Hydro Ottawa

Building a win-win partnership
with performance-based pricing

Hydro Ottawa

Our client’s objective

Encouraging customers to switch to e-billing helps Hydro Ottawa reduce their environmental footprint and save on monthly printing and postage costs. For 3 years, Acart had successfully managed this “Go Paperless” initiative.

Their goal for 2021 was to convert 4,500 existing customers to e-billing through the campaign. Given our previous success together, this was a great opportunity to strengthen our partnership by exploring a pay-for-performance pricing model.

This included:

  • Building a scalable campaign strategy that would deliver the required results, and then some
  • Devising a project-specific pricing structure that would create win-win value if goals were exceeded
  • Collaborating with our client to create tangible, mutually beneficial benchmarks for performance-based bonuses


Media planning
Trafficking and reporting
Creative direction
Performance-based pricing

Our challenge

For both the campaign and this new pricing structure, the challenge would be finding a way to convince existing customers to change.

For the campaign, we needed to:

  • Understand our target audiences and their fears around e-billing compared to receiving bills in the mail
  • Give them an emotionally compelling reason or incentive to make the switch to paperless
  • Do all of this amid the height of uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic

For the client, we needed to:

  • Come to a mutual understanding of the monetary value of exceeding, meeting, or failing to meet the goal of 4,500 customer signups
  • Determine appropriate bonus increments and compensation
  • Keep clear lines of communication throughout the duration of the campaign

Our strategy

Given the performance-based pricing model, we offered a lower-than-normal rate for our base fees. This included a fixed budget for agency services and media buys to meet the campaign’s goal of 4,500 conversions. To take on further accountability, we agreed to issue an additional 10% reimbursement if we didn’t meet this goal.

If we exceeded the target 4,500 conversions, the client agreed on a bonus for every 500 conversions over the target.

Our media strategy combined Facebook, Instagram and Google Display using Hydro Ottawa’s email database to target paper billing customers. We retargeted people who visited billing pages on their website and remarketed to ad engagers and non-converters to stay top-of-mind throughout the campaign.

How we did it

We divided our budget into 5 buckets for different types of campaigns:

More details

Drag and move.

total e-billing sign-ups
(79% above the goal)
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