we did the saturation walking route or every door direct mail thing and was satisfied with the results. we did 1 1/2 mailings in 2011 for Christmas and will do 3 full mailings in 2012 for Christmas lights. I will be sending out 3000+ cards a month starting this month for landscape lighting. I do believe you can spend 500 or 1000 this way and get back 10 times what you spend, maybe 20 times, but it is not a linear curve, I don't think you can spend 5000 and get 50k in sales.
we have over 200 clients, have used lifts in the past for various things and used our scissor lift this year on one home. but by far the fastest and best thing to have is guys who are very good with ladders and climbing on roofs. we have a rope and harness for the crazy stuff, but 99% of our work is ladders and roof work. a lift often slows you down.