CLIENT: Lawn Doctor Franchisees


Lawn Doctor, Inc. provides a wide variety of lawn care services such as fertilization, seeding, aeration and insect control. The company operates using a franchise model and relies on individual franchisees to drive sales growth. The challenge entails helping independent franchisees across the country localize their marketing in a cost effective manner to acquire new customers using best practices in list strategy, competitive offers and low cost direct mail.

 Obstacles to overcome included:

  • Differentiation: Since many consumers perceive lawn services as a commodity, Lawn Doctor’s service and customer experience needs to be positioned as superior to a wide range of local and national competitors.
  • Localization: Each franchisee faces different lawn types, weed / insect control challenges, competitors, and pricing factors.
  • Weather Timing: The flexibility to pinpoint and deliver mail in a precise time frame for each market’s ever changing weather. If the mail delivers too early, consumers are not thinking of their lawn because there is snow is on the ground. However, if mail arrives too late, competitive offers will arrive first or the prospects will start applying fertilizer themselves.

First, BKM formed a “marketing buy group” that allows individual franchises to leverage best marketing practices and economies of scale by combining the buying power of multiple franchisees into a single program—creating numerous benefits:

  • Lowers production costs by as much as 54% for many franchisees.
  • Utilizes common letter package and postcard shells that are easily versioned to allow each franchisee to highlight their localized services, customize pricing options, use custom landing pages and adjust their sales process.
  • Enables each franchise to specify the exact date the mail will be delivered to the regional Post Office
  • Allows BKM to qualify each franchisee’s mail for the lowest possible postage rates – including SCF and enhanced carrier routes discounts lowering postage costs by more than 30%.

Second, BKM developed a “direct pricing” marketing approach that saves the franchisees the time and expense of traveling to a prospect’s home to measure lawn size (and simplifies the buying process for the consumer).  Using proprietary list acquisition tactics, BKM’s direct pricing estimates lawn size based off of deed-sourced lot size. Each franchisee’s pricing matrix is then applied to accurately create a personalized price quote for each property in the franchise trade area.

Program Elements:
  • Direct Mail
  • Data Management
  • Communications Planning
  • Creative Services
  • Personalization
  • Postal Management
  • This 15 year-old program consistently delivers higher response rates and ROI than other off-line or online marketing campaigns.
  • With response rates in excess of .5% and conversion rates of 70%+, this direct mail campaign delivers results that are up to 300% higher than their online counterparts.
  • Franchisees rely on this program as their main new sales generation tool and supplement with online activities.
  • The New England Direct Marketing Association recognized the annual program with Gold Best-in-Class Award in 2013.