Colors To Use in Email Marketing

Learn the psychology and combination of colors for best results in your email campaigns.

Marketing design
December 29, 2021

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In an important marketing effort such as email marketing, the color scheme can really improve the efficiency and help people notice the call to action. Here is which colors are best to use, and how the impact of color can persuade people to buy things.

Every component in an email campaign has an impact on its performance. And nothing has a greater influence on the subconscious of a reader, than color combinations. Because each hue conveys a distinct message, every marketer should be well-versed in color psychology in order to better display their product and convert leads.

So, how many colors should you include in your email? How do you coordinate colors? Should the CTA button be in a warm or cold color? In this guide on email marketing colors, we'll address these questions.


Color psychology in emails

Readers have an eight-second attention span nowadays. So, it is important to immediately grasp them and make sure they read through.

One way to manage this is to use the right colors, in order to elicit the right responses. You can create a sense of urgency with warm colors such as red or orange, invoke joy with a bright yellow or green, or use more stern and corporate color palettes to share important and serious news.

Color is frequently an underappreciated deciding factor in whether an email campaign succeeds or fails. The psychological effects of colors on individuals have been researched for decades, and new findings are made every year.

Data, on the other hand, always shows the importance of marketing colors. Color, for example, is ranked first by 93 percent of consumers when making a purchase, with 85 percent citing it as the key reason for purchasing a product.

At the same time, corporate colors set limits on the colors that can be used in an email campaign. Brand recognition is an incredibly important factor you cannot stray too far away from, and as a result, it's advisable to leave your options open in case you want to target particular clientele with specific colors that are compatible with your brand.

How to choose the right combination of colors

When picking the colors for your email newsletter’s design, there are a few things you need to consider. First and foremost, it’s crucial to know the meaning of the colors you are potentially picking.

Here is a quick chart in which you can see the feelings each color is likely to evoke, and what sort of effect it might have on the reader.


As you can see, by picking out red, you might invoke a feeling of confidence, passion or excitement in the reader. That would be ideal to inspire them to take action, let’s say, if you are promoting a new product or have a flash sale.

On the other hand, if you want to remind your newsletter subscribers that your company is trustworthy, loyal and responsible, you might use navy blue in your CTAs. This would make them feel like they have made the right choice in working with you, as you have integrity and authority.

Another thing to consider is how to combine the colors, according to the color wheel.


This color wheel consists of primary and secondary colors. When two colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, they are called complementary colors. This means that, when combined, they cancel each other out and create  grayscale colors. When put next to each other, they create the biggest contrast possible.

When combining colors for an email, the most effective way to make your calls to action pop out is to pick a bright color for the smaller elements. For background color, you can use a shade of the complementary color, but completely muted and non-intrusive in the overall design.

A third condition when picking colors for your emails, is never to neglect your main brand color. If you use, let’s say, purple in your logo and main branding materials, it would make no sense that you use yellow all over your email marketing. Use the color wheel or tools such as, which will help you generate a lovely and effective color palette that fits well with your branding style.

For example, here is a palette it generated for me, based on the pink shade we use in the ManyPixels brand:

2021-12-10 (11).png

Combine dark and bright hues, as well as colors that are diametrically opposed (red/green, blue/yellow). Make sure they're all around the same brightness and saturation—pairing muted green with fiery red, for example, might come off as a mistake rather than a design choice. Combining soft pastels with earthy tones, for example, could have the same bad effect.

You may also mix and match naturally occurring combinations. For example, light blue and white, dark green and coral red, earthy brown and forest green are color combinations our eyes are used to seeing. Because these color combinations actually exist in real life, they are more pleasing to the eye.

Finally, to make easy gradients that are both sophisticated and pleasing to the eye, blend lighter and darker hues of the same color. A third color might be used for contrast or as a neutral accent.

Where to find good email templates

If you think that designing email newsletters is too big of a bite for you and you lack the technical skills for it, don’t fret. Luckily, there are many, many email automation tools and design databases available, that provide already designed newsletter templates you could use.

You can start by finding one good template that fits your purpose, customize it in your branding colors and add unique graphics and images, and voila—you have a draft that can be copied and reused for future needs.

Some of the services that can offer you beautifully designed templates are:

  • Mailchimp: Not only the oldest but also the most popular email marketing platform in the world, mostly because it has a forever free plan (although it has its limitations). You can add a MailChimp integration on almost any platform, so don’t be worried that it’s not highly applicable.
  • GetResponse: What makes GetResponse unique is that it integrates with third-party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc. It also has great customer support provided by phone, live chat, and email.
  • Zoho Campaigns: Zoho is a cloud-based online office suite that has plenty of tools. One of them is Zoho Campaigns, an email marketing automation tool that can be used with or without Zoho CRM or suite.
  • Drip: Drip is an enterprise email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. It has a wide range of automation, sales funnels and personalization tools
  • Wix: Wix is known for its great features and ease of use when it comes to web design, so if you already have a website, you should definitely consider using their email tool for creating beautiful newsletters easily.

If you are willing to let out your creativity, you can also design an email from scratch, but you would probably need some help with the graphic design.

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.

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