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With so much marketing information out there, everyone’s worrying about everything. From the length of their landing pages, the amount of characters in their headings to the color of their call-to-action.

Today, we are going to get to the bottom of one of them- the best color to use for call-to-actions.

Enough is enough and it’s time to get to the bottom of which call-to-action color is the most effective(or so I hope).

The participants (6 major retailers)

I want to start by picking out 6 major online retailers as a reference point.

They are: Dollar Shave Club, Nike, Walmart, Powell’s City of Books, Sprint and Ikea. 6 well known businesses all operating in different industries with a huge online presence.

Before I post the results, I want to say that all websites were picked at random. I simply thought of the first 6 brands that came into my head and jumped on their website.

Nike:

CTA 3

Dollar Shave Club:

CTA 1

Walmart:

CTA 2

Ikea:

CTA 5

Sprint:

CTA 6

Powell’s City of Books:

CTA 4

The findings

As you scroll through the images you should notice two things:

Orange – 4 out of the 6 call-to-actions were orange (yes it’s a small sample I know).

Matched CTAs– Both Ikea and Sprint have matched their call-to-action to blend in with the rest of their site. Ikea has a blue menu and their call-to-action is slightly lighter while Sprint do the same but with yellow.

What industry experts say

Before I have my say, let’s here what the world’s biggest marketing experts have to say regarding the best call-to-action colors:

HubSpot –Believe that red is a better color for a call-to-action than green.

Crazy Egg – While they didn’t mention a specific color they do recommend the call-to-action should stand out, and to avoid white, gray or black.

Monetate – That blue is better than orange (preformed 9% better in testing).

Yahoo! Small Business – Red, green, orange or yellow.

Unbounce – Suggests doing the ‘squint test’. This involves stepping a few feet away from the screen and squinting your eyes to see if the call-to-action stands out. If it doesn’t – change color.

KISSmetrics

best color call-to-action

It seems neither of the marketing experts can really come to a decision on which is the best color. There’s a lot of contradiction and nobody has made a bold comment to selecting the best overall color for CTAs.

Crush Campaigns’ two cents

I found it very interesting that orange was picked as the chosen call-to-action for 4 of the websites and matched call-to-actions for the other two. I have heard for numerous sources in the past that orange is great color for call-to-action. KISSmetrics and Yahoo! Small Businesses also suggest orange as an ideal color.

Just to make sure this wasn’t coincidence, I decided to pick a further 4 online retail giants at random.

I checked out Target, Amazon and Apple and Macy’s:

Target:

CTA 8

Amazon

CTA 9

Macy’s

CTA 10

Apple:

CTA 11

Everybody but Apple stuck to either orange or to matched their call-to-action to the rest of their site.

Why did Apple pick blue? Probably because it provided the highest conversion rate for them. Apple is one of the largest businesses in the world and I’m more than sure they have tested several colors to what works for them.

Let’s not ignore that Apple’s website color scheme is white, black and grey. Many experts suggest these are the worst colors to pick for a call-to-action which makes no surprise Apple opted for a bold blue instead of blending their CTA.

Orange and matching call-to-actions do work

From looking at 10 major online retailers, 9 of them either picked orange as their call-to-action or matched it to a color that blended in with their website.

It seems clear from all the information in this thread that opting for lighter colors such as orange, red or yellow convert better than darker colors (black) or neutral colors such as white and grey.

There’s also no doubt that orange call-to-actions do convert. Orange call-to-actions are being used by several of the largest business in the world, and mentioned by KISSmetrics and Yahoo! Small Businesses a favorable color for call-to-actions.

Is orange the best color to use all the time? Probably not.

Conclusion

Your website design, branding and color scheme all play a pivotal part in selecting the right color. Without testing a number of colors you won’t truly know what provides you with the greatest conversions.

I suggest starting off with orange as a base point and testing that against blended colored call-to-action with your site. Did you notice how matching colored call-to-actions are surrounded by a big white space making them very easy to spot? Do the same for yours.

What color do you use for your call-to-actions? Have you tested different colors and seen a dramatic impact? Leave a comment below letting us know of what you think is the best call-to-action color.

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