How to Use Colour Psychology to Improve Email Design

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 23/11/16 15:52
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Rowland Marsh

How to use colour psychology to increase conversions

At Enchant, we often talk about the importance of getting into the mind of the customer when planning digital marketing strategies. As a lifecycle marketing agency, our focus is always on customer needs, behaviours and desires. In order to align your business goals with customer needs, marketers must tap into the customer psyche to maximise the potential for conversions.

We discuss the ways to use colour psychology to increase your conversions:

Black is back

Tech startup companies valued at over $1 billion dollars are often referred to as unicorn companies. A recent study by the Masters of Psychology has shone a light on colour psychology in relation to the branding of unicorn companies.

The standout finding was that 38% of unicorns use black, grey or white heavily in their branding. This led to the thinking-outside-of-the-box idea that sometimes the most powerful colour can be no colour at all. Uber, Vice and wework are leading examples. Although unicorn companies like Spotify and Dropbox have bold colourful branding, using green and blue respectively, it was interesting that a further 10% of unicorns use black, grey or white as their secondary colours – Snapchat being a prime example.

unicorn companies colour wheel psychology


The link between colour and emotions

Colours and emotions are closely linked and successful brands and marketers use this relationship to good effect in ecommerce. Primary colours are bold and have a big impact on consumer emotions. Red is a very evocative colour, which is often associated with passion and love, but is also know to encourage appetite – just think of the huge restaurant and fast-food brands that use red in their logos, like McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. Blue is seen as calming and productive, whilst yellow has a bright and cheerful glow and emotive warmth.

There are lots of different psychological links between colours and emotions, which businesses utilise in their branding, websites and marketing activities. Here is a handy visual from the Masters of Psychology study showing the use of colours by leading brands and factors behind their logos:

brand logos and colour psychology


Read more about the use of emotions in marketing with this following blog: 5 Key Ways to Use Emotions to Drive Email Marketing Engagement

Colour in calls to action

When it comes to using colours to increase conversions, your calls to action need to have a big impact. Creating compelling CTAs is an optimisation process which consists of numerous factors, such as positioning, size, shape, copywriting and colour. There should be salient reasoning behind the colour choice for your CTA buttons. It's crucial that they either resonate with your branding or stand out from the other colours on your website and landing pages – whilst offsetting the white space around them.

Colour plays a key role in driving click-throughs and conversions. UX designers are constantly looking to implement customer psychology and neuroscience techniques to make sure colours on pages and templates influence browsing patterns to maximise the impact of content. This applies to calls to action too.

Green, for example, is a popular colour for CTAs in retail, especially on product pages and at point of purchase. Green represents a green light or a correct action. Submissions of online forms often include green ticks for correctly submitted information. It's a positive colour and naturally fits retail pages and content. Here's a useful infographic from Kissmetrics about the psychology behind different colours in commerce.


We hope this has given you food for thought on the psychological importance of colour in marketing and throughout the buyer’s journey. Understand your audience and carefully choose the colours in your marketing, which will encourage customers to relate to your brand, engage with content and convert your business goals.

Want to discover the winning tactics major retailers use to achieve more conversions? Check out our great free guide to the Secret Email Marketing Strategies from Top Retailers and go make waves with email!

Download Secret Email Marketing Strategies

Enchant is the UK's leading customer lifecycle marketing agency, helping brands to reach their potential and supercharge their performance with customer-centric marketing strategies. Why not talk to one our marketing experts and see how we can help you create big impact fast! 

Topics: Brand, Branding, Brands, calls to action, Colour, Colour psychology, Consumer behaviours, consumers, Conversion rates, conversions, CTAs, ecommerce, Marketing strategies, Marketing strategy, Neuromarketing, Psychology, Unicorn companies

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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