by Anna Wybieralska Sep 5, 2016

Different colors can create a different feeling or mood when viewing your newsletter or business mail. However, there are lots of influencing factors that can determine someone's response to a color or combination of colors in email marketing.

There isn’t a color in email marketing that will automatically guarantee success for your brand—but choosing the wrong color can mean your brand is overlooked by your target market. In fact, it is more likely that personal experience will determine what colors are attractive to an individual rather than a broad definition that determines what feeling each color evokes.

So, rather than choosing colors in email marketing based on the stereotypical meaning of color (ie. red means hot or fiery or angry and blue means calm or sad), choosing colors that are expected to be associated with a particular brand is more important. The more familiar a brand because of color association, the more comfortable a consumer is with it, and the more positively they react to the brand simply because it is familiar.

Brand personality types and what traits are associated with those brand types may have more influence over how a person reacts to a product or business than what colors are used.

Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness

Each of these categories is associated with different personality traits. For example, sincerity, or a sincere business type is associated with honesty, wholesomeness, and originality. A rugged company may be associated with toughness or the outdoors.

This concept of brand personality is important because it is this that influences color choice, more than color choice influences brand. You want to choose colors in email marketing that support your brand's message and personality. You also want to be consistent in your color choices to encourage familiarity with your brand.

Text color in a marketing email

For more information about what colors tend to be associated with what words, moods or traits you can reference a study by Joe Hallock that explores this concept. Perhaps not surprisingly the color blue is associated with trust, and red is associated with speed. It is important to note, however, that while these are the most prominent color associations for these words in this study, there are a number of colors that his study subjects found to be appropriate representations for these traits.

This is why it's important to consider the broader possibilities of color use in email marketing. The color green might often be associated with nature, calm or the outdoors, but it can also be associated with commerce, money or competence. Here is a tool that can help you choose color schemes based on the images you want to use in your emails, it can potentially help you understand more about color relationships and what tones work well together based on your messaging and brand.

So, to sum, colors that you pick for your logo or the whole brand can make or break your brand identity. And as Canva's editor said:

There isn’t a color that will automatically guarantee success for your brand—but choosing the wrong color can mean your brand is overlooked by your target market.

Work on contrast to improve conversion

Now that you're getting the idea that color choice can support your branding choices, you can add a bit of contrast to your emails that will help support your calls to action. If your template is leaning toward a particular color palette, say mostly shades of blue and gray, then you'll want to consider making your buttons a brighter, contrasting color like red for example. Greater rates of conversion have been measured when there is more use of contrast.

Overall, there are no rules when it comes to color. In fact, it might be more important to push the boundaries of what color choice means for both brandings, gender-related preferences or mood association. So take some time to think critically about your color choices when designing your next campaign. A bit of color consideration can add a whole new depth and dimension to your email marketing strategy.

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Anna Wybieralska

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