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#1 Sin in Marketing

I received so much positive feedback on yesterday’s email that I’m not even going to try and top it today. (Greatly appreciated your feedback, by the way.)

So today, I give you the stupidest email I’ve ever sent you. (BUT…it’s got a really, really important message in it, too.)


Dear Internet, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways…

– You make me the monieezzz
– You let me wear grubby clothes all day long
– You let me take cigarette breaks whenever I want

(NOT that I smoke…I don’t…but imagine if I did…unlimited smoke breaks at my leisure! I could even work AND smoke at the same time.)

And yes, dear Internet, you let me act like a complete fool.

In fact, just last week I invented an evil character (with eye-patch) and used him to promote a fitness product.

I even wrote a 1000-word story about how this evil guy had his henchman dognap my dog and imprison him in his underground lair in the middle of the Carribbean. Of course, I also discovered the island, tricked his goon, fought the evil pirate, and rescued my dog.

(And yes, just like in Revenge of the Nerds, the evil ogre also turned good and helped me save my dog.)

Full story here:


(For all Hollywood producers reading this email and wishing to option the script, you can contact me through my blog at

All this ridiculousness helped bring in a few thousand dollars while recommending my friend’s high-quality workout program to my dear readers.

Now let me repeat and summarize what I’ve just said:

I get to stay at home, dream up ridiculous stories about imaginary evil-pirate-characters, and somehow, believe it or not, I make money from this.

This sure beats being a pastry chef. Yep, that’s what my high school career test said I was best suited for. A pastry chef. I can’t even crack an egg correctly and the only cooking temperature I know is RED-HOT. Amazing.

And yes, I do worry that someday I’m going to wake up and find out that this has all been a dream, and instead I’m back in the factory at 7am with grease all over my hands like I was in 1996 at my summer job.

But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the ride.

Now you might be thinking, how do I get away with all of this?


I make sure that I do not commit the #1 sin in marketing.

Dan Kennedy, a guy I quote almost everyday in these emails, says, “The #1 sin in marketing is being boring.”

So that’s why I’m constantly coming up with out-of-the-box (ugh, such a boring term – my bad) ideas for getting people involved in my fitness business.

I’ve written emails to my readers from “their belly fat”, from my dog about his workouts, and from an evil workout pirate named Svbraigz CallEnsonn.

(And I have plans for a new character, Sir Braigzintime, that will surely entertain TT readers – or at least me.)

All of this is so much better than writing another stuffy fitness article while wearing my windpants pulled up to my nipples while carrying my clipboard (and not smoking a cigarette) – as so many of my competitors seem to do.

By the way, it doesn’t matter what industry you are in…you can have more fun and stop being boring in your marketing immediately. It doesn’t always have to be pure comedy, but at least do something DIFFERENT.

Look at my friend, Simon Black. He’s like a real world James Bond, just less manly (just kidding, Simon).

Heck, even Penny Halgreen, the woman who makes multiple six-figures selling knitting information online used to write emails to her readers from a diabetic cat…

…until it died (RIP Diabetic Cat, we hardly knew you).

Now she has another cat writing emails…but in a completely different personality – and her readers love it.

So listen, you don’t have to write emails to your list from a random varmint, but there probably is something you can do right now that will make doing business with you fun.

Get a little more personality in your writing – and that will put a lot more money in your bank account.

Keep it interesting,

Craig Ballantyne

“Make your business AND doing business with you FUN!”
– Yanik Silver, Maverick Business Rule #31