]. [1-2 sentences about how you use their service/product and the benefits you get from it. If you use their product in a unique way, mentioning it here will help you stand out from their other customers].

I’m reaching out to offer [Your Company Name] as a potential case study or customer story for [Vendor Name]. We’d be happy to answer any interview questions to provide more insight into how we’re using your product. Whatever helps share your story better.

Feel free to put me in contact with the appropriate team member on your end.

[Your Name]

4. Send your template to each of the vendors on your list. Make each one as personal and unique as possible.

5. Be ready for responses. If the vendor already has a few case studies on their site, then they probably have a standard process for handling new case studies. They’ll likely send you a questionnaire to help them get started.Have information on how you use their services prepared and be as specific as possible when it comes to detailing the benefits you get from their product.

Have you saved money because of their services? If so, how much? Is your team more efficient when working on their platform? If so, how much as productive increased? Rough estimates are fine, but numbers and percentages look great in case studies so include them where you can.

6. Don’t be disappointed when things don’t work out. Not every vendor will respond to your request for a case study, and not everyone who responds will end up writing a case study about you, but opening conversations with your vendors can lead to some unexpected places.

We reached out to Zapier and didn’t get a case study with them, but our conversation led to a quote from us being included in their Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys. Likewise, our conversation with Moz didn’t result in case study but ended discussing some new business opportunities with them.

7. Share the love. When your new case studies get published, make sure you share them on your social media profiles.

Depending on the process your vendors have, some case studies can be quite a bit of work. You might have to go through revisions or a phone interview in order to get the final draft prepared, but all the work is worth it as this method can lead to some seriously powerful links.

Over the course of a month, we followed the process above with about 30 of our vendors and ended with 10 really strong links including some from major companies like Zendesk and HootSuite. There are links out there waiting for you. All you need to is go out and get them.


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