The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing pt. 4

Melissa Slawsky
5 min readOct 4, 2018


Welcome to the 4th installment of the ‘7 Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing’ series. If you haven’t read the first article, click here to check it out.

Each day, we’ll be covering one of the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ or marketing ‘traps’ that we all fall into when we’re first starting out (and what to do instead.) I’ll be revealing some of my biggest mistakes and blunders (not to make this series ALL ABOUT ME — but because I don’t want to be picking on anyone) and showcasing some really great examples of what to do instead.

Just a reminder — There will be a fun word and celebrity doppelganger to make these easy to remember.

Here we go…

DEADLY SIN #3 — Your marketing is too… “CUTE”

Your Celebrity Doppelganger would be Mr. Rogers.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mr. Rogers, especially when I was 5.

You’re wholesome — good, clean fun for the entire family. However, unless you’re marketing to children, this could be a problem when it comes to marketing your business.

Let’s see this in action, shall we?

The Major Problems with ‘Cute?’

First, in keeping up your ‘squeaky clean’ image, you are essentially trying to appeal to everyone, which means you will appeal to NO ONE.

For example, one of the first sales pages I ever built a Brainiac Bundles sale [The Grow Your Email List Bundle] looked pretty neat (or so I thought). I had spent hours creating graphics that would give each info product in the bundle a cohesive look.

Everything looked cohesive, but it also looked BORING.

Because I had men and women in the bundle from a few different industries, I didn’t want the sale page to be full of pink butterflies and rainbows. I chose a neutral color palette that would appeal to everyone aaaaaand it appealed to NO ONE.

In fact, one contributor flat-out told me, “Nothing on this page excites me.” And, I can totally see his point. Because I did not ‘pick a lane’ or choose a target audience, I had built a bland, boring, page that was CUTE, but didn’t CALL OUT to a target market. [In fact, the only bundles I sold were through Facebook Messenger because people literally were asking me, “Is this for me? Will this work for me if I’m in this industry?”]

[By the way, trying to appeal to ‘everyone’ also makes your marketing SUPER EXPENSIVE. Unless you have the budget of Coca Cola or Pepsi, leave that to the ‘big guns.’]

Let me give you a MUCH better example by another (much more successful) collaboration company, Ultimate Bundles.

The Ultimate Bundles Handmade with Love Super Bundle

First, Ultimate Bundles picks a much tighter niche that would definitely appeal to one demographic — women who like crafting. Someone could got to this page and immediately determine, “Is this for me?” [Yes or No.]

[You might even call this micro-nicheing… they are super dialed into their target market.]

Ultimate Bundles is not afraid to ‘pick a lane’ and they have their bundle sales down to a science. [They also have more than one person in their operation… but that’s for another article.]

The second major problem with ‘cute’ is, no one knows what you stand for.

[Forgive me for getting political for a moment, but it’s similar to what they did to John McCain during the 2008 Presidential elections… His advisors turned him into this generic, ‘Mr. Rogers’ type of guy who said, “My friends” every two seconds and never really took a stand for anything.

Meanwhile, during his AWESOME roast of Obama, he showed SO MUCH PERSONALITY! He was a real human being with an ‘edge’ factor! That was the guy who could have stood a chance at winning! Anyway, no matter what your political persuasions are, don’t try to be too bland and ‘cute.’ Show people what you stand for.]

You must take a stand for your marketing to be effective.

This is another area that Ultimate Bundles excels in. They are not afraid to take a stand when building out their bundles.

  • There’s the Herbs & Essentials Super Bundle for people who want to be healthy
  • They have the Work-at-Home Parent Super Bundle for parents who want to be there for their kids growing up
  • Their recipe bundles are targeted towards vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free folks. [They’ve even started to offer micro-bundles for those who have a specific preference and interest in 1 part of a bundle.]

Each one of these bundles takes a stand. It is easy to connect that to a mission (and a story) which can be woven into their marketing messages.

Nowadays, people want everything they buy to be connected to a MISSION from Tom’s Shoes, to Apple Computers, to Dawn dish detergent.

In the words of Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So, when it comes to your marketing, don’t be ‘cute’ (or coy), show people what you stand for (even if it will ruffle some feathers.)

So, now it’s your turn.

Does your brand messaging appeal to a certain target market (or are you trying to appeal to everyone?)

Are you afraid to pick a lane (for fear of leaving someone out?)

Does your marketing show WHAT YOU STAND FOR and why you do what you do?

Or, is your marketing too ‘cute?’

I know I’ve got some work to do this week, how about you?

[Stay tuned for the next installment of this series — Deadly Sin #5]

And, if you’d like some help making sure your copy and messaging isn’t too complicated, I’m running a FREE 5-Day Challenge to help you craft your “KILLER COPY” to stop your ideal clients “dead in their tracks.” I’ll be teaching all of my copy and messaging hacks so you’ll never have to stare at a blank screen ever again…

Challenge starts October 8th. Visit to join.



Melissa Slawsky

Branding & Business Performance Strategist, helping high-performers create more impact, hit their business goals faster, and simplify their lives.