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How Do Color & Design Actually Affect Inbound Conversion Rates?

How Do Color & Design Actually Affect Inbound Conversion Rates? Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

July 10th, 2015 min read

how-do-color-design-actually-affect-inbound-conversion-rates.jpgWhen I first got interested in Marketing back in high school, one concept that was of particular interest to me was “Color Marketing.” (Basically, I saw a member of the Color Marketing Group (CMG) on The Today Show, freaked out thinking it was so cool, and there was no turning back, but I digress.)

Color and design play an important role in Marketing. Their effects can not only help you make the right first impression with high-quality and consistent branding, psychologically, they can also help elicit the desired actions out of your audience.

Despite all these benefits, however, many Marketers still tend to forget just how important design can be to their Inbound success.

With this thought, I approached my fellow IMPACTers and asked them:

How do color and design actually affect Inbound conversion rates?

Visual Hierarchy: “White space and contrasting colors can be used to draw attention to certain aspects of a design, like a form or CTA. If one element of your design stands out from the rest there is a good chance that it's going to be the first thing your viewers look at. This is known as Visual Weight, or Hierarchy, and things like color, size, and proximity are all something that should be greatly considered when making any kind of design. Infographics, for example. guide your eyes from the top to bottom using content placement and colors. Websites can be designed to do the same using these concepts to increase conversion. - Tim Ostheimer, Sr. Front End Developer

“Colors have definite actions/moods associated with them, but what most people don’t realize is it’s more about the contrast of the color than the color itself. If you can make the most important aspects of your site, for example, your CTA button, stand out from the page, it gives it more visual importance and makes it more likely to attract clicks.” - Donny Wilson, Creative Lead

Clarifying the User Journey: “Strategically placed elements and thoughtful color solutions transform your message from plain text to a visual road map. Thoughtful color selection, in combination with cleverly positioned elements, can tell the user what is interactive, important, and where to go instantly. It helps clarify the user journey and, overall, improve the experience.” - Amir Hamdi, Creative Lead

Eliciting Emotions: “Being a Psychology major, I love talking about how colors & designs affect people. The meanings of colors are not completely universal, but they elicit similar moods, feelings, and reactions in most people around the world. Although we don't quite know how color associations were originally developed, we do know that they exist. For example, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow tend to produce feelings of warmth, frustration, or anger. Cool colors such as blue, green, and purple are usually expected to be associated with calmness or sadness.

If we take these associations and use them in Marketing, it's safe to say you’ll have a better idea how someone will react. For example, make a CTA bright orange when the rest of your page is covered in cool blues, and that button is going to pop out and make your visitor want to click...especially if you have a similar mood of content on the page, as well. Different color combinations create different moods and feelings. It's smart to identify your persona's pain points and needs, and then tailor your content, branding, colors, and designs to those needs in the best ways possible.” - Kaitlyn Petro, Account Strategist

Communication & Conversion Time: “Whether people consciously realize it or not, color and design play a huge role in their conversion and buying habits. A person typically forms a subconscious decision after 90 seconds. That doesn’t leave you much time to capture their attention, communicate a message, and persuade them to take the intended action, but the right color or design can help create less friction and encourage conversion in a subtle, visually appealing way.” - Joe Rinaldi, Creative Supervisor

Color affects conversion rates because people generally react to colors similarly. Many popular social media networks (I won’t name names) have blue logos, icons, and designs. Blue typically indicates friendliness and trust so it’s not surprising it would be good for a social network.

“Design is just visual communication. When you have something of value, you want people to take action and convert to obtain that value. If your communication is poor, your audience won’t understand the value, and won’t convert. This is where color and design can help you. Overall, I’d say color is more important thematically and branding, while design in terms of layout is more important for conversion on pages.” - Derrick Weiss, Account Executive

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