A subscriber to one of the email newsletters we manage wrote to the client asking why they used blue text instead of black for the body copy. The client didn’t know if it was just a silly question so they asked us if there was a specific reason why we decided upon blue rather than black text.
These are the types of things we’re paid to pay attention to, so we did have a response for them:
We decided on the color blue because it represents wisdom, trust, and loyalty. People wear blue outfits for job interviews because the color suggests dedication and loyalty. Blue is the favorite color of the majority of both men and women. The color relaxes our nervous system and has a sobering effect on the mind; it can cause people to be more contemplative. Studies show that students score higher and weightlifters lift heavier weights in blue rooms. People retain more when reading information written in blue text.
Black, on the other hand, is a controversial color. It is associated with demons, witches and the devil. It is the color of despair and morning. It symbolizes evil characters and criminal activities–think of the black-hatted villains of Westerns.
You may think difference between black and blue text in an email newsletter to be a distinction without much of a difference. But think about how people consume information online. When reading a print publication, people tend to devote much more concentration to read more words. When people consume online information, however, they tend to devote far less concentration–scanning instead of reading–perhaps because of the sheer volume of information at their fingertips.
Given the short attention spans of people online and one of the primary goals of email newsletters–to build a relationship with subscribers–any minute edge can be the difference between subscribers opening your email or ignoring it. One of the primary reasons people open one email over another is that it comes from a trusted source. Any way you can reinforce that trust–even if it’s through blue text–will help your email newsletter efforts succeed.
More reading on color psychology: