A countdown timer is a great addition to an email campaign, particularly if the objective is to drive urgency, encourage engagement and drive conversions.

There’s many ways to use a countdown timer in email. Perhaps there’s a big sale you’d like to countdown to, or an in-store event. Maybe a particular product or offer has a limited availability and you’d like to use a countdown to show the time remaining until the offer ends. However you chose to use a timer, use our handy dos and don’ts to make sure your timer packs a punch and has maximum impact.

Countdown Timers

Simply set an end time/date and the countdown timer will accurately display the time remaining every time the email is opened. Simply create a timer Tag in the Kickdynamic platform and add it into the html where you wish the timer to display. When the email is opened, the timer (with the exact amount of timer remaining at that point) will be served in the email as an animated gif.

Timers can be fully customized with background images, colors, styles and fonts in the Kickdynamic platform. 

Best Practice Tips

Do

Design your own background image and create your own template. Timer templates are quick and easy to create in the Kickdynamic Platform.

Do

Add the time labels to your timer background image – build the days, hours, minutes, seconds labels into the background design.

Do

Use seconds. It may sound obvious but showing seconds helps to drive urgency.

Do

Use your own custom font. Timers aren’t restricted to web safe fonts so you can use any font. We’ll upload your font into your account, just send us the font files.

Do

Keep the timer part of the image as small as possible. If the timer is part of a large header image, we recommend that you slice the image – we’ll serve the bit that’s live, you can build the other image slices into your email as normal. This will keep the email load time to a minimum.

Don’t

Use timers all the time. Using timers around specific events is much stronger than using them in every promotional campaign. Try to use them around key events and promotions to really get results.

Don’t

Forget a call to action. A common mistake marketers make is to forget a call to action. The timer is there to encourage engagement and conversion so position a super clear call to action close by.

Do

Remember to include messaging around the timer. Messaging is key to promoting action. Include text to clearly state what the timer is counting down to. Use language to encourage action!

 

Do

Pair your countdown timer with the rule builder to swap to a different image after the timer has expired. Keep messaging relevant by displaying images that are relevant at the time of open.

 

Don’t

Build background images with timer elements split into separate boxes. Build background images with the time parts as double digits.

 

Don’t

Panic when the countdown timer doesn’t tick in the Outlook app on a Windows machine. The Outlook app doesn’t support animated gifs. We’ll still show the exact time remaining until the timer expires from the point of open, it just won’t tick. Normally the Outlook app on a Windows machine only accounts for a small amount of opens, so it’s not too problematic.

Top Tip: Do

Test! Use A/B split tests to measure the impact of the timer within your campaign. Test the creative with and without the timer present to measure  success. We recommend sending a 10% control group the creative without the timer to measure performance. Keep everything else in the email consistent. Test positioning, test messaging, test design, test color.