What ASDA Can Teach Recruitment Companies About Marketing Automation



(Prefer to read? Here is the transcription. Please excuse any typos.)


Now if is there’s one thing that recruitment business owners would love to have, that would be a constant supply of high-quality clients, candidates and talent coming to their business and then a sort of system and process in which they can convert them.


Now today’s podcast – I won’t be able to give you exactly the criteria on how to do that but what I will do is share a really relevant example from a giant when it comes to marketing and that is Asda-Walmart. So I thought I’d share a little story and break it down how they can leverage their own database and create income at will if you like. So that’s subject of today’s podcast.


Well hi there listener! This is Denise Oyston of Super Fast Recruitment with another podcast and as always you can go over to superfastrecruitment.co.uk and you will be able to download this podcast and even see the image that I am going to refer to that dropped into my email inbox over the last few days and stimulated me to actually create this podcast. As always we have a transcription. Please excuse the typos. We transcribe it because we know some of you prefer to read what we are talking about.


So what’s this all about then? – This marketing automation, this marketing on autopilot or at least, how you use marketing in an integrated and seamless way to really help you when you’ve got those really busy times and create that steady stream of clients and candidates coming along to you, and talent hopefully as well.


Now I’m recording this at the second week of January and we know this is a really busy time for the majority of recruitment companies. People come back after the Christmas break and maybe decide “Yeah I definitely need to employ somebody for this position” or alternatively, “You know what, I need to move companies”.


So the phones tend to ring a lot and you think “Wouldn’t this be great if we get this happening in a more consistent and regular way?” So I thought we’d turn to a giant when it comes to marketing and that’s Asda-Walmart as we now have to call them because of course, good old Asda based in Leeds merged with Walmart. They are now working with Walmart and as a result, I’ve noticed their marketing has changed.


So let me explain how they’re using some of the real fundamentals of marketing and I’m gonna give you a great example on how they’ve used that on me over the last three or four months. Now the good chaps and chapesses at Asda have used seven key principles and I’m gonna go through each one and explain how they’ve use them and how they work. As you’re listening to this, think about how you could actually do this within your own recruitment company because it is absolutely possible.


These are just principles and admittedly this is an e-commerce business. However, what I want you to do is think about the context here and how that might relate to you and your particular recruitment company. 


1.) So the first is about knowing their customer and knowing their numbers. This refers to their conversion rates, what their classic behaviour may or may not be. Obviously they’ve collected this information.

2.) It’s all about timing.

3.) It’s about mixing up the media and different ways of communicating with me.

4.) This next one is about building a relationship. It’s about following up and keeping really good records.

5.) It’s about making me an irresistible offer aligned to some of the information they already know about me and the market.

6.) It’s about the countdown. Obviously they’re making me an offer but I may not respond straight away. Hey, I’m a human being. I don’t always respond. So what they’ve done is they’ve done a countdown for me as well.

7.)  It’s great! It’s ‘rinse and repeat’ and let’s start from the beginning again.


Number one – knowing their customer. I’m gonna use my example. Do I shop every week at Asda? No, I don’t. However, I do shop occasionally there and I may shop generally online. We live in the Lake District, not exactly in the middle of nowhere but I used to live in Manchester a number of years ago and literally there were large supermarkets within a five minute drive. That is not the case where we live.


If you are okay about driving down a very long dark country lane in the middle of winter then yes you can get to the supermarket. However, it’s probably gonna take you 25 minutes to half an hour at least to get to a supermarket with anything worth buying. Our local Asda is a good half hours drive from us. So quite often why would I want to waste my time driving half an hour there, half an hour back and being in the store and that can take however long it takes?


So I decide I’m doing some online shopping. Now of course Asda, the clever people that they are, have a lovely website and on their website they collect my name and email address and my actual physical address because obviously they will need to come over and drop off the items. So they’ve got my name, my email address and a fair idea of some of the things that I buy.


Now Asda being Asda, they will also know what the type of conversion rates are for their various marketing channels. Now because I am a subscriber to Asda and I purchase from them occasionally, they do market to me online and they also know whether I do or do not open their emails. Something I’ve noticed is if I don’t open their emails regularly, there may be something in the subject line that makes me want to click and open or they will send something through the post.


So bear in mind, key principle here, I’m already a client of theirs. I’m already a customer of theirs. They know that I am likely to have look at whatever they’ve sent me.


So, the clever people that they are, coming up to Christmas, they send me a nice offer letter with a special little code on it because we love our little codes don’t we? They make us feel special. So they sent a postcard through the post and on it they made me a great offer. Another key point – offers, it’s all about offers and making them irresistible. For £15.00 I could signup to get free delivery of groceries and importantly anything else that I might want to purchase from Asda and Asda Direct.


Now you can buy a whole raft of things at Asda. Everybody wants things done before Christmas or in the early part of the new year so time is really stretched. Wouldn’t it be great idea to be able to buy some of my Christmas presents online? Particularly what peaked my interest as well is I can buy some Xbox Microsoft Points for my nephew who seems to be really into Xbox as probably most young guys and girls are of that age.


So I thought “Wow, this is a great idea! For 15 Quid, if you could work it out, you know, that that was like £5.00 a month. An order with Asda was £5.00 to get it delivered so again, very slick marketing.


So first of all, they noticed I wasn’t opening my emails so they sent me a direct mail piece which I then thought “Hey, this is a great idea” and the timing was perfect.” The clever boys and girls of Asda have worked out when I might start doing my Christmas shopping which is actually in October. What an irresistible offer and the copywriting was very compelling. So 2 key things there – knew their customer and focused on timing.



So of course, I jumped on my PC and tapped my little code in and got my 15 Quid for three months and of course while I stand there why not put an order in? That’s logical isn’t it? By this time of course I have read the small print that said that I needed to order I think it was £40.00 worth of goods, groceries or whatever and anyone who’s ever shopped online knows that it’s incredibly easy to ramp up 40 Quid.


So on I go and I start ordering things. All really good. Interestingly, I didn’t end up getting the Xbox points from another part of the Asda conglomeration but instead ended up going into the store but that’s another story. But that didn’t matter because they had already sold me the opportunity. And it’s great to know as a human being that I’ve got it in the bag so if I need it, I can use it.


Now, what was good then of course is they got another relationship going with me. It’s another deeper level. So they email me even more and they build a relationship. They sent me a nice email to say Happy Christmas. They sent me innumerable emails to remind me before Christmas about the last closing times and when I need to order and of course reminded me all the time that I am getting this for naught as they say in the north.


So you go on there to place your order and there’s a nice line popped through what you need to purchase, what you will have to pay. So you pay automatically they are installing this behaviour in you which is very clever. So they build a relationship and they send me those pitchy emails but they are also sending me nice emails abut DVDs on offer. They are sending me information about great recipes to try because they’ve got all my records. They can contact me and they’re building a relationship all about that know-like-trust.


Then of course what happens is we’re now in January and interestingly the three month offer is coming to an end. So they have timed it absolutely perfectly. So a great email drops into my inbox that I can read. I’m more likely to open an email from Asda after 8 o’clock at night rather than before but it does seem that they drop in at this point in time.


However, maybe that’s just an observation. So what was interesting was we actually placed an order for Asda this week because we wanted of course to use up, mentally we already knew we needed to use up our £15.00 whatever because we all love a bargain. It doesn’t matter how much money we earn, we all love a bargain.


Now into my inbox dropped this fabulous email a couple of days ago and I’ve actually done a quick screen grab of it for you. If you head over to superfastrecruitment.co.uk/blog and just look for the blog about Asda-Walmart, you’ll see exactly what I’ve listed down here. Now, what’s fabulous is first of all, they use my name. There is some debate on whether this does or doesn’t work. However, my experience is it does tend to work and they say to me “Denise! You could save £226.00*” with a little asterisk next to it because of course obviously putting sort of a little mark like that, and they do it in red “I’m gonna go and check that out.


Well, How could I save? That sounds like a lot of money to me.” And of course post Christmas, no matter how much money you have in your bank account we all seem to have this national obsession with saving money post Christmas because we might have spent just a bit too much on presents or just a bit too much on the food so we want to sort of hone that down.


marketing-automation ideas


So they focus on that straightaway and they do some great attention grabbing headlines as well. So they are masters at using numbers in their headlines. The key thing that made me open the email was three months of deliveries for £15.00 for a limited time only. So you know, they’re just clicking my behaviour there getting me to do something.


So when I open email, there’s a number of things that they do. One of which is to use a £15.00 3 month pass and that’s in a nice red little image pointing down, telling us what to do and online marketing perspective, any images in red particularly when it’s arrows pointing somewhere always increase conversion. So they have obviously tested that and they’re drawing attention to it. So it’s telling me, you know, “Open up to 3 months of home deliveries.” They also talk about the fact that it’s an auto renew.


So basically it’s dead easy for me to do. That auto renew makes it easy for me and they’re telling me that they are making me an outrageous offer that normally I would be paying a lot more for, at least 50% more for. So they’re saying I’d be paying for 24 Quid if I don’t use this link and that they’re saving me an awful lot of money.


So what they are doing is they’re making the offer pretty irresistible. And there’s a little bit of scarcity going on there saying “Look you know, this offer is only open for so long and if you don’t do something now Denise, you are potentially losing £226.00.” You know, I’m not because I don’t shop at Asda every week and of course one of the reasons why the sent me this offer in the first place is they will notice my purchasing cycle.


How often do I purchase from Asda? I don’t purchase every week. Would they love me to go along and do my £100 shopping every week? Yes, I think they would. However, I don’t do it so what they’re doing is making me an irresistible offer so that I will sign up with them, if you like, more and more and they’re trying to make it easy for me. So for them, you know, the delivery charge is nothing. It’s a small factor. It’s a small price for them to have to pay to make sure that they’ve got me on their books spending a regular amount of money.


So that of course is number 3, 4, and 5. They built a relationship with me. You know some of their little recipes were actually quite good that I could’ve used. They would draw my attention to things that were on offer, special offers. Did I take them up on it? No. But did I open their emails more? Yes I did! So they built a good relationship with me.


And number 4 – they’re following up and they’re keeping excellent records because somewhere along the line, this is where marketing automation can really change your business. Somewhere along the line in their programming they will have put in the fact that my 3 month pass expires on a certain day. So rather than just give me 24 hours notice because they will have watched customer behaviour over years and years and years and they know people. We always do things at the last possible minute. But what they’re going to do is they’re gonna start counting down.


I’m recording this now. I’m actually recording this on a Sunday evening with a nice glass of wine while cooking my Sunday dinner. What is now going to start to happen is they’re going to start doing a countdown – classic. Because they know that we’re busy people and we may not respond to their offer straightaway and you may be like me. I actually quite value being reminded about things because I do forget because there’s so many other things going on in my life.


So the countdown is gonna start and that’s something that many companies think that they’re pushing people too much. Well, you know, forget that. You need to keep in regular contact with people even if it’s by email or by phone because people forget and I quite often have thought “Oh my God I need to do XYZed where is that email? When did they last email? Oh yeah I’ve got it.” Now, that’s a really important part that many people actually forget about when it comes to marketing.


Next it’s rinse and repeat. So they’ve got me a bit on a hook here. If I don’t subscribe to their offer which is a pretty good offer and I mean they’re making it a no-brainer really. You know £5.00 a month. Am I really gonna miss 5 Quid a month? I probably lose £5.00 in change out of my purse every week.


So the fact that I’ve got this as an opportunity that actually well, “You know what, we can just eat. We can just get an order out of Asda if we’re short of things or we’ve got friends coming for the weekend.” They’re making it really really irresistible for me but if I don’t take them up on it, they will continue. They’ll make me an offer at various times because obviously they have my email address and they also have my postal address in which they can use that.


The process that they have gone through isn’t rocket science. It isn’t for any company. It’s about knowing your customers, knowing what their purchasing behaviour is and then buying into that. They have an understanding of me because of my purchase history. You know, I’m registered online. They know what my buyer behaviour is and I would suspect that you know what your client and candidate behaviour is and what you can do to engage with them.


It’s thinking about timing. They email me 3 or 4 months before Christmas and yeah you may be listening to this podcast in January 2014 or January 2015 or whatever during the year but the principles still apply. There are times in the year when people start looking for new positions. It can happen at any point during the year but you will see your peaks and drops.


Go back and have a look at your own accounts. Have a look at when you’re your large peaks are and what you think might have contributed to that because that is how you can then build this into your own marketing and how that might work for you, particular events that might be happening.


So this was a story on Asda-Walmart and a story of shopping online. I always say to people look at what the big boys are doing and it doesn’t matter whether they are a recruitment company or not. Look at what some really good marketers are doing online. You need to be looking at people who have e-commerce sites, groceries – Asda, Tesco, John Lewis… people like that, they really fight tooth and nail for their profit and they work on a very narrow profit margin so imagine how they have to make their things absolutely work for them.


So this is Denise with a little story for you and on the subject of stories,have a look on our blog we’re gonna create a video for you about the power of story when you’re communicating with your clients. So this is Denise saying bye for now!





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This podcast was hosted by Denise Oyston. Visit our Google + Page!



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