The Most Popular and Favorite Color that Hurts Fundraising

in Email,Marketing for Nonprofits,Online Fundraising,Website - Nonprofit

It seems as though everyone except me is in love with the color gray.  I see it everywhere which is why I say it’s the most popular and favorite color in the marketplace.  And this is puzzling because I firmly believe it hurts your cause.

First, where do I see it?

– It’s the color of text on websites. [I strain to read it, especially when it’s also very small.  If it’s too frustrating I exit the site fast.]

– As the color of text in white papers, special reports, and just about any type of downloadable document.  [Print out the report and now there’s faint lettering I strain to read.  I’m annoyed that I have to work harder to read what I went to the trouble of printing.]

– In emails as the color of the text. [I strain to read this light-colored copy.  More inclined to quickly delete what I can’t easily read.]

Online magazines, newspapers, e-newsletters, etc. frequently use gray text.

Its use is spreading like a pervasive, choking weed.  It’s choking your fundraising and marketing efforts.

Why don’t I like gray colored text?  Because gray is HARDER to READ!

There isn’t enough contrast between a white background and gray lettering.  Worse yet is gray text on a colored background (okay; yes I know that white is also a color).

Why in the world do you want to make something harder to read? This is the exact opposite of what smart fundraisers, membership directors, and marketers do.  Making it harder lowers response.  It reduces your conversions.  It does not cultivate your relationships with supporters.

It’s a MAD-MAD-MAD World that uses gray font in any communication of importance.

I don’t care how popular it is or what your graphic/web designer says.  In a head-to-head test of readability gray will lose to black.

For example: At a glance, which statement is easier to read?  Which statement do your eyes naturally go to first?

You’ve just won a random drawing for $1million.

You’ve just won a random drawing for $1million.

Let me know which sentence was easier for you to read – the first or the second – by adding a comment below.  But most important of all . . .

Be BOLD.  Be CLEAR.  Be SMART.  Be NICE.  Use BLACK for your text.  Your donors, members, volunteers, and prospects will all have an easier time reading the important news you share with them in print, in emails, on your website, everywhere.  They’ll be happier and respond more favorably.

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