Online Dialogue conducted 10 A/B tests applying green features to 5 different websites. How many of these do you think increased conversion rates?
Green can be found in many aspects of our lives. At Online Dialogue, our passion for green contributed not only to the design of our logo but also to the selection of our interior design. As you may know, the color green is frequently used on websites and advertisements and is believed to be a color that motivates customers to purchase. But does the color green really have an effect on our intentions? And if so, how does it affect our emotions and motivations?
In marketing, the color green is frequently used when approving the choices visitors previously made or increasing their motivation to continue in the purchase process. In numerous tests conducted for diverse customers, ranging from Van der Valk to Hallmark, we repeatedly found that the conversion rate significantly increased when adding green boxes or symbols (e.g. hooks and thumbs). We found that using the color green was especially effective when applying it to promotions, free add-ons, calls-to-action, or when presenting what a customer’s purchase will include in order to increase their certainty. But why is green such an effective color? Academic research provides several explanations for this effect.
We usually associate the color green with natural environments, as it often makes us think of trees, grass or forests. Academic work confirms that the color green correlates with perceptions of health, freshness and naturalness and evokes feelings of relaxation and comfort (Casas & Chinoperekweyi, 2019; Kaya & Epps, 2004). Research on naturalness further shows that people perceive products presented in a natural manner to be more morally right compared to non-natural or synthetic products (Rozin, 2005). These investigations show that using the color green on your website will increase positive emotions.
Furthermore, we encounter green frequently in our daily lives. Green traffic lights give us a sign to cross the street and green (opposed to red) is often used to give positive feedback. These, and many other examples, show that the color green is frequently used to approve our behavior. It is therefore not a surprise that researchers repeatedly found evidence for green colors invoking approach motivations (De Bock, Pandeleare, & Van Kenhove, 2013). This means that green increases motivation to move forward, pursue a goal, and take action rather than refrain from action. As a consequence, green is likely to increase your customer’s motivation to continue in the purchase process.
Applying Green in Marketing
Based on our A/B tests at Online Dialogue, as well as the literature which investigates the effects of the color green, 3 effective ways of applying green on your website are formulated:
1) Promotions and Add-ons
Since green increases positive emotions, green boxes or symbols can effectively be applied when informing customers about promotions or additional services they may receive:
Second, as green increases approach motivation, it is an effective additional tool to motivate visitors to take certain actions, such as taking part in surveys or moving to the next step of the purchase process:
3) Outcome Certainty
Third, green should also be applied to information that increases consumer certainty, to give people a feeling of something being ‘right’. This includes information about what a purchase entails as well as what the next steps in the purchase process are:
Overall, the tests conducted at Online Dialogue as well as academic research on the color green emphasize the positive impact it can have on the visitors of your website. After reading this brief blog post on the power of green in marketing, you probably know how many of the 10 tests increased conversion rates: 10/10! If you are interested in further effects we found in our experiments, or this green blog post simply activated your approach motivation, contact us!
Casas, M. C., & Chinoperekweyi, J. (2019). Color psychology and its influence on consumer buying behavior: A case of apparel products. Saudi Journal of Business and Management Studies, 4(5), 441-456.
NAz, K. A. Y. A., & Epps, H. (2004). Relationship between color and emotion: A study of college students. College Student J, 38(3), 396.
De Bock T, Pandelaere M, Van Kenhove P (2013) When colors backfire: the impact of color cues on moral judgment. J Consum Psychol 23:341–348
Rozin, P. (2005). The meaning of “natural” process more important than content. Psychological science, 16(8), 652-658.