Next to business cards post cards can be money well spent it just depends on how you use them.
Spending hundreds on bulk mailings in mailers or on post cards can be great for the large companies that are building and maintaining name recognition, but for the little guy this kind of marketing expenditure can be out of reach.
But don’t give up on post cards yet. One thing they are great for is repeat customer business and to build customer loyalty.
Say you have a customer that gives you a referral, but you do not have a referral business card program in place like I spoke of yesterday. You can use a post card as a thank you for sending you business and list an offer on it as your thank you, such as $20 off your next visit or for a free added service. You would be surprised to know most people like to see a concrete figure instead of a percentage, even when the percentage off may have been greater in the long run. For example you offer $20 off of your next service instead of 10% off, which they perceive as less value, and their next service call costs $300. You have saved $10 but they are happy they got the $20 off. Also discounting lowers the percieved value of your work. That is why the free added service offer works best.
Post cards are also great for recouping lost business. Say you see April that a loyal customer that calls every year in March has not called you yet. First send a kindly reminder card that their service is due, it may have just slipped their mind or they have been busy and have been meaning to call you. Remind them your days fill up fast this time of year and to call now for the best times, they need a reason to call you. Then if in a few weeks still no call, you may want to extend an incentive offer to them. Always make a definite offer with a definite dead line. Like you have an opening during such an such week and can do it for X amount but only if they call by a certain date. Also never have an offer cost more than 10 or so percentage of what you are making for the job depending on your expenses and mark up rate. You are trying to get back business you've lost not give it away just to have a job to do.
One more important thing is for your card to have your customers name on it. Do not use the standard Dear loyal customer. Your customer needs to feel like they are important to you not just a number. That salutation may be fine for a general card you are sending to all of your customers to make an announcement but not when you are trying to win back a customer, and hand signed is best.