Direct mail campaigns are not as simple as they might appear and many different areas need to fall perfectly into place to ensure that the approach you choose works as well as possible.
Firstly, you need to be sure about the scale of the campaign. For businesses who are looking to advertise to a very select local area, a local printer and the right delivery method of human beings and paper inserts will be all that is needed. For such a small campaign, designs should be kept simple, but high quality, hence using a local printing firm, but not necessarily a local design firm.
For national campaigns, far more thought needs to be put into every area. Whilst you should look at putting a great deal more money into designing your leaflets, the printing of high volumes at high quality can often be surprisingly cheap, in some cases not being a great deal more than smaller quantities from local outfitters. On top of this, a great deal of money can be saved by using direct mail fulfillment. Not only will the right fulfillment companies be able to offer you dramatically reduced postage costs, but those with a great deal of experience in offering direct mail fulfillment are also likely to have a far better idea of where best to distribute the items you are sending to maximise your ability to target a demographic.
Many fulfillment companies will be able to project manage the entire campaign, saving you hassle and sourcing the best designers and printers for even less than you would be able to, whilst removing the cost in terms of your own time of doing so.
No matter what size your campaign is, you need to make sure you are hitting as many people within your target audience as possible, whilst keeping your overheads as low as you can and retaining the highest possible quality.