Growing opportunities for customer acquisition and retention


Dr. Green turned to data visualization and strategic targeting

 Competitive Market

Founded in 1985, Dr. Green is a family-run lawn care services company operating in Ontario, Alberta, and the United States. The company’s primary focus is on residential lawn health, including seeding and weed
control services.

Lawn care is a competitive market no matter where you operate. In Canada, Dr. Green faces dozens of competitors, from family-owned local companies to national and international franchises. As prices and services are relatively similar across all competitors, success is determined by who can develop the best marketing strategy and deliver top customer service.

Searching for an effective solution

Lawn care has a clear annual cycle in Canada, so acquisition of new customers and retention of existing customers happens
within a narrow window of six weeks at the start of the year.

In Ontario, for instance, three-quarters of Dr. Green’s new annually generated revenue comes in February, March, and April.
That means Dr. Green needs to make every dollar spent on marketing, including every mailing, count. Over the years, the company tried a number of solutions, from newspaper ads and inserts to door-to-door solicitations. The results were mixed, as affordable solutions were unsuccessful and effective solutions were too expensive. Even with direct mail, the company’s early efforts were scattered. “We were broadly targeting our markets with the hopes of finding customers,” said Raunie Ratcliffe, owner/operator of Dr. Green in Ontario.

Evaluating the landscape

Dr. Green embraced Canada Post Neighbourhood MailTM and Personalized MailTM from the start.

The company sends direct mail to 300,000 homes in Alberta and 1.2 million homes in Ontario with the goal of hitting every home three times within its sales window.

To succeed with that kind of volume, however, Dr. Green had to be strategic in its targeting. Precision TargeterTM helped the company get to the root of its potential customers. Knowing what their best customers looked like, the company filtered for income (seeking households making $80,000 or more); homeowners over renters; and detached or semi-detached homes.

“My ‘ah-ha’ moment with Precision Targeter came when I saw how demographic data and geolocation identified our best potential customers right down to the route level of some of the awesome postal codes we have,” said Lee Ratcliffe, owner/operator of Dr. Green in Alberta. As it evaluated each mailing, Dr. Green used Canada Post Visualization, a tool that provides a visual representation of data like geographical insights and patterns, to assists it in making smarter targeting decisions. In this case, Dr. Green used the tool to see where the company had opportunity to grow its customer base by displaying areas where cost of sale was low yet the company had only sent direct mail once in that sales window.

Canada Post made other suggestions, as well, like using Personalized Mail to encourage previous customers to sign up for the upcoming year and incorporating QR codes into their marketing creative driving to their get-a-quote tool. Building on success In 2020, Dr. Green saw 30% sales growth in Calgary and 15% sales growth in Edmonton thanks to Precision Targeter.

In 2021, the company adjusted its campaign using Canada Post’s new data visualization tool and saw further growth: 30% in Edmonton and 20% growth in Calgary. That year, Dr. Green also added two extra campaign mailing in four top-performing postal codes (two in Calgary, two in Edmonton). Those became the company’s most productive postal codes. They look to expand that number to six postal codes.

While Precision Targeter and Visualization pointed the way to success, the addition of a QR code to the direct mail creative made things easier for customers.

In 2021, the direct mail piece with the QR code pointing to a get-an-estimate tool became the company’s top online lead generator – over 2,000 scans leading to 700 sales and $200,000 in revenue. As a result of the QR code, the company anticipates an increase in new revenue year-
over-year. In fact, they were so happy with direct mail’s performance that the QR code was added to the sides and tailgates of their vehicle fleet this spring.

“All of this data insight is something that we’ve never really been able to see before. It has proved to us that our old way wasn’t going to work – and we need to do what works. Working with Canada Post has helped us understand the opportunities we have available to us,” Raunie Ratcliffe said.


Dr. Green put the QR code to work on their direct mail creative, giving potential customers a quick route to get an estimate from the company. It worked! The QR code became the company’s top online lead generation tool with over 2,000 scans leading to 700 sales and $200,000 in revenue.

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