What Colour Is Your Email Marketing & What’s The Science Behind It?

Have you ever thought about what effect the colours in your emails have? KISSmetrics, a blog about analytics, marketing and testing say that though ‘there are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy, a great deal is decided by visual cues, the strongest and most persuasive being colour’.

So, How Does Colour Psychology Influence Action?

Hubspot wrote a great post a year or so ago that talked about a ‘button colour test’ they ran on the home page of Performable’s website. They said that they were surprised that it turned out that ‘colour had a big effect on the overall conversion of the page’.

These are the pages they tested:

As you can see, bar the button colour, they are identical.

The Power Of Colour








Can you guess which one won in terms of conversions? I initially thought that green would be the frontrunner (purely for the fact that we associate green with Go!), but they found that after analysing the actions of 2,000 visitors, ‘the red button outperformed the green button by 21%’.

Imagine if you could increase clicks from your email by 21% just by implementing a simple colour change!

However, It’s Not So Black & White (Excuse The Pun):

Despite the numerous studies that relate certain colours feelings and emotions, marketers must also consider the fact that it is naïve to assume that everyone on your mailing list will react to an injection of a certain colour in the exact same way.

With regards to the hubspot/Performable’s example above, there are many possible reasons that could explain why this particular test resulted in the way it did and marketers should of course not just blindly switch their entire branding’s colour palette from pastels to neon’s because one brand reported successes following a colour change.

Instead, why not just test one page of your website, or an email to a small segment of your data and record the results and make decisions based on the varying performances.

What colours do you currently use and why? Here’s what emotions certain colours are supposed to evoke, but given it’s subjective – what do you think about the claims? Let us know in the comments box below!

  • Red: Red is youthful and bold, it’s also said to entice appetite. So it’s no coincidence that McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and Wendy’s all have red branding.
  • Orange: Orange is a cheery and optimistic colour according to KISSmetrics.
  • Purple: Purple is creative, imaginative and wise (is this that Royal connection?)!
  • Blue: Blue is said to encourage trust as it represents dependability and strength. This is could be why it’s used by companies that have access to so much data about us like Facebook, HP and Twitter.
  • Green: Green is said to be peaceful and promotes growth and health.

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