Take advantage of the secret selling power of color!
From Gil Carlson
Color is an important consideration of selling.  Meanings are attached to colors in the same way meanings are attached to words.

When creating a website, there many aspects we need to concern ourselves with… Such as are we offering the right products at the right price, does our copy sell, how are we going to promote our website. But, do we ever really consider the colors we are using? Have we ever considered what our color selections are doing to our customers, our image and our sales?

How does your website measure up? Background colors, the color of your header, the color of your text, headlines and sub-headlines and elements can all have a psychological impact on your website visitors.


To sell, you have to be exciting...

In my 37 years of marketing, I’ve learned to do everything I could do to avoid boring my audience. You have to create excitement, get attention, show you are human, show that you really care about that potential customer. You have to set the mood and reach out to them.

I personally like reds on a website, something that gets attention and stands out and makes your products stand out.

Someone once told me that I shouldn’t use red, it makes people mad. (Guess he thought we were like bulls with the red cape waved in front of them) I don’t buy it, but even if it is true, we need to wake people up. They aren’t going to buy from us if they are sleeping!


Here come the colors...

Now let’s take a look at the colors and see what they do to people.

Here is a list of some of the common colors and what type of psychological emotion they invoke in people:


BABY BLUE is a color which implies weakness.


BLACK  sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery. It is associated with seriousness, darkness, mystery, secrecy.


BLUE is the color the majority of the world population calls its favorite color. It represents to "Trust". It is associated with trustworthiness, success, seriousness, calmness, power, professionalism. (IBM)


BROWN is associated with earth, nature, tribal, primitive, simplicity.


GOLD is the color of wealth. Associated with prestige, expensive.


GREEN nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance. It is the color of nature. It is associated with money, animals, health, healing, life, harmony.


GREY is associated with neutrality, indifference, reserved.


ORANGE is a color which implies cheerful "levity". (Orange is one of Americans’ least favorite colors.) It is associated with comfort, creativity, celebration, fun, youth, affordability.


PINK nurture, security. It is the color of femininity. It is associated with softness, sweetness, innocence, youthfulness, tenderness.


PURPLE royal, spirituality, dignity. It is associated with royalty, justice, ambiguity, uncertainty, luxury, fantasy, dreams. It can also have religious meaning to some people.


RED is the color of danger. It can imply risk. It is associated with love, passion, warning, excitement, food, impulse, action, adventure, excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed. They say this is good for food websites.


SILVER prestige, cold, scientific.


WHITE is associated with innocence, purity, cleanliness, simplicity. The color of pure innocence.


YELLOW warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness. It is associated with curiosity, playfulness, cheerfulness, amusement.

Market researchers have also determined that color affects shopping habits. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue. Shoppers who plan and stick to budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels - pink, rose, sky blue. So how can you put this information to use?

It all depends on what kind of psychological message you want to convey with your color selection.













So what colors are you using
on your website?

The say that blues against a white background should be used for business sites. I like white backgrounds and I like blue, (I’ve had several blue cars) but I’ve seen too many websites that have used blues and they were boring. So be careful!

Of course you shouldn’t count on your website colors to pull all the weight. It’s your artwork, logos and product photos that should stand out. Put them on, and extend them over your borders and bars. This gives them a 3-D look and they will appear to be popping off the pages.


Careful with using colors for your type...

Although I don’t always follow my own advice… Keep in mind that black type against a white background is best for readability. And this is your main concern. If they don’t read your message, they won’t buy from you.

Even making your message just a bit difficult to read will turn off a lot of readers. Remember, most people don’t have eyesight as good as yours! Type that too small, too fancy or has a conflicting background, won’t get read.

If you can’t use a white background behind your type, a light yellow is a good choice. Kind of like a giant Post-it note. But please, please, don’t but don’t put a giant version of your logo behind your copy block! Your designer may love it, but anyone who manages to read your whole copy block will end up with permanent eye damage.

Black type is the most readable. But sometimes we need to use a little color. Red is next best after black. Try to limit text in color to just large type like headlines.

Your Friend for Colorful Website Marketing,

Gil Carlson

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