Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount
Is There a Best Call-to-Action Button Color
5 (100%) 1 vote

We are surrounded by countless colors through which the world shows its richness. Not only do colors communicate the properties of objects to us, but they also convey emotions and can even influence our decision making. 

That is mostly because colors bear strong associations with certain things, phenomena, states, and qualities. Thus, we associate yellow with the sun, blue with water and sky, green with nature, red with heat or danger, and so on. 

No doubt, color plays a significant role in digital marketing, being yet another tool to drive customer perception, hence, the importance of choosing the right colors for your business website

But what about call-to-action buttons? It’s no secret that the design, copy, and on-page position of a CTA directly influence the conversion rate. In this article, we will focus namely on CTA button colors to find out whether their choice is really that critical for your business. 

The psychology of color

Collor CTA button

There’s more to colors than we think. The fact that colors trigger emotions and diverse psychological reactions is not anything new. A massive host of studies prove that colors influence not only our minds but also our physiological processes. For example, red can increase our heart rate, while green does the opposite. One study even shows that color can actually influence our perception of taste!

The same goes for websites and marketing. Selecting the right colors for your site will make your brand more recognizable and decrease the bounce rate. But when it comes to call-to-action buttons, the choice of color gets more complicated. 

When you choose colors for your business website, you take into account your brand colors and refer to some general color associations that you want to attribute to your brand. For instance, if you deal with landscape design, you will probably gravitate toward green (because green is the color of nature and plants). If you sell sports cars, you will likely go for some intense or even aggressive colors like red, yellow, or orange.

In the human mind, each color has its own identity (which is a set of corresponding associations). When it comes to building a brand, we try to project that identity on our business. That is how brand colors are usually chosen, and website color schemes are defined.

But a call-to-action button color should not necessarily associate with something to entice users to click it. Here’s a simple example. We used to think that green means “Go,” encourages action, and indicates “correctness,” while red means “Stop” and implies danger. However, a study by HubSpot has shown that a red CTA button drove 21% more conversions than a green one in totally identical conditions. So, where’s the correlation between the color and its “meaning”? For CTA buttons, it is not that important.

Is there too much fuss about CTA button colors?

In short, yes. The Internet is full of studies arguing that picking the right call-to-action button color is complicated science. But the fact is, color is highly subjective.

Of course, there are some universal concepts associated with each color. But then again, there’s no definitive interpretation of colors. Along with general associations, there are:

  • Individual differences in the perception of colors: Depending on each person’s life experiences, colors can be perceived slightly differently by different people.
  • Cultural peculiarities: For example, in China, white is the color of death and mourning, while in most other countries, it is the color of purity and innocence. 
  • Differences in color perception between men and women: Reportedly, men have a harder time noticing slight color differences than women.

As you can see, our perception of colors is influenced by numerous factors. That is why saying that one color is better for CTA buttons than others is not quite right. Color alone doesn’t determine whether your call-to-action button will convert or not. The effectiveness of a CTA button depends on several factors combined.

What makes a good CTA button?

To guarantee the optimal performance of your CTA button, consider the following parameters:

  • On-page location: A CTA button must always be within a user’s field of view, close to the offer description. The button won’t deliver proper results if users have to search for it. People won’t give your offer a second thought unless they immediately see a clue telling them what to do next.
  • Button size: You may put the button right in front of users’ eyes, but unless it is large enough, most people will likely not even notice it. 
  • Button shape: Some think that creating a CTA button of a unique or original shape increases conversions. But it is not true. In fact, people are used to conventional button shapes (rectangular, with square or rounded corners). If they come across anything different, they might take it for yet another design element on the page. 
  • Color: Although there isn’t necessarily “the best CTA button color,” colors still play a significant role in determining the performance of your call-to-action button. The most popular CTA color choices are red, green, yellow, and orange because they are bright, and they stand out against the background. The least common colors used with CTA buttons are black, white, brown, and grey. Since these colors are neutral, they blend with the backdrop easily. 
  • Contrast: This is perhaps the most important factor that allows your call-to-action button to stand out and draw the attention of users. A CTA button color is usually chosen based on the color of the background and other design elements. If they contrast well, users will have no issues locating your CTA on the page. Thus, if your website is made primarily in green, using green buttons will be less effective than using red buttons, and vice versa. Nevertheless, one of the recent design trends is to make CTA buttons transparent. These are called “ghost buttons.”
  • Button copy: Last but not least, the content of your CTA button matters as much as its design. As long as your CTA is brief, consistent, descriptive, and enticing, it will deliver excellent results. Remember that a good CTA is capable of describing the value of the offer in just a couple of words.

It’s not just about color

Although picking the right CTA button color is undeniably vital for your conversion rate, there is no rule saying that one color is better than another. Some colors are used with CTAs more often than others, but that doesn’t mean you must limit your options with those specific choices. See what works best for you by adjusting various parameters of your call-to-action buttons until you find the right combination. Also, don’t forget about A/B testing! It is an effective way to determine what button colors result in the most clicks.


Gregory Mount

Gregory Mount is SMM specialist at Ning.