What to outsource?
Some of the tasks involved in direct mail advertising are too time consumer or too difficult to be done on your own. That is, unless of course you have enough competent staff members to handle the job. These tasks include printing materials, packaging them properly, mailing them, and sometimes, the initial market research involved in any advertising effort.
These are things you'd want to outsource unless your company is big enough to be self-sufficient. Then again, even big companies find it useful to just outsource these things as they only take up a few months or sometimes even just a few weeks to complete. Having to pay people for a whole year even if they have idle time on their hands is counterproductive and could bleed your funds dry.
As a business owner, you need to learn to identify things which you can't handle on your own. Always do the math. These preliminary quotes might seem time-consuming at first but if you really want your direct mail advertising efforts to pay off, you need to take the time to study your expenses.
How are the rates?
Hiring another company for their direct mail marketing services mean that you're collaborating with them and entrusting a part of your operations on their hands. If their services cost too much money for what you're earning, the team-up can be detrimental to your business' health. Never be afraid to look for other options. If you find one, consider bargaining for a lower rate with the current direct mail marketing company you're working with. If they don't grant you lowered rates and the other option is competent enough, go ahead and change partner companies. As long as you didn't breach any contracts, you shouldn't be in any obligation to spend more than what you can afford.
Reach the right audience
Researching your target market and forming the best mailing list possible is a vital part of direct mail marketing. Without this effort, you'll be spending money sending mail to the wrong people. Of course, consumers aren't the only people you should be addressing. Go ahead and send out your ads to vendors who might be interested in displaying your products.
If you're confident about the content of your ads, you might want to send them out to the press as well. You never know which of your directly mailed ads would be picked up by a writer for a good story. Don't miss out on the chance to get some free, positive exposure.