Many small companies just don't have enough news to fill a newsletter, let alone time to produce one. Instead, Duane Jones of Storm Products, an electronics manufacturer in Phoenix, sends out 500 "newscards" a month. He pays a freelance writer $100 per "issue" and a printer $10 per 100 copies. Using postcards saves him 12¢ a piece on postage.

Sending customers a mini-mailer is a good way to keep in contact and provide them with useful tidbit information. For companies that need to use graphic imagery on their postcards, a copying process called Docutech can provide extremely high-quality graphics, while only raising the cost of a card to about 30¢ each. "It's a lot of bang for the buck," says Jones, who has seen a number of his mailers pinned to customers' walls.