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Choosing Brand Colors That Move People to Action

A very colorful pinwheel against a purple background

Brand colors are the first visual element people notice about your brand. Before fonts, shapes, scale or design, color registers in the eyes of your prospects.

Brand colors

The biggest mistake I see, especially online, is that people aren’t brave enough about using color. They stick with black, white and grey. They don’t venture away from safe neutrals.

And that’s a shame. Because color online is free to use. You don’t have to pay anything extra to have a full color website the way you do in the print world. Color is there for the taking, and is available for everyone online to benefit from.

Too many people are afraid they’ll choose the wrong color and it will ruin their brand. But that’s not true for online businesses. You can always change your brand colors if you don’t like them.

As I like to say, pixel ink is never dry!

Plus, there are ways to test how different colors will look on your website before you make a final decision.

Why bother with color?

Color increases attention span and recall by 82%. Imagine what that means for your business!

If you can establish recognizable brand colors, you can use them to build awareness with every marketing piece you create.

It’s worth the effort to create and consistently use a color palette so it will become associated with your company.

How to find colors that work for your business

The most important questions you need to answer when deciding on your color palette are:

Who am I trying to reach? and What do I want them to do?

When you know who your ideal customer is, and what it is that you want them to do, you can easily choose a main color.

For example, if  you are an environmentally conscious business, then green would be a good choice for a base brand color.

For more on how to decide what colors will work for your audience, see last week’s post, How to Choose Memorable Brand Colors.

When deciding on the action you want them to take, think about these options:

  • Do you want them to call you for an appointment?
  • Do you want them to opt in to your email list?
  • Do you want them to buy a product?
  • Do you want them to join your organization?
  • Do you want them to sign a petition?

All of these actions are perfectly valid, and the action you’d like them to take might be completely different. Pick one that makes sense for your business.

Want to see a video about choosing brand colors? There’s one in my Design 101 series on my YouTube channel.

Accentuate the action with color

Once you’ve decided the one action you want them to take, use color to draw attention to it. For example, a site owner who wants visitors to opt-in to an email list can apply an accent color to their opt-in form.

In a printed piece, a business owner may want the person who receives the piece to use the coupon on the back. An easy way to draw attention to the coupon is to use an accent color that’s not already in use on the rest of the piece.

Learn more about color on my business color resource page.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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