As Mary and I developed the IgnitorDigital.com website, I think one of the HARDEST decisions we made was around colors. We wanted something that caught the eye, stood out, but didn’t bring up negative feelings in viewers. We went a bit bold, but if you’ve seen our website, you probably wont forget it’s color scheme!
Choosing colors for your online marketing materials is a big step – and choosing the WRONG colors can be just as big of a misstep. Using colors that bring out negative feelings can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in an ad or email marketing campaign. I’ve seen brands do it wrong, and I’ve seen a few do it right. Today we’re going to talk about color, and how you SHOULD use it.
First, before you even get to color picking stage, figure out what you want that campaign to say. Are you trying to relax people and get them to come visit your island paradise? Are you hoping they’ll book a massage with your spa, or a bike tour with your adventure company? The FEELINGS you want to evoke in potential customers are an important part of making the sale. Sales and color psychology go hand in hand. Provoking the desired feeling in visitors to your site or readers of your email blast is the first step to bringing them into your business. Feelings of security and trust are two of the most important if you want people to give you their hard-earned money.
I use a really great infographic to help me pick colors for campaigns. Sometimes, we have to use colors the client has branded for years, and we don’t get to be as flexible, but sometimes we can really use color to create a desired feeling. I’ve embedded the infographic below, bookmark this page so you can come back and consult with the graphic often as you try new campaigns and ideas.
Here are some feeling groups and how to match colors to them – I try to stay away from any colors that have negative feelings associated with them – but sometimes they just work – like bright orange – which is one of my favorites for a website/campaign. Bright Red is one color that I try very hard not to use, you never know if it will make the reader feel violent or energized, so just stay away from it all together 🙂
- Adventurous – Bright Orange
- Enchanting – Blue-Purples
- Outdoorsy – Tan
- Trustworthy – Dark Green
- Secure – Earth Brown
- Sturdy – Brick Red
- Efficient – Dark Grey
- Trustworthy – Dark Green
You can see a color scheme develop for a business that Does mountain biking tours, and a business that does financial investments. Don’t use EVERY color here, but you can mix and match a few to come up with something great. One site that I think does a GREAT job of putting together great color schemes is www.Design-Seeds.com. You can enter one color you like, and it will show you a few different color palate options, as well as a photo that uses those colors.
If we consult the infographic below, Created by CareyJolliffe, a graphic artist from Boulder, CO – we can match colors to these feelings, like I’ve done above. The colors below are referenced in Pantone Color Codes – you can convert them with into RGB with this website.