• Rebecca Hourihan

Creating a Positive [Marketing] Feedback Loop


A feedback loop is a process in which the outputs of a system are circled back and used as inputs. It is a classic chicken and egg scenario. It doesn’t matter which came first, as they are on a continuous loop. Each action in the process sparks a reaction and then another; the process continues so long as motion continues within the loop.


For your retirement plan advisory business, a feedback loop could include your marketing and thus, the growth potential of your business.


Here are two quick and opposing examples:

  1. After snoozing your alarm a couple of times, you finally wake to mindlessly scroll through social media. You reply to some task-related emails while passively watching TV. Then you head out early for a solo lunch.

  2. You rise early, go on social media and seek out 5 new LinkedIn connections with HR Directors. Then, you bulk send 1,000 emails to your contact list and invite them to join your upcoming webinar 9 Plan Sponsor Best Practices. Lastly, you leave your office to meet up with your favorite center of influence, a prominent local ERISA attorney.

The first example is devoid of energy. This negative feedback loop can perpetuate feelings of defeat, woefulness and doubt. And if left unchanged, it could kill your business.


The second example on the other hand is full of business propelling momentum. It can make you feel amazing, excitement, jubilation, and the spark of passion for success.

Think of the last time you had a truly productive day. How did you feel? Did you feel awesome? Were you smiling from the inside out? Were you glowing with pride? Lean into that and commit to making it your new feedback loop.


Set Yourself Up for Success

Start small. Begin with a target market list such as traditional Form 5500 plan administrators. Then connect with them on social media. Find other decision-makers within the company and connect with them. Set a daily goal of five requests to “connect” with per day.


Take Action

Start posting on social media. Whether it is a like, comment or share, commit to taking action each time you’re online. Do that for a week and see how you feel. Build confidence in your feedback loop by taking small steps that put you on the path towards success.


Once you are comfortable, actively post engaging content to amplify your social media footprint. Consider LinkedIn ads that target professionals with certain titles (e.g. president, CEO, CFO, owner, controller) within your territory. This will help create brand awareness for your business and retirement plan advisory services.


Amp Up Your Communication

Let’s assess your email communication. We are using the word “communication” because an effective email campaign can hold many different types of content; it’s not just electronic snail mail anymore. You can pack a whole lotta punch by including e-newsletters, plan sponsor guides, participant infographics, videos, webinar invitations, podcast replays, white papers, research papers, and blog articles into your messaging.

Frequency is important, how often are you sending email communications? Is it once per year, once per month, or once per week? Aim to send out at least one per month.


Refine Your Audience

As you build your email list, be sure to qualify each contact. When evaluating your contacts, try to look for those that can either make business decisions, refer your business, introduce you to business leaders, and/or have the potential to enhance your business.


Supercharge your 401(k) business growth

To create large scale awareness, you have to become known. This means becoming “the person” that your community thinks of when they need retirement plan support.

For example, if you define your niche as construction companies, is there a local builders association you could join to attend the meetings? Could you host a webinar highlighting certain plan design challenges that construction companies often encounter (high-turnover, unions, prevailing wage, eligibility, terminations, and cash outs)?


Once you identify your target market, deliver resources and information tailored to it and promote your message. Now you are a specialist who understands their particular needs and will become known as the retirement plan expert within your community. The more you promote your unique skill set, the more your ideal clients will seek you out.


Speed up your feedback loop

When you first start on your marketing journey, it’s a little scary. As you speed up your positive feedback loop, you will become more creative and bold with your campaigns. And they will become fun. Pressing “send” for the first time on a large email campaign will get your heart racing. Then pressing it for the 50th time is less intimidating.

With each new marketing effort mastered, you will feel the power of the positive feedback loop, and you will seek out new marketing initiates that will shine light onto your business and propel new client growth.


Additionally, as you consistently add to your marketing content, you will notice that your content starts to take on a life of its own. It lives online, becoming searchable and discoverable. Your thought capital will enhance the value of your business. These side effects are all a glorious byproduct of a strong and healthy business.


To experience the power of marketing and supercharge the growth of your business, you need to be bold and take action. With each new marketing effort you master, you will notice that you want more because you feel good. When you feel good, you want to do more of that activity. That is the nature of positive feedback loop.


We have said many times that marketing is a journey. By acknowledging the positive side efforts of the marketing feedback loop, you will feel better and experience new retirement plan business growth.


Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!


About Us

401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.


Retirement Plan Marketing is the solution for retirement plan advisors looking for an ongoing and scalable marketing process to generate awareness, streamline sales opportunities and earn more 401(k) business. This comprehensive, strategy driven marketing program includes digital content and sales material specifically designed to help retirement plan professionals attract the right decision makers.