Published: 26 November, 2021

The Best Colour Combinations For Email Templates

One of the questions we get from a lot of marketers that work in fund management is how to improve the look and feel of their email templates. Since a number of midsize fund managers don’t really have a marketing team or a web design team, we thought it would be helpful to create a cheat sheet of “quick fixes”. We hope that these can be used to improve on existing email templates or be kept in mind when designing new ones.

One of the biggest reasons to focus on colour in emails is because our brains can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, and the colour is a major factor in how we evaluate what we’re seeing. Consistently and creatively using colour in email is one of the most important things you can do as an email designer or marketer.

Organize content with colour

Small colour tabs or labels can improve content organization, helping readers skim your email. We’ve seen quite a few managers consistently use this technique to add order to both text and content. One of the great things about these small splashes of colour in email is that they’re not images. Using an HTML background colour means they’ll always show up.

Go all-in on a colour scheme

Complement the photos in your email by reflecting their colours in your headers and CTA buttons. This is a great technique for product emails. The approach unifies the aesthetic of the email and offers a cohesive, contemporary look. You can even match the exact HTML colour from an image or graphic by using a quick web tool like HTML colour. You can also use complementary colours and tones –Adobe has a fantastic free tool for this.

Divide content with colour

A lot of emails have a white background. Often, this makes the content feel a little lighter, cleaner and less cluttered. It also makes high-contrasting black text easier to read. But all that white space leaves plenty of room to get playful with colour in an email when it comes to separating and organizing your content. This can be in the content or in the gutter colouring

Get clever with colour in text

There’s no rule that says the plain text in your email needs to be black. As long as it contrasts enough against your background colour, it’s okay to leave the black font behind and play with the colour. Changing the colour and contrast can have some very pleasing effects without losing accessibility and readability. WebAIM has the industry-leading tool for this.

Create contrasting colour CTA buttons

No matter what you are told, the evidence shows that it is impossible to prove that anyone colour performs better or worse for an audience. As quoted by Mary Fernandez. “There are just too many variables, and too much conflicting evidence to come to any universal conclusion.” There is, in essence, no perfect colour. Complementary colours give the most contrast for buttons. These are colours that are opposite to your dominant colour on the colour wheel. Here is a link to the Adobe Colour wheel. Another high-contrast colour is a triadic colour. These are colours that are a third of the way around the colour wheel from your dominant colour.

Use a colour other than blue for links

Readers don’t need the classic bright blue text to know the text is linked. Get playful with colour in email. Capitalize on branding your email by using an on-brand colour for links.

Go colourless

One final tip on how to use colour? Don’t use it, especially if it’s a regular part of your email design aesthetic. Instead, try an all black-and-white email. Without colour to help you call attention to links and CTAs and to help you organize content, you might be forced to simplify, streamline and improve your design in ways you wouldn’t otherwise think.

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