Color in Business: Can Color On an Invoice Influence Payment?

23 Dec

Color In Business

Color in business, C2C Resources.comWe’ve blogged before about building trust through Accurate Invoices and how accuracy helps to expedite payment. But we ran across some information recently that speaks to the use of color in business to motivate payments. We found this intriguing.

The use of color in business has been studied from a number of angles. From marketing to branding, the use of color is thought to solicit action. Whether its buying, selling, or just dialing a number, experts believe color plays a role in our behaviors.

So, if color effects human psychology, and psychology effects how we do business, it’s worth a look to see if color can influence your bottom line.

What does color say?

Every color is said to have meaning. Each one supposedly makes a subliminal suggestion. So how you apply this to business depends on what area of business you’re trying to influence.

Since we’re in the business of collections, let’s think about invoices for a moment. You want to communicate “Pay this today”. Can color help you do that?

If we use brown as an example, research suggests that brown communicates strength and solidarity. And because of it’s earthy appeal, brown is associated with comfort, maturity and reliability. If you were to include this color on your invoice, might your customer feel comfortable paying you right away? Would he feel he’s being mature and reliable or that you are reliable?

While brown is comforting, red is usually perceived as exciting, urgent, or even alarming. In business, red can be psychologically positive, evoking an urgent need to make a purchase. Think: Red tag sale. But it can easily be perceived negatively, communicating anger or even danger depending on the context.

So, a red tag sale gets people to buy, but by contrast, using red ink on an invoice will likely communicate alarm. That’s why so many will use red ink when stamping “Past Due” on an invoice. Red is a trouble flag in that instance.

The color of money

If color can motivate payment, green might be one of the better choices because of its literal connection to money. It’s also a soothing color that evokes in many a sense of wellbeing.

While 2-color printing will increase your printing expense for paper invoices, it will have no bearing on electronic ones. So you could test this for yourself by adding color to electronic invoices to see if there’s a difference for you.How about you? Do you use color on your invoices? Do you see any difference in payment patterns?

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