Colors are symbolic and carry different meanings that connect emotionally with people around the world. Colors are an integral part of marketing creative, adding deeper meaning to your marketing communications. For email marketers, the selection of color is a key component of the creative strategy and can directly affect the response success of an email. In analyzing 4th of July holiday promotions we saw ample creative ‘play’ off of the colors of red, white and blue. In the United States, the colors have ’literal’ meanings. Within the context of the holiday, the red signifies courage, the white resembles purity and the blue stands for justice.
While working on marketing campaigns, creative professionals need to ask themselves what’s the marketing psychology or the objective of each color? For example, red is a high energy color. It signifies action and in some cases, urgency. White encourages creativity. And blue reflects trust, honesty and dependability. When marketers are in the midst of planning campaigns, they should consider integrating the meaning behind each color within their campaigns and the emotional response they can produce. For example, in our recent analysis, my observations of the Lands’ End email lead me to believe that blue was selected as a color of choice for not only the branding affiliation and the summer-like appearance, but also for how it matches the swimsuit images and reflects water, etc. Beyond the visual appearance of the color, blue signifies trust and dependability. The brands’ “Guaranteed. Period.®” policy is more than a return policy. “It’s a promise Lands’ End has kept for over 50 years, to stand behind every product they make and every service they deliver.” Regardless of the timing, a consumer’s purchase or the condition of the apparel item, Lands’ End offers a full money back policy with no questions asked! Now that’s a brand which develops a trusting relationship with its customers.
When designing emails the color palette needs to be consistent with the brand’s visual guidelines. Typically colors are chosen to represent a brand intentionally and through much research, brands identify with specific color pallets that convey the emotional triggers they intend for their audience. As creative professionals we look to those visual cues to help identify what colors can or should be used throughout the creative concepts. For instance, it’s a good practice to carry a consistent color for all forms of calls to action. The color selected can be used in all forms of CTAs from text links to buttons and navigation elements. As an email marketer I also know that some colors work better than others when it comes to CTAs. Through much testing on various brands, we have found that orange tones have been most effective and drive customer engagement. We have seen higher open rates and click through rates using these colors. Further, we also take the contrasting of color into consideration in order to comply with ADA guidelines as well. We know that high contrasting colors can help those with impaired vision or color blindness. The use of blue and green in CTAs can be lost for those with color blindness so in the instance where you must use these colors to support the branding, you will want to make sure the contrast is high when overlaying copy on CTA buttons.
So remember, when designing emails, color plays an important role in not only supporting a brand but it can also enhance and even drive your messaging and engagement strategies.