And I've come to realize the biggest thing that NOBODY understands is color.
Okay, sure, just about everyone knows not to go for that black and red theme for a health blog. But short of hiring a web designer for $$$$ per hour, how do you pick colors for that squeeze page?
After all, when you're trying to get EVERY POSSIBLE SALE, every little thing matters... and there's a lot of colors out there to split-test.
The trick is that your mind is already telling you. You just haven't learned how to listen to it!
Think back to the last couple of movies you saw.
There was probably at least one scene in a blueish white space... maybe you couldn't even see the background at the beginning, but I'll bet you knew right off the bat that it was either outdoors in the snow or inside, in something like a lab or an institution.
At that moment, some part of you remembered every other time you'd been in that setting... if it was an outdoor movie, maybe you even started thinking about the jacket slung over the back of your seat.
I'll bet, too, that you can also remember a film with some people talking in a dark room, where the lighting was really yellow-red.
Doesn't even matter what else was going on. You knew IMMEDIATELY it was indoors at night, or maybe around a camp fire. Maybe you even started feeling a little warmer, kind of like the last time you had some hot cocoa.
Now let's apply that to something more practical.
|Patrick Bateman: Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark!|
Someone who wants people think to of them as established and respectable. The kind of person who would print it on parchment, if they could... but also the sort of person who'd feel just as at home in a wood-paneled club drinking single-malt. (or so they'd have you believe)
Warm colors, after all, are another way to convey "warm," "traditional," and "comfortable."
The reverse is just as true. Bright, bleached white cards are the canvas of choice for the designers that go for blocky modern colors.
In other words, the people who want you to see that they're cutting edge and modern.
Okay cool. We've got a nice rule of thumb going here.
"Add more red" == warm, homey, comfortable, traditional.
"Add more blue" == cool, technical, efficient, new, futuristic
Except... wait a minute.
What's up with "blue bloods" and "blue states" being the vanguards of wealth and tradition, while "red states" and "red hearts" are all about trying something new and showing your passion?
When you go a little too far on the color scale, things turn right around.
Red is blood! Our brains are biologically hard-wired to shift a little more into action-mode the instant they see red. That's because for the last 100,000 years, red meant someone's blood was spilled, which meant there might be a predator -- or enemy -- hiding nearby.
Add a little yellow, and you get FIRE! Bright orange was as good a signal as any to our great-ancestors to look alert and be extra-careful... brush fires would kill them just as easily as lions did. That's one reason traffic cones and construction workers love the way bright orange gets dumb drivers to pay attention.
Blue, on the other hand, is calm ocean, winding rivers, and all the opportunities for trade those brought. It was also one color of royalty, because blue dyes were really hard to find and therefore expensive.
Now, before you go applying these ideas to your squeeze page... don't pick your colors blindly.
Just like the way adding a little bit of red means warmth while a lot might mean revolution, there are other traps too. The only way to really tell is to take a step back and forget the stuff floating around in your head about "this means that." Look at it and ask yourself, does this feel right?
Now split test the heck out of it.
(And drop me a line when you need the right photo.)