Color Psychology

How to Incorporate Color Psychology in Your Email Marketing

By | Friday, September 20, 2019 | 0 comment

You’ve heard of email marketing, you’ve heard of the different types of emails and you’ve heard about content and how content rules all, be it visuals or your plain ol’ words or both.

What you haven’t heard many people talk about though, is how we, as humans, are conditioned to perceive colors and how colors themselves can emit various emotions and responses. And this is what we want, especially when it comes to marketing.

email roi


Email marketing, as evident by the statistic above, is the tool for marketers, as it’s crazy affordable and can generate high ROI.

And since email marketing and automation is the best way to connect with your prospects and lead them deeper and deeper into the sales funnel, then imagine what you can do when color-based psychology comes into play.

Stay true to your own colors first.

Before you decide on anything color-curated for your campaigns, you should definitely take your own color scheme into account.

As you know, some colors just don’t “play well” with others, in the sense that their contrast is not exactly ideal.

So, what color is your brand, really? For example, Moosend’s color scheme is based on vibrant turquoise and some “dusty” orange, white and grey.

This gives the brand a vibe that’s lively, but also friendly and serious without it being overly business-like:

email newsletter example


This is an example of a newsletter. You can see how it’s true to the brand’s color schemes.

But why should you be cautious about that?

The answer is pretty simple: A brand’s colors set the brand’s tone, and if there’s something that sneakily drives people away from your brand and is a mistake in content marketing that most people fall for, it’s the change in the tone of voice.

What makes them click?

In the eight seconds you’ve got to make an impression, you really need to use every weapon you’ve got at your disposal, otherwise, your email will go straight into trash-literally.

Think, what is the first thing a reader will notice in your email?

The answer is simple: The CTA button. Therefore, you need to make it enticing enough to click, not only using words and visuals but using the appropriate colors as well.

Don’t just align it well and make it stand out, make it contrast well enough with the rest of your email, without it looking tacky. The end goal is for your readers to actually see it, after all.

email newsletter cta example


As you can see in the example above, not only is the “Play trailer” button aligned with the rest of the email, but also Netflix remains true to its brand’s original colors that work perfectly for its cause here: red is for urgency, black is sophisticated and powerful, the two create a fantastic contrast and then, take a look at the white letters.

It’s pretty much the only thing that stands out.

Choose the color that works for your campaign.

What kind of campaign have you decided to send out?

You’ll need a different color scheme for a campaign that needs you to create urgency than one that aims to inform, like a newsletter.

Therefore, you’ll need to plan out properly and make sure you nailed your efforts.

Use colors like red>, orange or yellow if you want to promote an offer-works great when you’re promoting a food chain as well.

Red is for urgency, action or aggression, orange is for optimism, warmth and positivity and yellow is for fun. All three would work perfectly in cases of flash sales, impulsive purchases and offers that will last until all items on the listing are sold.

They’d be catastrophic though for emails that are supposed to build trust and are informative.

These could be transactional emails, emails that notify users that their password has been changed successfully or that a payment has been processed.

paypal transactional email example


Just imagine the amount of panic that could’ve been caused by a CTA button like the one above from PayPal but in red.

Blue is generally used to build trust and is associated with responsibility and intelligence. This is why it's used by brands that are more “conservative”, such as Nivea.

Another interesting fact about blue is that it provokes mental action, rather than the physical one that red can cause.

Therefore, you’ll never see brands that are all up for calm and stability, use red in their emails.

Now, for another question: could you combine blue and say, yellow though? Or are they polar opposites?

Well, depends on what you think of it. Here, for instance, we’ve got a very mild color combination, with yellow being less-than-bright, blue being light but deep and calming and black letters that make for some great contrast.

What does that tell us?

That this is a brand that is creative, optimistic but trustworthy. Upbeat as much as it needs to be and serious when needed.

visme example


Mind you, this is a picture of a landing page and not an email, but I found it extremely creative.

Pro tip: If you want to create fantastic landing pages like the one above, just use a landing page builder instead of wasting your time trying.

Let’s talk about my personal favorite: green. The color green is traditionally associated with prosperity, calmness, growth, and balance.

If the core values of your brand are these, then you definitely need green:

holiday email newsletter example


This email comes from a brand called Havenly -- a clever wordplay between “haven” and “heavenly” -- both associated with calmness, relaxation, and happiness.

Green seemed to be the only logical option for both the brand and the above email.

As you can see, it’s an invitation to a workshop on one of the latest fads: How to create the perfect tablescape -- i.e. the perfect table arrangement that will be able to convey a message and/or an experience.

It’s an artistic, fun and relaxing activity and the email is in dark green, which is most commonly associated with wealth and ambition, amongst other things.

A perfect combination, if one takes into account that we’re talking about an activity that aims to impress and make people stand out.

Details to keep in mind.

The first thing you should keep in mind is this: Not everyone can see all the colors. It’s not impossible for some of your audience to be colorblind-like Mark Zuckerberg, who used blue for Facebook, just because this is the color he can see best.

For your emails to be inclusive and appealing to everyone, you’ll need to work around that problem, especially if you’re going for some nice, high CRO.

Your emails will still be legible, however, they won’t convey the message you would’ve wanted them to if it’s based on colors alone.

Your first task would be to be clear on your CTAs. For example, a “Yes, I do” button can be green and a “No, I can’t” button can be red, but you’ll need to be specific on your text.

You can even design some monochromatic emails-which is one of the most brilliant trends at the moment.

That way, you will convey your message through both words and visuals and you’ll be sure that, no matter what the color looks like to different people, your copy will stand out all the same.

Your second task would be to design according to gender. Men and women have different color preferences. This stems from the fact that, in general, women can see more colors than men.

Tints and various shades are usually preferred by women, whereas men prefer bright colors.

Another interesting thing is that people associate their least favorite colors to things that are inexpensive and/or cheap, as concluded in a survey ran by Joe Hallock:

color scale


Pro tip: You should remember these two tips when practicing visual content marketing as well.

Final thoughts.

Colors play a huge part when it comes to anything marketing and especially email marketing, as the primary goal is to increase open and click-through rate and steer clear off the spam filter.

Which will be there to hurt your email deliverability, if you decide to use irregular colors or fonts, so be careful. You’ll need your design to look and feel consistent throughout.

Image: Pixabay

Author Bio

Nick Dimitriou

Nick Dimitriou is the Head of Growth at Moosend. When he’s not writing content, you’ll find him running his SEO magic site-wide or making friends from blogs and companies discussing the power of email marketing.

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