Marketing — 22 July 2010

Before affiliate marketing, I was the finance manager at a local Honda dealership. My sales job was extremely hard, as I was the most intimidating part of the process because I determined the monthly payment. On top of selling them on a car that can fit into their budget, I also had to sell financing, warranties, paint protection, life & disability insurance and anything else I could find to sell people. I was at an immediate disadvantage because I was a total stranger now trying to sell them a lot. Sure, I trained my salespeople to help me out to ease the transition and I am a really easy-going guy, but there is almost always tension.

The same thing applies when people arrive on your website/lander. They don’t know you. They have no reason to trust you and you are, more then likely, trying to sell them something. Some things are easier then others, but the more info you ask for, the harder it gets. And if you want them to whip out their credit card, you better build trust fast. But how do you build trust besides brand awareness?

One way is through the use of colors on your landing pages and websites. Don’t believe me? Split test some pages and see the reaction you get. I will go over each of the major colors, what they mean and why you should or shouldn’t use them on your site.

Black

Using black is a big no-no. Besides text and outlining, I would avoid black. Black means death, sorrow and evil, so having a site that is mostly in black is not good for sales. There are always exceptions to this rule, as with every color, but if you want to make the most money, avoid black.

White

White is known as a sterile, bland and sometimes even a cold color. White is good for backgrounds and does help to make a sleek design, but I would limit the usage of it. I like to split test different backgrounds and often just changing from white to a light gray can make a difference. It all depends really on the offer, but it is something that you want to try.

Red

Red is my favorite color in the psychology of color. Red can work one at one time and then turn around and totally bomb. I believe it all has to do with your presentation and how the rest of the page flows together. However, red means excitement and urgency, as well as anger and fear. Basically, it can be used to create a sense of excitement or as a huge stop sign. I always tried to stay on the conservative side in the car business and avoided red at all costs. Honda buyers are typically affluent and a skeptical bunch, so selling to them is tough. I didn’t want to make my job any tougher by giving off the wrong impression, so that is why I did that.

Anyways, try red. Don’t be afraid of it, just don’t overuse it. If you are trying to draw attention to your call to action, that is fine. Try that out and it will probably work. Using is as the main background of your form will not work, trust me. Just be smart and really think out your landing page.

Blue

Blue was my favorite color to wear at the Honda dealership. Not only did it match the logo of Honda, but because it is the best color to build trust instantly. Blue is considered a color of trust, serenity, calmness and even sadness at times. Think of the music, the blues, and what type of message that is sent in those songs. But, I have never really seen any negative backlash from blue. Just don’t use it too heavily, but you really can’t go wrong with blue. Think of doing blue themed type sites with other colors as accents when needed, and you will create some killer sites.

Green

Green is an interesting color because it can mean luck, health, greed or jealously. I avoided green in the car business because I thought it would be viewed as greed. Nothing is worse then being a greedy person at a car dealership. But, on websites, green can be used as a primary color. I would try it out and split-test it with blue and orange type of sites. They have always seem to work out the best for me.

Yellow

Yellow is associated with frustration and anger, so I would not use yellow really at all. You can always split test, but for the most part, yellow is not a primary color that can be used for selling.

Orange

Orange is a great color to use for web design and selling. I use orange and blue a lot for my sales sites, and they always seem to work out the best. Orange creates a sense of excitement and enthusiasm, plus it is a good attention getter. So, if you are selling to a younger demographic, orange is a good starting color to use, as blue is better reserved for the older demographic. Always tweak and test, but those rules are a good rule of thumb to follow.

So how can you use this information? Well, I did explain briefly how each color could work to your benefit, but in the end it is up to you to test what works best on your demographic. Just remember, you always need to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. Ask yourself when you visit your site, do I trust this site? Would I really do anything on this site? If there a clear purpose and flow to this site? Be honest with yourself. If you can’t get the answer you are looking for, play around with the colors and the flow of the site.

Red can be used to perfection is used right. If you use psychology in your sales copy and incorporate color psychology, then you have a powerful site. Say you are trying to get home biz opp leads. Your sales angle is to stop working the 9 to 5 grind. Use red as a positive stopping force, meaning telling them to stop their day job. Make them stop their normal thinking and get them thinking outside the box. In this case, blue may be a detriment to your campaign, as you want people to be pulled out of their comfort zone a little bit and not be complacent anymore.

Selling is about pinpointing a need of an individual and filling that need. However, the customer doesn’t always give us the information that we need to put together the puzzle. Using subtle little things like this to get the customer to trust your site is all you really have, as you can’t talk to the customer unless they happen to email you. Make the best of your sales presentation and let your site do the talking. Until next time!

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About Author

Bryan Shearer is a full-time online and offline marketer, who has been involved in online marketing for since 2006. He loves to share his thoughts, ideas and tricks for success as well as some of the great recipes he cooks as well. Find me on Google +

(3) Readers Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Selling with Color Psychology | Don't be Up In A Haze About Affiliate Marketing! -- Topsy.com

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    great blog , how are you doing now eeh?

  3. A nice blog. I’ve just interviewed (on video) a colour psychology specialist & have found the subject of colour psychology & how it affect selling fascinating. I didn’t know until I met her that colour is a primary language – Carl Jung said it is in fact the mother tongue of the subconscious! BTW red is my brand colour!

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