The hard work is done. The body content is written. The subject line is catchy and succinct. It is extremely clickable. You know that people will open the email and view your newsletter, but now you have to make sure they actually read it. Granted, much of that comes from interesting and captivating content. But you need that X factor, if you will. You want to have that cutting edge that makes readers want to pour through your newsletter.

The Colors Of The Rainbow

Color theory is nothing new. In fact, it has been studied and applied since the latter part of the 15th century. Most recently it has been applied to marketing material, web design, and graphic interface. It has been around so long because it is effective. As human beings so much of our emotions and moods are effected by colors. Through colors we express desire, trust, pleasure, sorrow, excitement, eagerness, and more. With a basic understanding of this emotional connection businesses are able to elicit activity from their clients in a more specific manner.

Basic Color Psych

Upon viewing a few of the more popular newsletter templates, you’ll see that a majority of them put a large block of color at the very top of the newsletter. This is considered the hook and serves to grab the reader’s eye. It draws them into reading the material.

Hook Templates

At that point in the newsletter color is used more sparingly so as not to detract attention from the essential titling. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader with color but rather to use color to guide the eyes and influence their impression of the piece itself. For instance, headings are often colored differently than the article text in order to encourage people to read them first. The idea is to have the reader take in the whole newsletter before going back to read the articles in depth.

Color In Context

The use of color in your newsletter is directly respondent to the appropriateness of the color within the context of the newsletter. Choose your colors wisely and do so so that they reflect the tone of your website, your branding, or the mood you are hoping to portray. You may want to have a look at a few color themes being used by comparable companies to see how they use color.

Color Brushes

The content of your newsletter is going to impact the color usage as well. For instance, if you are writing about a great spring sale going on in your Etsy shop you would want to use bright vibrant colors. However, if you are writing an OpEd on the state of political affairs in the former Soviet Union you may want to use more subdued and monochromatic colorings. Color would be used only to grab attention. Always consider how your reader is going to react to your use of color. Just because it looks good on your computer screen doesn’t mean it will look good as the title to your next mailout.

The C2A

A recent A/B test showed that a red button (orange would work as well) was clicked much more frequently than its green alternative. Red is simply a more bold and exciting color. It causes one to act quickly in more cases than not. Green however is more neutral and is more likely to be present throughout the website rather than as a call-to-action. Red is not a through color so when seen it typically jumps out!

Do keep this in mind when laying out your newsletter. If you are trying to create a focal point or a solid C2A, then fill that space with a vibrant color that isn’t used elsewhere. Red, yellow, and orange are important to draw the reader’s eye and encourage click-throughs.

Content Is Still King

With e-newsletters being as present as they are and being a primary form of B2C communication, it’s important to keep your content compelling. Color theory alone will not keep readership up. It is the combination of appropriate coloring and quality content that will gain and keep readership.