AAT guidelines for marketing

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jilt
jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
I am not yet a full member or MIP but have been trading for a while. I did the professional ethics module and do my best to follow all the AAT guidelines for MIPs.

I have a query though in marketing my business and hope some of you MIPs can steer me in the right direction.

I have advertised in local mags, displayed cards in newsagents, and am on Free Index and of course I do not mention AAT as I am a student.

I have recently complied a list of potential clients from ads in local mags and by searching for trademan's websites on google to enable me to send an email shot and have of course addressed it to a named individual. There are hundreds of businesse that I don't have the owners name for though so my questions are:

1. Am I allowed to do produce a generic leaflet advertsing my company, pretty much the same as my ads, and take them to a networking event for members to pick up themselves; do a leaflet drop around the businesses in the town where my office is; do a door to door leaflet drop in the area where i live as I know it is full of sole traders; or is this not allowed as they aren't addressed to anyone?

2. Is it ok to include in my ads a from price ie 'Sole trader Accounts and Tax return from £xxx' ?

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  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I don't know the answers. I don't see an inherent problem with either of them.

    I never did an ethics module and I have read the ethical guidelines, but these aren't questions I would even have thought of.

    Is it your ethics module studies that lead you to ask the questions?
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    I also don't know the technical answer but cannot see anything ethically wrong with it. Yes it's better to have the name of someone to write to as you are more likely to get a response but I don't believe it makes it un-ethical to not include it.

    I do occasionally do emails to local businesses which include prices and don't necessarily include a specific persons name.

    It does work but you need to send a lot and you need to make sure you don't annoy people as it could be seen as spam.

    Royal mail will do leaflet drops for you to x number of houses. It's expensive for just a few but if you are looking at doing thousands then it may be worth it.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Yeah sort of, I could remember that any direct mail had to be addressed to a named individual and that it was ok to be listed in trade and professional directories but other than that I didn't know if there were any other guidelines.

    Taking leaflets to networking events I thought would be ok cos they're just on a table and people decide for themselves whether or not to take one, pretty much like seeing and advert in a publication or shop and deciding whether to make a note of the telephone number etc.

    I'd dearly love to do a leaflet drop in both the office and home areas but wasn't sure it was within the AATs guidelines.

    Here's an extract from my ethics book 'The advertisement itself should not, either in content or presentation, seek to promote services in such a way, or to such an extent, as to amount to harassment of a potential client. This is likey to deter the potential client and in the event of a complaint of harassment the burden of demonstrating that approaches of a repetative and direct nature did not amount to harassment is likely to rest with the member.'

    When I send my email shots, I'm curently up to 350 hits, there is an option to be removed from the mailing list so I should be ok there but it's whether a leaflet drop would be classed as unsolicited mail and frowned upon by the AAT.

    Apologies for lengthy post
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I would suggest that one unsolicited leaflet drop does not constitute harassment. Multiple ones might, but I think what you've propopsed sound reasonable and within the guidelines.

    Edit: No-one is going to complain, even if you do one leaflet drop a month. People get so much junk mail, if they don't want it they will bin it. Anyway, if you can't reference the AAT as you're a student, who are they going to complain to? Not the AAT anyway!
  • burg
    burg Registered, Moderator Posts: 1,441 mod
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    Monsoon wrote: »
    I would suggest that one unsolicited leaflet drop does not constitute harassment. Multiple ones might, but I think what you've propopsed sound reasonable and within the guidelines.

    Edit: No-one is going to complain, even if you do one leaflet drop a month. People get so much junk mail, if they don't want it they will bin it. Anyway, if you can't reference the AAT as you're a student, who are they going to complain to? Not the AAT anyway!

    Agree with all this!

    What do most of us do with junk mail? Bin it!

    As Jenni says just don't send them a leaflet every week as that could be seen as harassment!
    Regards,

    Burg
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Monsoon wrote: »

    Edit: No-one is going to complain, even if you do one leaflet drop a month. People get so much junk mail, if they don't want it they will bin it. Anyway, if you can't reference the AAT as you're a student, who are they going to complain to? Not the AAT anyway!

    Yep you're right, I did think that, suppose I just wanted to get it right before I became a member. I have just done my second email shot, the first was in early July but am thinhking of sending a monthly one now it's approaching the SA deadline. I had about 200 on then and did get a client out of it. I just keep adding people to it as I come accros their details. I've had 41 unique views, and 65 in total from yesterdays so far.
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    burg wrote: »
    Agree with all this!

    What do most of us do with junk mail? Bin it!

    As Jenni says just don't send them a leaflet every week as that could be seen as harassment!

    I think every couple of months will be enough, besides I can't afford the paper and ink too often! Emails are much cheaper, especially when hubby has the software and pays for the credits :lol:

    Thanks guys
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    For the emails you should really allow the recipient to opt-in rather than just collate addresses and then spam people. Having been down that road myself, many people now use spam reporting options in their email software and you will get a nice warning from your ISP each time someone complains.

    I believe you will also have to check any postal drops against the Mail Preference Service to make sure you do not deliver to anyone who has opted not to receive unsolicited mail.
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    For the emails you should really allow the recipient to opt-in rather than just collate addresses and then spam people. Having been down that road myself, many people now use spam reporting options in their email software and you will get a nice warning from your ISP each time someone complains.

    I believe you will also have to check any postal drops against the Mail Preference Service to make sure you do not deliver to anyone who has opted not to receive unsolicited mail.

    Hi Dean thanks very much for your comments, I feel like I've opened up a right can of worms. I understand what your saying but by publishing your email address in publications and on your website then you are making your contact details readily available to all who come accross them. Ok you are really only inviting people to contact you regarding your goods or services offered for sale and not with their services but this does happen all the time. I will take on board what you've said and if I do ever get a warning from my ISP then I'll think again.

    Wth regard to the Mail Preference Service does this just apply to mail by post? I was planning on making the drop myself or maybe having my leaflet inserted into the local free magazine which is delivered to every household in the area where I live.

    I really want to push my business now so that I can go full time, well as soon as I get this damn AAT unit 10 out of the way! What sort of advertsing do you do yourself or are your clients mostly through referals? I am now getting referals but as we only moved into our office in April this year (I share it with my husband's business) I am trying to build up a client base in the office area.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    The mailing preference service does not apply to leaflets dropped through doors. We get a load of junk through with the regular post (that local businesses have paid royal mail to put through with the post, as opposed to actually posting it) and we have been told we have to ask our local delivery office if we want to opt out from these mailings, the MPS does not apply, so you're safe on that one.
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