The $80 million color is: #0044CC

That “code” is a precise shade of blue, and it works when a link is the call-to-action.

When Microsoft was designing what would eventually become Bing, it tested a vast number of colors and it turned out that the one that users engaged with the most was indeed blue. More specifically, it was a shade of blue quite similar to the one used by Google.

Paul Ray, a user experience manager for Bing said on Tuesday that choosing that specific blue (#0044CC for you color enthusiasts) over some other hues amounted to an additional $80 million in annual revenue, when one factors in the additional clicks on advertisements and increased user engagement.

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Now, many times you’ll use a link as a call to action. This one shade of blue is the color for links. Keep it underlined. Don’t be fancy. Don’t mix it up with other colors either.

What’s the perfect color for buttons?

Orange, or a shade of it. Typically this color contrasts the best with websites. The color of your button is ‘set apart’ from your website. There are tests that have proven this countless times. Here’s a few posts:

  1. Split Testing with a Genetic Algorithm
  2. How to Call to Action (their explanation of why orange works best)
  3. The attack of red [actually, orange] buttons: how reduced bounce rate by doing a simple change

If you go to Bing’s homepage, you’ll notice they use an orange search button. It is likely that they also found that orange is best for buttons.

This is the power of testing. Use the above shade of blue for links. And, for buttons, it needs to contrast with the rest of the site — this color is typically orange.

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21 thoughts on “One “Unbelievable” Call-to-Action Color Makes $80 Million

  1. I’ve got to admit, I’ve come to the same basic conclusions on my own after years of testing (not that exact shade, but orange for buttons and blue for links). Interestingly enough, on display ads we’ve found that green eyes also result in a higher CTR…go figure.

  2. It’s not surprising that blue sells as this also been known in the offline markting world. Interesting to note that orange works well for buttons.

  3. Nice info. I’ve found myself wondering this every time I’ve created a landing page over the past 11 years. I split test and I’ve come to the same conclusions, but I never knew the exact color code.


  4. @David: Haha yeah, I have get off of this free WP template one of these days. But, I prioritize landing pages.

  5. Maybe we need to plan for the next set of colors cause I’m sure these two color will get abused now to the point where it won’t be anymore good.

    None-the-less, good post though.

  6. @Dustin: Actually, the more websites that use this color, the more users will get used to clicking this color too–which is good.

  7. Hat’s off to Bing for sharing this priceless case study.

    This article has persuaded me to change my clickable text over to #0044CC.

    I’m currently using verdana but may switch over to arial.

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