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Using Color to Create Better Business Documents

Using Color to Create Better Business Documents

In an era of information overload, how does a company distinguish itself and help customers distill meaningful information from all of the noise. The answer may lie in color. Research has proven that using color in business documents can have measurable results. In fact, a color survey by Xerox revealed that 69% of people said they understand new ideas better when presented in color and 76% said they can find information faster if it’s presented in color.

There has been quite a bit of research on colors and their meanings or more specifically how we interpret what those colors portray to us. For example, dark colors are professional and trustworthy, bright colors are youthful and energizing, light colors are peaceful and delicate and muted colors are sophisticated and calming.

Xerox shared the following 20 tips for utilizing color in business documents.

  1. Color emphasizes critical information and conveys a sense of professionalism. Your company’s first impression is the most important one. The decisions to read or reject pamphlets and direct mail pieces is made by readers in just 2.5 seconds.
  2. Color increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82%. Safety notices, warnings and vital technical information are more likely to be remembered if they stand out in color. That can help decrease costly and time-consuming errors throughout your company.
  3. Color gains readership by 80%. Adding color to product guides can help critical information get read, helping ensure that customers understand how to operate the products they buy from you. That alone can reduce the number of unnecessary service calls and save your company time and money.
  4. Color makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. Direct mail pieces and collateral leave a lasting impression if they are in color, making follow-up calls more successful.
  5. Telephone listings printed in color can increase response by 44% which can lead to increased exposure and increased business.
  6. People are 55% more likely to pick up a full-color piece of mail first and by capturing their attention, you are more likely to get a speedy response.
  7. Color reduces search time by as much as 80%. Contracts, insurance policies and other lengthy documents can be made more understandable by highlighting the important information in color.
  8. Color reduces errors by 80%. Highlighting important information and instructions can help customers fill out forms correctly the first time.
  9. Information can be located 70% faster if it’s in color. The 1.5 hours an executive spends reading black-and-white documents can be cut to 0.5 hours by using color.
  10. Document sorting improves 15% when highlight color is used. Improving the ease with which documents can be identified, sorted and filed can reduce the number of people assigned to a task, which can result in real cost savings.
  11. Highlight color improves search time by 39% compared to using different fonts. Administrative personnel can spend less time looking for information and more time performing critical tasks if the information is easier to find.
  12. Color can increase payment response by up to 30%. By highlighting the amount owing and the due date with color, a sense of urgency is added to invoices.
  13. People are 2/5% more likely to pay the full amount when it’s shown in color.
  14. Color increases comprehension by as much as 73%. Your prospects and potential customers can understand your message faster and more clearly.
  15. Color increases learning and retention by 78%. Educating your technical and service staff is a time-consuming process that can be drastically shortened by preparing the materials in color.
  16. Color can boost survey participation by 80% (we love that at Saurage)! Low response to customer satisfaction surveys can be dramatically improved and repeat mailings made unnecessary by using color to grab attention.
  17. Reader comprehension has been found to be 14% better with highlight color than with bold text.
  18. Color increases motivation by up to 80%. Getting response from employees can often be more difficult than getting response from customers. Using color on memos, correspondence and posted notices from payroll, human resources and personnel can help motivate your employees to respond in a timely fashion.
  19. Color helps sell up to 80% more. Collateral materials, sales brochures and other consumer communications can help generate more sales with the application of color.
  20. Color can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.

B2B Bullets

  • 44% of B2B marketers meet daily or weekly—either in person or virtually—to discuss the progress of their content marketing program; however, the more effective the organization is at content marketing, the more often they meet (61% of the most effective meet daily or weekly).
  • 53% of decision makers eliminated a vendor from consideration based on information they did or did not find about an employee online.
  • Whether mobile apps or on-site web apps, in 2016 more B2B firms will find ways to incorporate apps as part of their marketing
  • Overall, B2B marketing budgets are expected to increase, on average, by about 5% in the coming year. But spending on digital marketing programs is projected to risethree times as fast, and over the next five years, the share of budget dollars dedicated to social media marketing will more than double.

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