Ariane Lessard

Communication Coordinator

How to Choose the Right Colors for Effective Emails

Colors are everywhere and have the power to support messages. It is the reason why psychologists and marketing specialists often study them. Most people know that yellow is related to joy and green is associated with the environment, but do you know how to choose the right colors for your email campaigns? Did you even know that they are better colors for conversions? Let see how colors can help you create more effective emails.

Use Your Brand Colors

Before looking for the best colors to include in an email or the best-selling nuances, we suggest you consider your brand colors first. It is important to use the same nuances on different tools and mediums so people can recognize you easily. It can also help create a trust link between your customers and your business since they will recognize your brand when opening the email.

Let’s take as an example Old Navy’s’ famous deep blue or Harley-Davidson’s orange, white and black distinctive logo. The more you will use the same tints, the more they will help your branding. So, if you already have strong brand colors, feel free to use them everywhere, especially in any email campaign!

Brand colors

Know Your Target Audience

The second point we want to discuss today is the importance of knowing your target audience when choosing the right colors for your email campaigns. You probably already know that everybody has a favorite color, therefore which nuances should you use? The answer is simple: it depends on who your target audience is. Let’s start from the beginning. Are you targeting men or women for this email campaign? Are they retired workers or teenagers? Life is not as straightforward as take blue for guys and pink for girls.

Did you know that blue is the most liked color by people? It could be an option but it is also very used since it is the most color used for business logos (Facebook, Ford, Walmart, for example). Moreover, men tend to prefer brighter colors when women like softer tones. Younger generations may prefer complex and vibrant nuances when older people may like the use of more classic tints. In sum, the choice is yours but you should surely adapt your color choice to the people you want to reach.

Customize template colors without extra tools

Have a Sufficient Contrast for Visibility

A huge mistake that can be made when choosing colors for an email campaign is not having enough contrast. Always remember what the main purpose of your sending is to communicate with your customers. If you choose colors that harm your text visibility, people will delete your message without taking the time to try to read what is in it.

Take also into notice that colors may differ from a computer screen from another screen. It is then essential to choose color palettes with huge contrasts. In general, color palettes should include pale tones, as well as darker ones. If you are not sure if the contrast used in your email campaign is sufficient, feel free to look for a color contrast checker on the web. Your email will then be more accessible.

Contrasting colors for emails

Stay Balanced and Simple

One of the best advice we can give you is to stay simple when you select the colors for your email campaigns. There are many rules you can follow too. First, do not select more than 3 colors for any designs or branding. More than that can give a confused look to the final result. Think about company logos. Most businesses only use 2 colors for their branding. Do you remember what Slack’s logo used to be like? They had to deal with 14 colors before their rebrand.

Second, if you follow our 3-color rule, target a main nuance, a secondary nuance, and an accent nuance. The main color should represent the values of your company well (we will talk about color meanings soon, we promise!) The secondary tint is there to create a contrast or to support the first color. Complementary colors are often used to create that wanted contrast. Finally, the third color is an accent tone that is usually black or white. Thus, if you follow these rules and keep it simple, it should end up balanced.

Test Your Drafts Again and Again

Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe that will allow you to create a perfect email design at the first attempt. You will need to try again and again to find out what works best for you. We now have access to tools that can help you with your testing. Indeed, A/B tests could allow you to try different tints and see what converts more. You may find that your customers prefer orange over green or that people click more when they see a pink call-to-action button than a red one. Every customer group is different and it is important to keep this in mind when choosing and testing the right colors for your email campaigns.

Color editing

Colors Meanings You Should Know

We mentioned earlier that colors have meaning, but do you know them? It is vital to choose colors that fit your business, its products, and its values. Here is then a summary of what the significance of the most popular tints is. Feel free to take a look at our complete analyze of color meanings if you need more info!

Red: It is the color of passion, bravery, love, and anger. Red is a warm color that catches people’s attention easily.

Orange: It is the color of youth, entertainment, and carelessness. Orange is a dynamic warm color also associated with purity in some religions.

Yellow: It is the color of the sun, of joy, but also money and power. Yellow is the less used colors of the primary tones.

Green: It is the color of health, hope, and the environment. Green also has soothing virtues but can represent action as well.

Blue: It is the color of the sea and sky, of knowledge, and trust. Blue is very used in business logos, and it is the second most used color on flags too.

Purple: It is the color of royalty, luxury, and spirituality. Purple has been inaccessible for years; therefore, it has been associated with mystery too.

Last post

10 Color Tools to Design a Better Email Color Palette

Color tools

To stand out of the crowd with some balanced but bold colors for your email campaign, our team put up a list of 10 color tools to help get your creative juices flowing:

1. Coolors - a palette generator with access to color possibilities that help create and save color schemes in seconds.

2. Pantone - a provider of color reports and forecasts that gives insights in color trends across the industries.

3. Color Picker by Web FX - a free HTML color selector to build cohesive color schemes.

4. Gimp - an image editor for transforming pictures and icons, building graphical and managing user interface components.

5. Adobe Color - a color wheel that browses thousands of color combinations for various usage.

6. WebAim Contrast Checker - a contrast checker tool checks the color ratio, adjusts the selected color and determines the color value.

7. Happy Hues - a color palette tool that shows to how the colors could be used in the design.

8. LOLColors - a collection of color palettes ranked by favorites and views.

9. Eggradient - a gradient color palette with 200+ gradient background colors.

10. Color Calculator - a color option collection for any design project.


In conclusion, we hope we manage to help you find the right colors for your next email campaigns. Whether it is teal blue, tangerine orange, or a minty green, there are many possibilities. Remember to stay simple, to have enough contrasts, and to adapt to your target audience, and everything should be good!

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Ariane Lessard

Communication Coordinator

Ariane is a copywriter, as well as a social media manager at FreeLogoDesign. She enjoys writing about new marketing and design trends. She always has tons of new projects; her creativity seems to have no limit!

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