color psychology marketing sales.pngAs Mary and I developed the 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  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.


The Color and Marketing Psychology
Carrie Hill
Carrie has been working in SEO and Online Marketing since 2006 - she brings a passion for search and a desire to know more to every project she participates in. Carrie is a noted speaker and writer about a variety of topics, including Schema protocols, Google Analytics, Local Search and more. When she's not digging heavily into search & online marketing issues - you can find Carrie in her kitchen or possibly sitting on the porch with a cup of tea, a book, and her 4 dogs.

One thought on “The Color and Marketing Psychology

  • October 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Hey Carrie,

    Great stuff! I’m in the process of choosing a colour palette for a new authority site I’m building so this is a big help!

    It took me ages to choose the colour scheme for clambr and I can’t agree enough how important the right colours are to your business.

    I went from blue to orange, to plain white, back to blue again, then finally green and red.

    One of the hardest things I also find is how colours look on different monitors / browsers. It can look sweet on Chrome but ghastly on Firefox. Such a pain to sort out but definitely worth the effort in the long run.


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