Choosing The Right Colors for Email Marketing

Choosing The Right Colors for Email Marketing

First impressions always matter. Whether you are looking at a pair of pants to buy, a car, or a house, first impressions are imapctful. People often decide in seconds if they like something.


Email marketers spend time worrying about subject lines and pre-header text to boost open rates, but pay very little attention to colors.  Colors are important to email marketing because they affect those important first impressions.


When I first got into email marketing we had everyone in our marketing department make a list of the top five sites they visited most often, and then listed the colors they saw on the sites. All of them had “friendly” colors, mostly shades of blue – and some green and some yellow – but always friendly colors. The same is still true today. Blue was by far the most popular color.


Colors doesn’t always mean the colors used in the design, but also the colors in images used in the email itself.


Choosing colors to find the perfect color scheme can be tricky. You surely do not start with random colors and hoping it will work. Usually the base color depends on the brand color (Facebook is blue for example), then additional colors are chosen from there.


Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are important too. They should stand out. I’ve done a lot of split testing with CTA buttons and believe that red CTA buttons typically work best. No matter what, your cal- to-action buttons should stand out.


One of the main issues with picking colors is working with the brand color. The goal should be to create a consistency with the email and the brand itself – while maintaining a friendly warm feeling.


Different colors have different feelings. Yellow reminds people of sunlight, and tends to triggers happy and warm feelings. Greens and blues – the color of the ocean – trigger feelings of calmness and serenity. Red is often a bad choice (it’s associated with anger and rage), but pink makes us think of love and romance.


It’s no surprise Facebook’s brand color is blue – it’s the most popular color. A study by Joe Hallock has cited that a majority of men (57%) and women (35%) picked blue as their favorite color. Purple is the second-ranking favorite color for women.


Picking colors for email marketing goes much further than playing on people’s emotions and first impressions. Email marketers rarely think about this, but emails can be sent to spam-boxes based on text color alone. Some of us use bold fonts and stand out colors to attract attention to certain bits of text. Bold colors as red and green can trigger spam designations.


Colors used in an email are not only for aesthetic reasons but also for first impressions, making emails pleasing to look at, triggering certain emotions, and also avoiding spam labels.

About the Author