How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

It takes about 8 seconds for a new visitor to decide if they want to read more or leave your page.
What do you do to grab their attention in that short time window?

You might have an amazing content, but if you don’t hook your reader in the first few seconds, nobody is going to read it. After all the time you spent writing it, I’m sure you would want people to actually go through it, would’t you?
So how can you grab your visitors attention? How can you turn them into subscribers and eventually – customers?

Firstly, you need a catchy and effective headline. We covered how to write effective headline last week (check out the whole post here).
Today let’s talk about the second most important thing: contrast.

The mysterious Von Restorff effect

Imagine you’re at an elegant party, where all men wear black suits and all women are in dark gowns. All, but one – a women wearing a light yellow dress. The day after a party you recall the previous night. Who will you remember the best? The women in yellow. Her look was something you didn’t expect, something different from anybody else and  so it caught your attention.

What stands out, get noticed. Back at the beginning of XXth century, a psychiatrist Hedwig von Restorff  noticed that items that stand out are more likely to be remembers. In other words, we are biased to remembering the unusual better. This is called a Von Restorrff effect or isolation effect.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

What stands out, get noticed


How can contrast help you get more subscribers and sales

So how can you use the Von Restorff effect to get more subscribers – and sales?
There are two things you need to look at.

1. Stand out among competition

The first step is making sure that you stand out among competition. In the age of Internet, all the information is already there. Most likely, whatever you are saying, has already been said by someone else. What counts is the uniqueness of a new blog or a website that comes from its particular tone and personality. So back to you: what is your unique tone and personality?
If you don’t know it yet, then before you move on with your business, you need to take some time to figure it out. If you don’t know what makes you unique, nobody else will.
This will later impact on what you write about, how you write, your design, colors, etc.

Think of the last time you were choosing your next pair of sunglesses. How easy was it? There are hundreds of sunglasses brands and many more models to choose from. On such a “busy” market, how can you stand out?
Compare these 3 different brands for sunglasses. They all successfully stand out amid tens and tens of other brands. Each one stands for something different and they comunicate it immediately to a new visitor.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

Ray Ban is a fun brand for young people

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

Vogue eyewear is a more mass market brand, cool, playful and feminine

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

Persol is an Italian brand known for its craftsmanship


2. Make the key elements on your website stand out

The second layer you want to focus on is your website. What are the elements that best represent what your article is about? You need to highlight them so that in the first few seconds your visitors can understand what that article is about and whether it will serve them. If you think of your next article, look at it as it was a whole market on its own where every sentence, every word and image are competing with each other for attention. You need to make sure you highlight the best elements – the ones that sell your content and turn visitors into subscribers.

Most of people are scanners, meaning they will give a fast look at your website but not actually read your full content. Because of this behavior, you need to always look at every page of your website and give it a visual frame, that will guide your visitor to the most important elements.
There are standard elements you want to focus on to get more subscribers (and sales) to your website:


Split your article into logical parts: Intro, Body, Closing. Then split your Body into paragraphs and give each a headline.
This is extremely helpful for people to understand what you are writing about.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

This is an excerpt from Quicksprout. Every article is clearly split into section and a closing paragraph is highlighted with a subheadline



Images are powerful at attracting attention. Comparing to the one-color text on a solid background, they stand out like no other item on your website. Make sure not to use too many as the clutter of images will have an opposite effect.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

TED has a difficult task making their videos stand out, as they are so many. So they added feature boxes on the top. You can clearly see the difference in how noticeable each video is



One of the most effective and easiest ways to make things stand out is to use a color.You can do it in few ways.
Firstly, highlight parts of text that you want to draw attention to.
Secondly, distinguish between your active and passive colors. Your active colors are the ones used for any call to action. It’s a good practice to keep one and the same color for all of them. Whether you are asking your visitor to “read more”, click on a link or to leave a comment – use the same color. This will condition your visitors to associate this particular color with clicking on it.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast

Social Triggers uses purple as its active color.

How to get more subscribers and sales by using contrast


You passive colors are all the rest – it’s generally the touch and feel of your website. Make sure you don’t use your active color here. Ideally, your passive and active colors would be opposite so that they contrast ever stronger. Use a simple color cirle to find the best combination.



Bolding or Italic on the text is yet another way to make things stand out on your website. Simply bold the parts of the text that are crucial to understanding the main points of your article. As you can see, I am using bolding and italic in this article to help you navigate through it.


Now back to you.

What is your technique to stand out from the crowd? And what elements do you use on your website to attract visitors? Share them in the comments section below.

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