4 Ironclad Leadership Strategies Learned from Past Presidents

Every year, on Presidents’ Day, we take time out to remember the legacies of the great men who have been elected to lead our country. What started as a Holiday commemorating George Washington’s birthday has grown into a national celebration of all of our Presidents. Obviously, these are some of our country’s greatest and most accomplished leaders. Their legacies impart valuable lessons that we can use to improve our own business management skills.

George Washington: Lead from the Front

George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette at Valley Forge (Library of Congress)

Before he was a President, Washington was America’s most accomplished general. He built his career on seemingly impossible reverses, managing to avert disaster against larger forces time and time again. The key to Washington’s success as a general was that, when things were most perilous, he was right in the thick of the fighting with his soldiers. He didn’t stand back and watch the battle unfold; he got his hands dirty and directed things from the floor. The more involved you are in the daily operations of your business, the better. Get to know your team, build a working rapport, and show them that you’re invested, and you’ll be able to fight your way out of even the stickiest situations.

James Madison: Invest Aggressively

James Madison
Source: History.com

While he was a formidable President in his own right, Madison’s biggest contribution came before he took office. As the architect of the Louisiana Purchase, Madison bucked popular opinion and made a huge investment in expanding the United States’ territory. With that one bold decision, made against the advice of many of his peers, Madison literally drew the map for this country’s future. Imagine a version of America that didn’t extend West past Alabama. Without Madison’s willingness to invest in the future, this country would never have existed as we know it. When you get a chance to invest in your business’ future, think of how things would have turned out for the U.S. if Madison hadn’t been so forward-thinking.

Teddy Roosevelt: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

When he wasn’t winning wars or bareknuckle boxing, Teddy Roosevelt was actually an extremely effective diplomat. His famous quote about foreign relations is equally applicable to managing your own employees. Always treat your team with respect, listen to their ideas, and give them leeway to do their jobs. At the same time, make it clear what you expect and enforce those expectations rigidly. Giving your team freedom to operate but backing up your expectations with consequences is a great way to build a happy, constructive workplace.

Richard Nixon: Keep Good Records

It might seem odd to take a lesson from a proven criminal who was impeached from office and forced to resign in shame. Still, you can’t deny that Richard Nixon was a thorough record keeper. Sometimes, we have good ideas at the weirdest times. Often, we’re too busy to do anything about it, and by the time we have a free moment the idea is gone. You’d better believe that never happened to Richard Nixon, who recorded every word he ever spoke. You might not need to take it quite that far, but using your phone to record voice memos to yourself throughout the day guarantees you’ll never let another great idea slip away.

No matter which president inspires you, it’s clear that the time each of them spent at the country’s helm has shaped America’s past, present, and future. Some presidents have left a legacy to be emulated, while others’ biographies may serve as a cautionary tale. However, varied though their terms in office may be, it’s hard to deny the impact all of America’s Commanders in Chief have had not just on our country but the rest of the world as well.

5 Things Your Business Should Be Doing With Promotional Products

Are you trying to attract a new customer base but find yourself struggling with traditional marketing efforts? Maybe you could use a little boost in not only new customer acquisition, but also retention. Perhaps some brand recognition could help give your sales the little extra bump you’re looking for. You’re not alone. Many businesses face these same challenges every day. However, there is a solution that can assist in all these marketing efforts and more. Promotional products are an excellent way to grow your business with additional clients; hold on to the customers you have; and help spread the word to potential new clients on the horizon.

Still on the fence? Here are 5 things your business should be doing to get the most out of promotional products:

1. Set a Goal

Determine what you would like to achieve by adding promotional products into your marketing efforts. As previously mentioned, promotional products can benefit a business in a number of different ways. Among other things, promos can help you to bring in new customers. They can also be used to coordinate with your branding strategies, promote your business at trade shows, or be given as high-end gifts to your VIP clientele. A custom rally towel with your logo, for example, would be a great way to attract new customers during football season.

2. See What Your Competitors Are Doing

Now that you’ve determined the purpose for your promotional products, it’s a good idea to gauge how others in your field are using them. You may get inspiration for new ways to use these products that you may not have thought of. Take these ideas and make them your own. Ensure that whatever messaging you put on your promos aligns with your company’s distinct voice. Because whatever you choose, be it a custom polo, custom rally towel, or personalized tumbler are likely to go home with your customers, it’s critical that your customers are able to make the connection between the tangible item they have and your company, even when you are not around. Distributing high quality promotional products over more budget-friendly ones will make sure those items don’t end up at the bottom of trade show waste bin. Give them something they’d want to hold on to and use frequently to give your brand maximum exposure.

3. Get Your Customers’ Feedback

It’s important to know how your customers feel about the products you distributed to them. This is the best way to know whether you’re doing something right or if you have opportunities for improvement. This can be done fairly simply; you could send surveys out to clients on your email list, implement a plug-in directly on your website, or even put it to a vote on your social media accounts. To further encourage this helpful feedback, perhaps offer incentive like discount codes or a chance for the customer to choose the next promo. This will let your customers know that their opinions are vital to your company and their satisfaction is paramount.

4. Reward Their Loyalty

You value your customers’ feedback and want to make sure they’re aware of how much you appreciate their business. Choose promos that will work well as gifts. Don’t focus specifically on your brand. Instead give something to your loyal customers that you know they will appreciate. This may mean allocating more of your budget to allow for a higher quality item. Your customers’ satisfaction is worth it. Of course, your logo will still be on the promotional product, so when your customers look back fondly on this token of your appreciation, they will be reminded of your company’s generosity.

5. Appreciate Your Employees, Too

Your employees work hard to make sure customer satisfaction is where it needs to be. Isn’t it just as important to facilitate sufficient workplace satisfaction, too? To this end, your promotional products can be instrumental. You can use custom awards to recognize outstanding work performance in your employees, or perhaps even offer high-end promotional products as added incentive for over-achievement.

7 Strategies for a More Successful Business

It’s a new year, and that means a new start for you and your business. Every year, it’s a good idea to look back on where you’ve been and decide how that will inform where you’re going. At rushIMPRINT, we’re all about moving forward. That’s why we put together this list of seven handy tips that will help make 2016 your most successful year to date.

1. Try something new!

As the old saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It’s a new year, so try a new strategy. Maybe that means a new product or service. Maybe it means a new promotion aimed at enticing more customers. Take a look at your business, identify growth opportunities, and then find a new and exciting way to make the most of them.

2. Get rid of something old.

Staying competitive in an evolving economy means constantly shifting your approach. Take a look at last year and figure out what could have gone better. Then, make changes. Don’t be afraid to try new things and jettison old approaches if they just aren’t working out anymore.

3. Market yourself.

A lot of businesses hamper their growth by not devoting enough resources to growing their customer base. Like they say, you have to spend money to make money. Don’t be afraid to invest in promoting your business. Whether that means buying a radio spot, sending out flyers, putting up an attractive wrap or window display, or beefing up your social media presence, find a way to spread the word about your business in 2016.

4. Try a giveaway.

If there’s one thing customers love, it’s free gifts. A free item with purchase is a great way to get people in your door, and branded merchandise featuring your logo guarantees you’ll be on their mind all year long. There’s no better way to grow your customer base and keep your existing customers coming back for more. Luckily, we’ve got a full range of custom-branded promotional items that are perfect for in-store giveaways.

5. Keep stats!

It might seem obvious, but tracking everything about your business can only help you. Are you seeing spikes in website traffic at certain times of the day? Do you get more walk-in customers on Fridays than on Tuesdays? Having a complete knowledge of when, how, and why your business is succeeding lets you build new strategies that capitalize on what is already working.

6. Expand!

Use the data you’ve collected and aggressively expand your offerings. Once you’ve figured out why customers are coming to your business, it’s a small step to find more ways to fill their needs. Customers love convenience, and the more you can do for them, the more likely they’ll keep coming back and refer their friends and family. Figure out what they need and introduce new products and services to meet those needs.

7. Network!

This can’t be emphasized strongly enough. A strong professional network is invaluable for a successful business. Don’t miss opportunities to meet, interact with, and get to know as many other business owners as you can. Even if they’re in a different industry, you never know when that contact might come in handy. Networking effectively is the best way to position your business for a bright future.

De-Stress from the Holidays with These 7 Tactics

Just like 2015, the hustle and bustle of the holidays already seems like a distant memory. You’ve long since bought and wrapped gifts for everyone on your list. You’ve made appearances at all the parties hosted by friends and family, and maybe even survived through a couple embarrassing moments that the stain on your ugly sweater won’t let you forget.

Unfortunately for many of us, some of the stress brought on by extra expenses, exhausting travel, and excessive partying may still be lingering on. Don’t worry. Because even though these pervasive stresses can weigh us down in our personal lives as well as at work, there are solutions to help you cope and even alleviate these burdens.

Chuckle it up

According to a study presented to the American Physiological Society, laughter truly may be the best medicine. The study examines why laughing can make you feel better. Scientifically speaking, neurophysiological changes occur in your brain when you witness or experience something funny. Your emotional state is heightened, cortisol levels are reduced, and you’re generally in a better mood. These benefits aren’t short-lived either. Lee S. Berk of Loma Linda University maintains that “The physiological effects of a single one-hour session viewing a humorous video has [sic] appeared to last up to 12 to 24 hours in some individuals.” So watch a funny clip on YouTube. It may just brighten the rest of your day.

Chew a Piece of Gum

Here’s another dose of complex science to back up something so seemingly simple. A 2008 study from the Wrigley Science Institute states that apart from its obvious deliciousness and breath-enhancing properties, a simple stick of gum may relieve anxiety, increase mental acuity, reduce stress, and even improve multi-tasking abilities. So if you’ve got a couple quarters, walk to your nearest vending machine and get a pack of gum. It may be the best investment you make all day.

Listen to Some Tunes

This one may come naturally to most of you. Nothing can sooth the soul like your favorite song. If you’re fortunate to have an awesome employer, you may be able to plug your earbuds in at your desk for some musical accompaniment to your work. Psych Central’s research on music shows that it has significant de-stressing properties including relieving depression, reducing burnout, and improving mood.

Snack (Sensibly)

Eating while you’re stressed isn’t always a bad thing! As long as you are mindful of what you’re munching on, stress-snacking can actually benefit you. The Huffington Post spoke with Dr. Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. In his conversation with the Huffington Post as well as in his books “The Happiness Diet” and “50 Shades of Kale”, Dr. Ramsey offers scientifically backed insights on the relationship between stress and eating. “The connection between the gut and brain is huge — called the ‘gut-brain axis’ — and lots of interesting data supports the idea that the gut is a major mediator of the stress response. After all, stress is a brain and immune system mediated phenomena, and your gut is the largest organ in your immune system.”

Kill stress and hunger at the same time by eating nutrient-rich foods that are low in saturated fats and sugar. Instead of a few bites of chocolate, try a protein bar. Substitute those potato chips with dried fruits and nuts or a hard-boiled egg and avocado slices. By eating healthier foods, you will satisfy your hunger and calm your mind without expanding your waistline.

Stay Hydrated

custom tumblers with straws

One of the simplest solutions to wash down the stress of the day-to-day lies at the bottom of a glass. Put the whiskey down, I’m talking about water. Research on the relationship between water and stress reduction suggests that just one glass can turn a stressful day into a more pleasant one.

“‘Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels,’ says Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance, a trainer of world-class athletes. ‘Cortisol is one of those stress hormones. Staying in a good hydrated status can keep your stress levels down.’”

Keep yourself, your employees, and your customers hydrated with custom tumblers with your logo. A desktop tumbler will keep both hydration and brand awareness top-of-mind.

Squeeze Away Frustrations

custom stress balls

Some work days may be smooth sailing; calm waters as far as the eye can see. Other days (read Mondays) may be an all-out tempest of frustrated clients, inboxes stuffed to the brim with requests from nearly every department, and a grogginess that no amount of coffee can cure. For these tempestuous times, squeezing a custom stress ball may be just what the doctor ordered.

According to Livestrong.com, “Squeezing [a stress ball] activates the muscles of your hand and wrist; releasing the grip allows the muscles to relax. The repeated pattern of grip and release helps to alleviate tension and stress.” By having a stress ball readily available, you are providing your staff and clientele an outlet for their tension.

Become a Plant Parent

Not only will buying a plant for your home or office help purify the air around you, studies show this also a great way to calm your mind. The Ellison Chair in International Floriculture of Texas A & M University found that adding plants to your environment can be beneficial to your health. The study maintains that “Having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression.”

Is your workspace or living quarters a bit tight? Maybe you would welcome some greenery in your space if you only had the room. If space is at a premium, we’ve found a great resource that offers tips on cultivating plants in the limited space of an office cubicle or small apartment in the city.

A reduction in workplace stress will strengthen your work force. Less stress in your employees translates to more productivity, lower health insurance premiums, fewer call-offs, and a more positive work environment overall, for employees and bosses alike.

Join the Winning Team with Custom Under Armour Gear

custom Under Armour

Business is the ultimate team sport. Success in an extremely competitive modern marketplace requires a dedicated, passionate team working together toward a common goal. A coach is only as good as his players, and a business owner is only as effective as his employees. Just like in sports, it’s a group effort, and the roleplayers are just as necessary as the superstars. You’re all working together to achieve success. The only thing that’s missing from this equation is the uniform. That’s where we come in.

We’re proud to announce a partnership with Under Armour, one of the world’s leading suppliers of sports clothing, accessories, and casual apparel. With an assist from Rush Imprint, you can outfit your team in the same high-quality custom Under Armour gear that the world’s most famous athletes wear onto the field. Best of all, you can customize it with your company’s name and logo so that everyone you encounter knows exactly which team you play for.

Under Armour is one of the greatest success stories in modern business. Twenty years ago, founder and former University of Maryland football star Kevin Plank was driving up and down the East Coast with nothing but a trunk full of athletic apparel and a dream. Now, he is the head of one of the world’s most successful companies, with offices on multiple continents, endorsement deals with some of the world’s biggest sports stars, and more than $3 billion in revenue.

It’s impossible to turn on a sporting event without seeing Under Armour. From college football to rugby to gymnastics and swimming, Under Armour represents athletes in every major sport on Earth. Last season’s NBA MVP, Stephen Curry, is an Under Armour athlete. So is Cam Newton, this year’s NFL MVP. If baseball is more your speed, 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper is on the Under Armour roster, too. Clearly, Under Armour is the official brand of winners everywhere.

Men’s Storm Armour Fleece Hoodie (Model#: 1259080)

That’s why we’re so excited about our new range of Under Armour offerings. You won’t find anywhere else offering custom-branded Under Armour gear for your business. We’ve got a full range of hoodies, zip-ups, Polos, and duffel bags to outfit your team in championship style.

Whether you’re looking for high-quality branded apparel to wear around the office or an attractive uniform to take the floor at a trade show, our Under Armour polos and jackets are an incredible choice. Best of all, thanks to rushIMPRINT’s custom branding, everyone will know which team your employees are on. They’ll be looking sharp, representing your brand the right way, and feeling like champions the second they suit up.

These special Under Armour offerings are only available to corporate customers, and you won’t find them anywhere else. Don’t settle for second best. You’re in it to win it, and the best way to become a champion is to dress the part. Under Armour is the clear MVP of the sports apparel world, and now is your chance to get on the winning team.

Custom Under Armour

Here’s How to Keep Your Clients Warm for the Holidays

It’s December, and that means two things every year. It means that it’s the time of year for gift-giving, and it means it’s freezing outside. Luckily, with a little help from rushIMPRINT, you can take care of two problems at once. We offer a wide line of branded merchandise to keep your clients toasty and warm their hearts at the same time.

It’s never the wrong time to show your clients a little appreciation and solidify your existing business relationships, but during the Holiday season it’s more important than ever. Since you’re going to be giving your clients gifts anyway, why not help them out with something practical? Our branded ice scrapers will help your clients brave the icy weather and get ready for the drive to work. It shows appreciation and helps keep their employees arriving safely and on time. What could be better?

Unfortunately, you can’t spend the entire winter inside. Some of your clients are probably out on the road, fighting the winter chill while they make sales and service calls. Why not help them bundle up this winter with some custom jackets or custom winter hats? When a jacket with your logo is holding off that biting winter wind, you know that your clients will be feeling the love.

Another great way to stay warm on the go is with a hot, delicious mug of coffee. With one of our custom coffee travel sets, your clients will be ready to go at a moment’s notice without having to worry about catching a chill. And when they do, your logo will be along for the ride.

There is, of course, more than one type of warmth. It’s always good to fight off the cold, but it’s also important to fight off the gloom that can come with the dreary winter weather. If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with the holidays, it’s cheating on your diet a little bit and giving your sweet tooth free reign. Everyone loves a delicious Holiday treat, so why not spread a little Holiday warmth with some promotional cookies or custom chocolates?

The season is all about sharing, and our branded Holographic Snowflake Tower has a little something for everyone. It’s sweet, salty, and it’ll help cheer up a whole office. Best of all, your logo will be front and center when everyone inevitably congregates around the candy.

Stir ‘n’ Sip Plastic Mug (Model#: 4050)

Nothing in the world combines real warmth and emotional warmth better than coffee. It makes a long day seem shorter, it brightens the greyest of days, and it keeps the winter cold at bay. Our Stir’n Sip mug sets are perfect for meetings, events, and everyday office use. Sending them as a gift will help brighten the Holidays and keep on giving all year round.

This Holiday season, spread a little warmth, both literal and metaphorical. By sending your client a timely Holiday gift, you can help keep spirits high, fight off the cold, and advance your business relationships all at the same time. Getting in the giving spirit now can help ensure that you receive repeat business for years to come.

Cheers to New Years with Custom Glassware

The Holiday season is upon us, and a brand new year is right around the corner. People all over the country are stocking up on champagne, planning office parties, thinking about their New Year’s resolutions, and making plans for how next year is going to be their best and most successful year ever. Whether you’re looking to plan an on-theme office party or just spending your December 31 in quiet reflection, our line of custom glassware will help promote some Holiday spirit with a few Holiday spirits.

Our custom drinkware is the perfect way to insert some tasteful company pride into your New Year’s Celebration. Best of all, you can let your employees take them home as a way to show your appreciation and help them ring in the New Year on a happy note. That way, every time they kick back to enjoy an adult beverage after a hard day of work, they’ll know that their effort and devotion are recognized and appreciated.

Of course, without clients, your business wouldn’t have had such a great year. Why not celebrate your successful business relationships with a gift? Sending your clients our line of branded pint, wine, and shot glasses means that when they’re celebrating the New Year with a glass of bubbly, your logo will be a featured guest at the party.

Even if you’re spending a quiet New Year’s with your friends and family, it’s important to pause and take stock of your successes, your hopes, and your aspirations. This New Year’s Eve, take a moment to raise a glass with the ones you love and think about the year that’s gone by. What went right for you in 2015? What could you do to make sure that 2016 is even better for you, your employees, and your company? There is no better way to celebrate where you’ve been and embrace where you’re going than by ringing in the New Year with the clink of glasses proudly emblazoned with the logo of the company you worked so hard to build.

personalized shot glassespersonalized beer glassespersonalized wine glassespersonalized wine glasses
our line of durable pubWARE

Just like your business, our custom-branded drinkware is built to last. You always want to put your best foot forward, which is why our new pubWARE glasses have the same look, weight, and feel as high-end glassware. Unlike glass, though, this drinkware is designed to withstand some rough handling and won’t break or shatter the first time something goes wrong. You’re resilient, and so is your company. Why shouldn’t your drinkware be, too? Especially if you’re giving these glasses as a gift to your employees or clients, the last thing you want is for them to break.

This New Year’s Eve, celebrate in style with our durable, classy line of custom-branded drinkware. Raise your glass and make a toast to another successful year for your business, and resolve yourself to find ways to perform even better in the years to come.

Promotional Toys Are Perfect for the Holiday Season

promotional toys‘Tis the season again to bring out the inner child in both ourselves and our clients. It’s better to give than receive, which is why something like promotional toys should be such an important part of your marketing campaign. Who can forget the feeling of unwrapping a present from a friend or family member during the holiday season? Not only is the gift appreciated, but additionally, the positive feelings associated with that gift carry on from year to year. This same type of sentiment can be carried out through your marketing.

Many enthusiasts collect toys through the years. Everything from dolls to matchbox cars to old fashion wooden toys are sought out from garage sales, second hand stores, estate sales, and even from other collectors. Toys with company logos have always been a favorite among collectors, too-especially ones that have aged a bit. A quick search online for ‘vintage Coca Cola toys’, for instance, will return some interesting results:

Vintage Coca Cola Truck

Collectible items with the Marvel and DC logos sell for premium prices, as do many others. You may not own a business that is on the level with Coca Cola (yet!), but when you are searching for a promotional product for your company, you really should consider promotional toys.

Inexpensive items such as crayons, custom ping pong balls, Frisbees and hacky sacks, to name just a few, are tremendous for advertising when emblazoned with your brightly colored logo. These toys can be given away in large quantities at tradeshows, conventions and other events.

More expensive items, such as a football bean bag throw, a premium poker game set, or a stuffed plush bear with your logo, make wonderful gifts for employees and customers and their families.

No matter what business you are in this season, a promotional toy add a touch of fun and fit in nicely to your holiday marketing. Of course, if you happen to be in the toy business, or in any business that involves children in any way, there is no better choice for a promotional product than toys! Hospitals use them, doctors and dentist offices have found them very helpful in calming young patients. There are few businesses that can’t benefit from the use of promotional toys!

Why You Should Shop Small This Saturday

small business saturday

Thanksgiving is almost here, and shoppers all over the country are already looking ahead to all of the sweet deals they’re going to get on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sandwiched between those two shopping holidays, though, is another important day that doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Americans all over the country celebrate Small Business Saturday. On Black Friday, shoppers flock to the big box stores to take advantage of the huge sales and crazy deals. On Cyber Monday, tech geeks sit glued to their computers waiting for the biggest discounts. On Small Business Saturday, shoppers hit the streets to support all of the locally-owned mom and pop shops that are the lifeblood of the American economy.

At rushIMPRINT, our business is helping small businesses grow and promote themselves. We know better than anyone how important it is to support local, independent businesses. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to not only participate in Small Business Saturday this year, but to make every Saturday a Small Business Saturday.

We all know that the big box chains offer the best values. The volume of business they do makes it nearly impossible for their smaller competitors to compete with them in terms of pure pricing. Here’s the thing, though: those giant retail chains didn’t start off as giant retail chains. As hard as it may be to imagine, Walmart used to be just another store in Arkansas. At one point, McDonald’s was someone’s local burger joint.

By supporting a local shop or eatery, you might be helping to build the next Walmart or McDonald’s. You could be helping a local business owner realize their dream of expanding into the next big thing. Your purchase could help fund an expansion that leads to more manufacturing, more business, and more jobs right here in the United States.

Just as importantly, supporting any local business supports your local economy as a whole. The local businesses you patronize are paying taxes right in your home community and they’re hiring your neighbors and friends to work there. In turn, those employees spend their paychecks at other businesses in your area. It creates economic momentum that can help propel your town or city into real prosperity. Shopping at a local business or eating at your local restaurant might seem like a small thing, but it can make a huge impact in literally hundreds of lives, including your own.

So make sure that, this Saturday, you go out and spend some of that Holiday shopping money to support local businesses. But don’t stop there. Make supporting small businesses a year-round affair. You might find some incredible shops and restaurants you never would have known about. Even more importantly, you’ll be helping create jobs in your area and promote regional economic growth. Best of all, you’ll feel the satisfaction of helping someone who’s working hard to carve out a place in the world just like you. In the end, isn’t that what every holiday should be out?

Is There a ‘Best Color’ for Conversions?


Your art department has been working hard shaping out that new logo, and now they’re presenting you with several color options. You step back and consider your choices. Like any executive, you know that even the smallest decisions can affect your profitability. But is there a method to determining if one pigment may more positively impact your bottom line than another? And to that end, what about the colors of the CTA buttons on your email blasts and landing pages? How critical is it that they are the perfect shade? One may surmise that if it’s important to get the colors right in these areas, it then stands to reason that this theme of color influence must also apply to all aspects of your design.

Countless opinions on color palette preference are floating around the internet, and while this post is yet another among them, the intent is to help reinforce, with supplemental research, the important role color can play in your marketing.

To put it plainly, using color strategically may help you make more money.

Sorry. There’s No One-Color Fix-All for Your Problems.

Pump the brakes. If you’re reading this in the hopes that I’ll reveal the secret, revenue-increasing Pantone color, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. There are however, ways to integrate color that, when combined with the right audience, industry, messaging, and contrast, can benefit your marketing efforts. It’s just going to take some work. More work than some wanted to put in just a few years back.

For a time, a nasty trend was infecting the e-commerce community with misinformation. It proposed that all marketers need to do is employ a Big Orange Button (BOB) to their emails, landing pages, checkouts, and pretty much anywhere else they wanted a user to take action. Like citrus to the scurvy that is poor click-through rates, the bright, enticing nature of the BOB was purportedly the only cure every marketer needed.

Big Orange Button

As alluring a proposition as the BOB was, this literal “easy button” was just too good to be true.

Unfortunately for the lazy and lethargic among us, to really boost conversions with your design, more effort needs to be put into audience research. The good news is that many researchers and A/B testers have since put in such leg work to at least get you started.

Know Your Audience

It goes without saying that color preference is highly subjective and varies from person to person. However, this isn’t to say that from these varying opinions, scientific inferences can’t be made. One thoroughly conducted color study by Joe Hallock collected data from 232 people in 22 different countries. Men and women across different age groups were surveyed as a representative sample of individuals’ favorite color under varying circumstances. This study determined that many factors like age, gender, memory association, and emotion can each play a role in color preference.

Above is an aggregate of the color preference of all people surveyed. Based on just this instance of color preference, would it be safe to assume that the majority of people prefer the color blue over all other colors? Would this mean that adding a blue CTA or theme to your site, landing page, or email would cause it to perform better than one draped in yellow or orange? If only it were that simple. Below, the preferences are broken down by gender and age group.

So how can this data help you with color selection?

Depending on the customer you’re trying to reach, and the message you’re trying to convey, different colors may perform better in different circumstances. First, you’ll need to get in touch with your customer base.

Know How They Feel…

Astute marketers often divide their audiences into affinity groups – schoolteachers, environmental activists, hunters, soccer moms, etc. These clusters of shopper types each expect their own distinct messaging when they shop. For instance, you wouldn’t send the same email to animal rights advocates that you would send to those whose hobby is taxidermy. This same type of laser targeting can be applied to the color palette used in your marketing.

Suppose you’re trying to promote a business event or fundraiser around Earth Day. When presented with the exact same copy and offer, environmentalists may respond more positively to marketing draped in earth tones rather than those saturated in bright, neon hues. This is because neutral earth tones tend to be associated with a more organic, natural, and peaceful feeling which correlates with the audience you are trying to reach.

And How You Want Your Brand to Be Perceived

Captivating as the chart may be, consumer responses are not as simple to predict as assigning colors to emotions. As Discovery points out, color associations are more closely tied to personal experience and as such, are difficult to apply to a broad feeling. Karen Schloss, a graduate student in psychology at UC Berkeley reported that she “might like purple more than you because [her] sister’s bedroom was purple and [she] had positive experiences there.” Like many things in life, your color preferences are an aggregate of your life experiences.

Context is critical, too. Your site can bombard users with the color yellow, but this does not necessarily mean that it will automatically translate to sunshine and happiness. It all depends on the context. For example, that same joyful and exuberant yellow on one site could translate to “caution!” or radioactivity on another. Just keep in mind the personality you want your messaging to present and build your color palette around that.

Choose the Appropriate Color for Your Industry

Although it may be difficult to directly correlate one-to-one with an emotion, there are some instances where, due to the feeling you want to embody, certain colors are just unable to properly represent your brand. Think of Harley Davidson. What emotions come to mind when you picture their motorcycles and the culture they’ve created? Tough. Rugged. Strong. Cool. Rebellious. Now imagine these sentiments trying to present themselves in pastel pink. It just doesn’t work. You have to make sure the color fits the product. That’s why Harley Davidson uses dark colors like black and steel grey and accents it with a dark orange.

Create Contrast to Guide User Action

Let’s throw it back to the BOB mentioned above. Now I wasn’t trying to say this strategy should be avoided at all costs, because within the correct circumstances, the Big Orange Button may convert better than other colors. But you have to tread carefully with this supposition. It is by no means the be-all and end-all solution. If nothing else, please take away from this post that no one color is better than another for conversions. The reason the BOB would work well when compared against other colors is completely relative to its surroundings. In other words, does it stand out?

Let’s take a look at an A/B test done by RIPT Apparel:

RIPT Apparel
Original Design

In the original design, the black and white “$10 buy now” option not only blended in with its background, but it also wasn’t designed to provoke a click.

RIPT Apparel
Reworked Design

In the rework, however, RIPT added some button depth to the CTA making it a button and colored it green to instantly draw the user’s eye.

The Result? A 6.3% increase in conversions.

Does this mean green should be your go-to color for CTAs? Of course not! The contrasting color used against a grayscale background in this one example made the CTA pop. Maybe other landing pages or emails have an overwhelmingly green color scheme. In these instances, perhaps an orange or red CTA would be more appropriate. It all depends on what color would grab the user’s attention and guide them to take action.


You will have to test your audience. Tailor your message to the group of shoppers for whom your product or service is best suited. I wish I could offer an easy answer, but if you want those conversions, you are going to have to put in a little work. Hopefully this post can serve as a guide to get you started on the right track. Test out a few things; see what works best for your audience. Then test again. Whether you’re moving the needle in the positive or negative direction, you will be learning valuable information about your audience.