What is a countdown timer?
A countdown timer in an email is an animated GIF that counts down to a specific event which communicate an authentic sense of urgency of your message. This dynamic timer updates every time a reader re-opens their email ensuring that your customers are aware of the limited period of the offering.
Why should you use countdown timers in emails?
Countdown timers work well to create urgency as it represents passing time and no one likes to miss an opportunity. Urgency is also known as one of the most influential drivers when it comes to human behaviour and a clock is an effective way to get consumers to act immediately. Timers are also a creative and engaging way to break through the email clutter and encourage consumers to respond. This ticking clock improves engagement and increase click-through rates which ultimately, improve your email marketing ROI.
When can I use a countdown timer?
Time sensitive offers and deals, events, sales, new product launches, competitions or special promotions are ideal opportunities to implement countdown timers. Countdown timers can be used by almost any business e.g. retailers, ecommerce stores, online publications or event planners, especially for tactic events such as Valentine’s Day, Black Friday etc.
BlackFriday & CyberMonday
Black Friday and CyberMonday are some of the busiest shopping days leading up to Christmas. Many in-demand products are going out of stock in minutes. With this increase in online shopping specifically on these days, companies should take advantage to ensure they achieve as many sales as possible. By implementing countdown clocks in your emails, readers are given a heads-up for when they need to be ready to click the checkout buttons.
New product launch
A buzz and urgency can be created when launching a brand-new product to provide consumers with important information of when the product will be available or go on sale. This is similar to having a countdown to e.g. Black Friday giving consumers a heads-up for when they need to go online to make their orders and not miss out.
End-of-sale timers are probably the most popular within email marketing alerting your consumers of how much time they have left until the sale or discount is available. Keep in mind when using timers, don’t use fake deadlines to push sales, be honest. Never overuse timers as it might lose its effectiveness and consumers can lose trust in the information. Always remember to provide useful information that will help consumers rather than only using it as a pure sales technique.
Shipping deadlines may not necessarily encourage your audience to buy products, but it may generate sales from brand-new customers who have never bought from you before. By incorporating an eye-catching delivery deadline timer in your emails, you are still creating a sense of urgency and making your offer more attractive than the rest. For example, if consumers purchase before a specific date e.g. the 20th of December, they’ll be receiving their gifts by the 24th of December.
Below is an example of a countdown timer embedded in a promo mailer which is linked to a microsite where entries can be captured.