DMA set to increase customer response with new guidelines

The Direct Marketing Association has announced three sets of guidelines for business practice following the launch of last year’s Code of Practice.

The Direct Marketing Association has announced three sets of

guidelines for business practice following the launch of last year’s

Code of Practice.



The publications, which deal with sampling, inserts and home shopping,

are designed to encourage consumers to respond more often to direct

marketing. Recommendations fall into two areas: the needs of the

customer and operational issues concerning the supplier.



A spokesman for the DMA said: ’We are finding that the guidelines get

passed on from agencies to clients, so they become better informed and

more involved in the delivery of a campaign.’



The catalogue and home shopping guidelines point out that the home

shopping market is worth in excess of pounds 9 billion per year and is

expected to account for 8 per cent of all retail sales by 2005. They

recommend that 90 per cent of calls should be answered within 30

seconds; mailed orders should be fulfilled within five working days;

goods should be received within 14 working days and refunds must be

processed within three days.



The product sampling guidelines suggest that samples delivered to

household addresses should be safe for children and pets, while samples

should carry the words ’free sample’ and should be able to fit through a

standard letterbox.



The guidelines on inserts cover all stages of the process including the

creation, media buying, printing, transportation and publishing. They

break the operation down into seven steps: campaign objectives; media

and marketing planning; budgeting; timings; briefings; reproduction,

distribution and storage.



The final pages of the guide include templates to standardise the

processes, including a sample order form.