How to Effectively Use Color in Emails

Using Color Psychology in Email Marketing

By Megan CombsJun 24 /2021

Color has a profound effect on many things in our daily lives — the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the walls that surround us, the items we purchase. If you don’t like the color of a shirt, it goes back on the rack. If a nail polish doesn’t complement your complexion, you’re putting it back. If a couch doesn’t match your color scheme, it’s not coming home.

So it makes sense that if your use of color in email marketing is too bright, too dull, or too just too much, you may not get the click-throughs you were hoping for. This is where incorporating color psychology into your email marketing campaigns comes in handy.

The Importance of Color in Marketing

When customers are shopping for a product, visual appearance outranks other buying decisions, with 85% of consumers saying their primary reason for purchasing a product is its color. When used effectively, brands can use color to attract the clientele they’re looking for.

For example, the colors red and yellow, used famously by McDonald’s, are attractive to children, but the color red is also used to increase urgency and appetite — appropriate for a fast food joint.

Starbucks uses green in its mermaid logo to evoke a feeling of relaxation or the need to de-stress by having a cup of coffee.

The color blue, used by PayPal, promotes a sense of security and promotes trust with that brand — your money is safe with us.

Color Meanings

Here is a list of colors and the feelings they may evoke. blog image

Using Colors in Emails

As you design your emails, it’s important to keep your customer’s color preferences in mind. If you’re not sure what’s attractive to your customers, consider A/B testing to see which combinations perform better.

Here are a few other rules to keep in mind:

  • To keep your email newsletters from getting too busy, stick to three colors
  • If you’re tired of trying to think up color combinations for every email, stick to your corporate colors
  • Visually, is your email easy to read? Do any colors blend in? Does the text make you squint?
  • Use color intentionally: bright to draw attention, neutral or darker colors to calm
  • If you’re not sure which color combinations work, use naturally occurring, complementary color combinations like pastel blue and pink, or warmer hues of yellow and orange

Working the right colors into your email marketing strategy will result in more effective emails and happier customers. Remember, color affects mood, so doing it right will get you more opens, click-throughs and closed deals.

Email Marketing Strategies in Content & Design for 2017

Megan Combs
The Author

Megan Combs

Megan provides copyediting and macro editing recommendations across Kuno. Previously, she was a top content marketer at Vendome Healthcare Media, where she helped clients translate their brand promises into strategic digital and social media messages. She also served as a content creator and editor at AOL’s