Marketing & Advertising mentor Jay Conrad Levinson responds:
The most effective way of advertising a small business depends on the nature of the business. But print ads -- in newspapers and magazines, including classified ads -- enable you to say one good thing about your business and then include the magic line, "Call, write, or send an e-mail for our free brochure." Those who request it are giving you their consent to receive your marketing materials. So thank them for their interest with a brief personal letter and be sure to follow up by letter, phone, or e-mail.
You may want to look into cable TV, since the cost is so low and the ability to pinpoint neighborhoods and demographic groups so simple. Direct mail postcards also seem to work well. The key thing with direct mail postcards is not to market to anyone who is not interested in your offerings -- only to those who have given their consent to hear from you.
And don't forget that advertising is only one form of marketing.