Some casting directors tell actors to save their money because they don't have time to look at them, but most love them because they're a fast, easy way to get an update on what you're doing.
I send a round to casting directors every six months - more frequently if I have something exciting to announce. There are marketing companies that will design and send postcards for you, but I prefer to do them myself.
Usually I use postcards that have my headshots on the front, but for the holiday I sent out these --
Fancy, right? I snagged them from Vistaprint - 250 glossy, full-color postcards for only $15. Total steal.
Next step? Designing a label for the back, because I'm too lazy to handwrite a message on every postcard. I create a template in Microsoft Word to be printed on 3.33" x 4" mailing labels. Here's the last label I sent --
Next comes finding casting director addresses. Back in the day, I inputted addresses from Backstage into a Microsoft Excel database to make labels, but now I just splurge for the updated address listings at Casting About. You can also buy a package of current labels from Samuel French.
Finally, slap everything together along with a postcard stamp, and you're good to go! It's not a cheap marketing project for me - the postcards, labels, stamps, and Casting About service all cost money - but it's worth it for me to keep my face out there.
What are some things that have worked for you?