The Psychology Of Color In Email Marketing

The Psychology Of Color In Email Marketing

How the majority reacts to the different colors? Below are some tips for you to maximize the psychology of color in email marketing.

Have you ever bought an ornament you don’t need simply because you liked its color? Or have you refused to wear something because you didn’t like its color? If you have, then you know the impact of colors on our behavior. Colors hold a special power, even in email marketing.

When people make assumptions and snap decisions, up to 90% of the decision is based on colors alone. The tricky part is that there is no universal color preference.

Adherence to certain shades depends on personal preferences and even cultural background. The key is to properly segment and personalize emails using email marketing automation software to increase the chances of showing that purple bag to the people who love the color purple.

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There are general guidelines though, on how the majority reacts to the different colors. Below are some tips for you to maximize the psychology of color in email marketing.

1. Choose Your Color Scheme Wisely

Let your main color and the supporting hues reflect your brand and the message you are trying to promote. Here’s a table of the main colors and the emotions and actions they suggest.

Color Shade/Tint

Emotions Evoked




Light Red Happiness, Love
Dark Red Range, Courage
Pink  Romance, Femininity
Rusty Red Fall, Change



Yellow-green Illness, Discord
Dark Green Ambition, Wealth
Teal  Emotional wellness
Olive Green Peace, Unity


Light Blue Stability, Faith
Dark Blue  Knowledge, Trust, Integrity


Lavender Nostalgia, Romance
Dark purple Gloom, Power, Control


Light Yellow Caution
Dark Yellow Happiness, Freshness


Yellow-orange Prestige, Wisdom
Red-orange  Energy, Health, Desire
Dark-orange Change, Suspicion


  Clarity, Neatness, Openness


  Power, Elegance, Mystery

2. Use contrasting colors for your CTA buttons

Your CTA should be the most striking part of your email copy. Aside from its size and placement, color plays an important role in whether readers will notice your CTA. Always use a contrasting tint from the rest of your email.

You can also use a generous white space around the button to emphasize the CTA. The text and the color fill of the button should also be contrasting. Notice the CTA from Pinterest in the example below, it’s striking red surrounded with plenty of white space, is a real attention grabber.

3. Stick to your brand's color scheme

The colors you use convey a message. Generate brand trust and awareness by sticking to your brand’s color scheme. If you have to insert pictures with colors which are not aligned with your scheme, balance it by making your shades stand out from the rest of the copy.

The email below by PayPal played well with their brand’s main color, blue. As you can see from the table in number one, blue conveys trust, a very important element for a company which deals with money. The colors on the picture are neutral. The overall theme is still white and blue; denoting stability and trustworthiness.

4. Use the best color for your target gender

Stereotype says blues are for men and pinks are for women, but the femininity and masculinity of a color are really not concrete.

One study has shown how the two genders respond to the different colors. The results of the study have shown that blue is the favorite color for both genders. Women tend to settle towards soft colors while men like the bright ones.

Generally, more men prefer achromatic colors like black, white, and gray. Moreover, Brown is the least favorite for men while orange is the least favorite for women.

5. Simplicity is Key

It’s tempting to go overboard with colors to make your email striking. But with email marketing, less is often more.

The most popular brand logos use the simplest color and design. The top brands use only one color. Majority of them use the color blue since it’s most preferred by both genders.

Recommended: 5 Powerful pro Tricks That Will Make Your Web Design Memorable

The same is true with emails, your message will be trusted more if you use simpler colors that are consistent and aligned with your brand.

Final Words:

There’s no doubt in the effectiveness of the right color when it comes to your email marketing and messaging. We suggest to save this article and come back to it everytime you want to choose a color that will resonate with your audience.

Pick an appropriate color scheme, use contrasting colors for CTAs, only use your brand’s color scheme, and use the best color for your target gender.  And, if in doubt, always go for simplicity.

Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. Activetrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.

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