If I had a gun to my head and someone asked me what would be one thing I would do for their online web presence the first thing I would say is:

“Why bring a gun into web marketing discussion?”

It’s just the internet. But it is getting pretty dirty and wild west style out there.

The second thing I would say would be “I couldn’t just do one  I would do at least 7.”

And I would start with this….

Trade Retargeting Lists Not Business Cards

At one point in your career, you will attend some networking event or meeting. For some of us, this will be a great way to start or continue building your business. For others, such as myself, it’s usually a very tedious and dull process that amounts to nothing but glad-handing and pandering that results in very little, except the trading of business cards that you eventually lose.

I’ve always hated these types of meetups. Partly because of how they are poorly managed but more importantly because they are so fake. Disguised as something else and only benefiting the organizer they become very limiting and exhausting. The guests of these meetings only hurt themselves more by hiding and not putting what they want on the table:

Your Customers

In a perfect world, we would go these events with our client lists or at the very least our email lists on a flash drive and in 1 hour come out with 10x the amount of prospects. However, with more and more scrupulous email marketing rules being put into play, this type of exchange would be a waste as well questioned ethically and legally.

But what if there was something you could trade that would be of equal value to both parties. That wouldn’t cross over any ethics guidelines and is, in fact, being done today by some of the biggest companies in the world.

Enter Retargeting

First, what is Retargeting:

Behavioral retargeting (also known as behavioral remarketing, or simply, retargeting) is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions, in situations where these actions did not result in a sale or conversion.[1] (From Wikipedia)

So in real simple terms and layout: These are the ads you see on Facebook and Google from a website almost immediately after you just left. Our online shopaholics will recognize some of the big names like Target, Gilt and Ideeli performing this type of advertising. They want your money, and they will eventually get it if you stay on long enough.

It’s not only wise advertising for an e-commerce site, but it’s also a great tool for any small businesses and retail shops.

Sites like Adroll and Perfect Audience are now promoting shared lists or “Partner Lists” for businesses to retarget.

What are Retargeting Lists?

A retargeting list is a group of users visiting your site that you have cookied. A list might include everyone who has visited your website, just users who have registered, or users who just peeked around.

Unlike your regular customer email lists where the consumer has opted in (hopefully) to receive your messaging, the retargeting lists and ads are the cost the consumer pays for awesome free internet sites like Google and Facebook. Meaning; These visitors to your site haven’t agreed to anything because there is nothing to agree to. Google makes their money on ads as does Facebook, hence all the paid advertising.

You essentially own your website visitors tracking information and that information is power. Right, Grandma?

The majority of the retargeting lists will be potential customers rather than current due to the law of averages and the scope of the web. Unless you are converting all your traffic and, in that case, can I please call you?

Partner Up and ReMarket Together

Now that we know what lists are and their power, what if you could double your efforts and for little costs? Now you can, through stellar arrangements made by the retargeting ad buyers.

Joe’s Tires Shop could partner up with Bob’s Muffler’s to retarget the same type of potential customers.

Dr. Brown DDS could circle up with Dr. White D.C. and target health, minded consumers.

Brenda’s Flower Shop and Lisa’s Candy Store could swap and convert together. 

This type of marketing is not only wise but cheap.

So the next time you go to another networking event leave your business cards at home and ask the first person you meet “Can I interest you in setting up a partner retargeting campaign?”

And watch the mind get blown…

But not by employing a gun.