New research has been released from Rocket Fuel, a programmatic ad firm, which shows ads with red backgrounds garner higher conversion rates across all platforms–31% higher conversion rates. Physiology and behavior are the explanation for this. Humans see red light more vividly. It’s just the way the eye is wired. People are also trained to pay attention when they see the color red. Think about it. Red indicates danger and therefore is used in traffic lights and stop signs. So, it makes sense. Add to that other factors that improve conversion rates: ads with male faces, animations and logo placement.

Here’s how it breaks down: red background, a male face, several seconds of animation, and a logo placed in the lower left. Yes, logos appearing in the lower left rated 81% higher conversion rates. Animations that last only six to nine seconds had 138% more conversions.

Any colors to avoid for backgrounds? Gray. And performance is even better when the background color has a high contrast with the surrounding page.

So, when it comes time to revamp your print ads, banners, or website pages, go red to see green.

For more information, see Seeing Red: Ads with Red Backgrounds Drive More Conversions, by Tyler Loechner.

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