What Are the Best Call to Action Button Colors? 3 Proven Ways to Get More Clicks

What are the best call to action button colors to increase your click rates?

Every online marketer knows that conversions are key to success. When more people click on your “Subscribe” or “Buy Now” buttons, you get more leads and sales.

Color definitely matters to online users. In one survey of 500 consumers, 39% said that color is the most important visual element of a business’s website.

But when it comes to the best colors for click here buttons, that’s a highly debated topic.

Can certain call to action colors increase your conversion rate?

In this article, we’ll discuss the best button colors for websites and emails, based on research.

What Do the Conversion Experts Say About Button Color?

Color psychology wheel to help choose CTA button color. Red for Action and Passion. Orange for optimism and enthusiasm. Yellow for joy and warmth. Green for nature, luck, and prosperity. Blue for Trust, power, and loyalty. Purple for mystery, fantasy, and royalty. Pink for femininity and creativity.

You may have heard conflicting advice surrounding conversion optimization, especially when it comes to color.

Digital marketers agree on some of the most important strategies for conversions:

But color? That’s a tricky one.

You might have come across marketers who claim that they have found the “secret” to color optimization. Generally, you’ll see these people belonging to one of three camps:

  1. The Generalizers: This type of conversion rate optimizer will religiously commit to following general, broad best practices. However, they won’t dig deep into the psychology of their own customers to fine-tune their campaigns.
  2. The Pigeonholers: This second type swears by very specific strategies. They will tell you that there are certain “secrets” that are guaranteed to increase your conversion rate. They’ll tell you that a certain color, font, or layout is the way to guarantee your success.
  3. The Perpetual Testers: The third type won’t commit to any strategy. These optimizers have experimented enough to know that some strategies don’t necessarily work for everyone. Instead, they’ll tell you to test out different things, almost at random, until you find something that works.

When faced with the question of which is the best call to action button color, each camp will have a different answer:

  • The Generalizers will tell you that there are some general truths about color. Some colors work well for certain industries, and there are some colors that you should never use.
  • The Pigeonholers will swear by one color that converts better than any of the others.
  • The Perpetual Testers will say that color might make a difference, but not in any consistent or predictable way.

Clearly, they can’t all be right.

Perhaps color doesn’t play a significant role in conversions as we thought. Or perhaps there is something more subtle going on here?

Before we discuss how to choose your website button colors, let’s go over the basics of color psychology

The Basics of Color Psychology (and Why It’s Complicated for Businesses)

For decades, brands have applied the power of color psychology to their logos and marketing.

Infographic showing how the colors of various corporate logos correspond with the emotions associated with that color.

The above infographic shows how major companies have chosen brand colors that bring forth certain emotions.

Here are a few takeaways from how top brands choose their logo color to fit their brand personality:

  • Orange is often used to show cheerfulness and vibrance, such as the Nickelodeon logo. And of course, to illustrate that the product is orange-flavored.
  • Red is the color of choice for bold logos that are immediately recognizable, such as Coca-Cola and Target.
  • Blue is used by brands that want you to trust them as part of your daily lives. Or to trust them with very important tasks like home repair or making your medicine. That’s why you see blue in the logos for Walmart, Lowe’s, and Pfizer.
  • Green evokes nature, health, and peace. It’s often used to represent fresh food, like the Whole Foods and Publix logos.

Psychologically, there’s no doubt that color can have a profound effect on people. But it’s not as simple as some colors always being better than others.

Here are a few research-backed examples of the power of color. These examples also show that the psychology of color is complex.

What should you take away from this information? That color affects how people feel, but there are many factors at play.

For instance, gender and culture play important roles, and some effects of color may not be very significant.

So how are marketers supposed to make sense of all this? How can you use color to get people to click on the buttons on your web page and in your emails?

Does CTA Button Color Really Matter?

It may seem theoretically possible to choose a “perfect” color: one that’s culturally and demographically appropriate for your buyer persona, and your brand. But that color choice is most important in your overall visual brand, not just your button colors.

Yes, it’s a good idea to consider the emotional meaning of your call to action (CTA) button color. You should also run A/B testing to optimize your website popups and email campaigns.

But let’s say you change the color of your call-to-action from blue to red, and you see an increase in conversions. Does this mean that red always converts better than blue?

Not necessarily.

You see, there is more at play here than just the color of the button itself.

The variables include not only your brand and audience but also the surrounding design. It’s nearly impossible to isolate all of the variables and definitively prove which color converts best.

So does call-to-action button color really matter? Button color is an important factor in getting users to click your links. However, it’s not a matter of some colors always being better than others.

Big corporations have the time and money to do in-depth studies on how consumers react to every single color in their web design.

But thankfully, it’s actually very simple to use button color to increase your conversions.

We’re here to show you how to choose the right color that works best for your business.

3 Key Tips for Choosing the Best CTA Button Color

So what is the best color for a button? The best color is the one that works best in the context of your visual brand and the design of your website and email campaigns.

Below, we’ll share 3 simple ways to improve your CTA colors.

1. Your CTA Color Needs to Pop (Contrast Is Vital!)

We know that a more prominent, eye-catching call-to-action results in more conversions. Therefore, any color change that increases the visibility of your CTA button should increase your conversions.

You should focus on two forms of color contract when creating a CTA button:

  • Contrast between the button color and the background
  • Contrast between the button text and button color

If, for example, your button color is low-contrast against your background color, visibility will be poor.

illustration of high medium and low contrast colors

But, increase the contrast, and boom! Your conversions will go up.

You don’t have to do an in-depth study about the emotional effects of your website colors.

Just make your buttons stand out.

Here’s an example of an attention-grabbing CTA button with high contrast:

TEDx webpage. Backgroud is a black and white photograph, and there is a bright red CTA button that says "Register"

The other factor to consider is the overall color scheme of your page. If one color dominates your page, and that color is also being used for your call-to-action, it won’t stand out. To make your call-to-action really pop, again choose a contrasting color. If you have a white background, a bright color or even black is great for catching users’ attention.

In one well-known A/B test from 2011, HubSpot found that red buttons worked better than green buttons. In fact, the red button got 21% more clicks than the green.

But let’s look at the context of those red and green buttons. Quite possibly, the reason red converted better than green was that green was the dominant color on the page. Therefore, red created more contrast:

Hubspot A/B test comparing green and red call to action buttons.

As you can see, the green button blends in more. The brand’s logo is also green, and there is a lot of green in the screenshot on the right. Plus, the most prominent icon in the features list is also green.

On the other hand, there is very little red on the page. So the red stands out, while still making fitting the page’s color scheme.

In fact, some testing has shown that brands can increase sales by over 35% by making sure their CTA color stands out.

To get the most contrast, pick a complementary color: one that is opposite to your dominant color on the color wheel.

Another high-contrast color is a triadic color: one that is a third of the way around the color wheel from your dominant color.

Complementary and triadic color wheels. Example of complementary colors is green and red. Example of triadic colors is blue, yellow, and red.

2. Your Colors Need to Be On-Brand

Your brand identity is another important factor in choosing your CTA colors. If you have a consistent color scheme for your logo, website, popups, and email marketing, your buttons should always fit into that color palette.

For instance, IPSY is a makeup subscription service. Pink is the primary color for the brand. They even use pink padded envelopes to mail their products.

The color scheme of their website and app is pink, cream, and black.

Customers use their app to choose their products each month, and they know to expect these colors from the brand.

IPSY wisely stays consistent with that color scheme in their promotional emails, and the CTAs within them.

Promo email from IPSY. Pink header at the top says "Limited Time Only." Photo of a woman applying lipstick. Body text says "Read our lips: 50%70% off lip products" The black call to action button says "Shop Now"

Above, the black CTA button stands out from the pink and cream background.

At the bottom of each email, there is a bright pink CTA button to promote their SMS marketing list:

The bottom of an promo email from Ipsy. There is a bright pink call to action button that says "Receive Texts"

Notice that the color of this button is extremely bold while still matching the brand’s color scheme.

What can you learn from IPSY? Make sure you have a brand color palette and not just a single color. That way,

3. Your Colors Need to Be Consistent

Marketers also use color to make it easier for users and subscribers to find the CTAs they’re looking for.

For instance, you already know that blue text usually denotes a hyperlink. This consistency makes it easy for internet users around the world to recognize hyperlinks. People know that if the text on a page is blue, you can probably click on it.

The same is true for call-to-action buttons. When you consistently use the same color for your click here buttons, then you are training your users to be able to quickly spot that color.

For instance, you might always make your CTAs the same shade of orange. This helps your users to easily spot your orange buttons, even when they’re just quickly scanning your content.

Don’t confuse your users by using the same color for non-action items, such as headings that aren’t clickable.

Similarly, don’t confuse your users by using a lot of different call-to-action colors on the same page.

Should all CTA buttons be the same color? Not necessarily. Feel free to choose a different color for certain buttons, so you can control which buttons stand out more.

OptinMonster consistently uses green for all of our primary call-to-action buttons. Less important buttons (such as the “Subscribe” button in the footer) use a low-contrast blue. This way, it is perfectly clear what the user should do: click on the “Get OptinMonster Now” button.

OptinMonster website screenshot. Near the top of the page, there is a bright green CTA button that says "Get OptinMonster Now." The green CTA is against a black background (very high contrast). Lower on the page, there is a "Subscribe" CTA. It is a darker blue on a lighter blue background (lower contrast)

Consistency creates a good website user experience, which is critical for conversion rate optimization.

The Bottom Line on Button Color

It’s pretty much impossible to prove that one specific color is best for persuading an audience. There are just too many variables and too much conflicting evidence to come to any universal conclusion.

So instead of trying to find the “perfect” color, go for the color that increases the visibility of your call-to-action. With this simple and proven approach, you can virtually guarantee an increase in conversions.

If you’re looking for a surefire way to increase your conversion rate, a practical solution like OptinMonster is just the ticket. Rather than making guesses in the dark, OptinMonster will help you improve your conversion rates with clearer analytics and easy A/B split testing.

Click here to try OptinMonster and dramatically increase your website’s conversions.


I'm writer and digital marketer with over 15 years of experience. As a former marketing director for small nonprofits, I understand what it's like to be a one-person marketing department. I'm here to help you generate more leads in less time.

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  1. Thanks for reading this article – I hope you found it helpful.

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  2. Hey Mary,
    Please correct the ‘Contrast’ spelling on the diagrams showing high and low contrast.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Mary Fernandez
      Mary Fernandez May 16, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Hey Nora, Good eye! Those images are from CoSchedule, though, so I can’t correct the spelling. Other than that, they do a good job of getting the point across. 🙂

  3. Excellent foundation & finding in color selection.

  4. I liked your suggestion to colors. Thank you so much.

  5. Nicely done. Always good to see fresh articles on color theory especially in regard to conversion to put in my pocket. Thanks.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Adam! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  6. I have been working to improve response rates to my landing page and was wondering if the color of the CTA button made a difference. Enjoyed the article, but can’t decide if my ‘brand’ would best be supported by a blue, red or green button. I am going all in on a green CTA for my next modification.

    1. Sharon Hurley Hall June 5, 2017 at 7:07 am

      You could always split test the options, Aldon. 🙂 That way you’ll know for sure.

      1. I am still a bit confused after reading the article – maybe I use too many colors on my websites – so how do I decide what color(s) to stick with or theme of colors? I guess I am just all over the place on my website and I should probably stick to a theme – so the buttons are not mattering that much to me right now – I probably need a full color make over.

        1. Hi there! Thanks for the comment. We have a post on web design principles that you’ll want to check out—particularly the section on colors.

          Also, I use Coolers to find great color choices that go together. You can use the generator and just click the space bar to get more color choices. You can also lock certain colors on the generator if you like them. Then, hit the space bar again to get more colors that work with the colors you locked!

          There’s also an “explore” section where you can browse and search thousands of color combos. You can search for specific colors or enter a keyword like “winter” and see color combos that match that search.

          I hope this helps!

  7. Interesting, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this for a while. I run a blog for consumer tech, the predominant color is blue, I’ve used red buttons for the last two years, I switched to yellow a few days ago and saw a sharp decline in clicks but here’s the interesting part, while the clicks have declined in about 30-40% conversions seem to be up by 80%.

    Still pending on seeing how it evolves throughout the next few days but it’s clear that the color red generated more clicks (averaging 150% better clicks on some posts tested) yet the conversions of yellow seem to be better.

    My thoughts are that people associate yellow with e-commerce and buying and therefore when they “click” they already do so with intent of purchase whereas with the red button they didn’t know where they would land. Still testing it out though, let’s see how it performs in the next few weeks. Wish me luck!

  8. InterWebStrategies Dot Biz June 2, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Well you guys went with the green and I figure you got far more data that’s been split tested than I ever could so BOOM!

  9. Jessica Anderson March 21, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Optinmonster doesn’t seem to be concerned about accessibility when it comes to their colors, I would be interested in how this article would approach colors and accessibility on the web.

    1. Jacinda Santora
      Jacinda Santora March 23, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Jessica, you’re right. We haven’t been super well-informed about accessibility in the past, but there have been a lot of conversations happening – not only in OptinMonster but in the larger Awesome Motive family.

      For now, here are a few online resources you can use to check out your color choices and text for accessibility:
      Color Safe
      Contrast Checker
      WebAIM Contrast Checker

      I hope these help! Thanks for this important question!

  10. Silas Robinson April 19, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Great read! Thanks 🙂 Helped me.

  11. Very helpful, thanks

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson April 30, 2020 at 6:51 am

      Thanks for reading, and we’re glad you found it helpful 🙂

  12. Andrew Villegas May 28, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Thank you! Definitely well-backed by research and nicely written 🙂

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson May 28, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks, Andrew! We’re happy you enjoyed the post 🙂

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