Everyone knows a tiny bit of color theory, even if they’re not fully aware of it. We know what colors to mix to get purple, we know that yellow text on white paper is impossible to read, and I’m sure everyone has seen the basic color wheel at least once. But what I want to focus on today is how colors make us feel, and how you can better design and market your product/service with this knowledge. But does color really matter? Hubspot’s Button Color Experiment seems to indicate that it does. Hubspot created two identical home pages with only one difference: their sign up button was green in one version, and red in another. Their original hypothesis was that the green button (which they associated with ‘go’ and ‘forward movement’) would perform better than the red one. But that was not the case.
Over the course of a few days’ traffic and over 2000 hits on the site, it was the red button out performed (was clicked more) the green button than 21%. The question is: Why?
The simple answer is that red stands out. Hubspot’s theory was that red wouldn’t do as well because they shared the color of stop lights, but the truth is, red is a color that demands your attention. Think of a fire truck coming down the road, or a tag on an item marked down for sale, or even the most cliche ‘big red button’ in TV and films! Red fills us with a sense of urgency and energy. It feels bold and passionate and powerful and makes you want to take action! The color red has even proved to increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and appetite upon seeing it. Kind of frightening how powerful it is, isn’t it?
I could spend all day writing about the psychological and emotional effects of every other color, too, but for sake of not rambling I’ll simply share Leo Widrich’s very useful color chart from his article, Why Is Facebook Blue? instead.
The point I’m trying to make is that your company’s color scheme plays a monumental part in your marketing campaigns. It goes far beyond just being able to read the text on your website or to ‘look pretty.’ The science and psychology of colors in marketing are powerful tools, so be sure you know how to use them!