Countdown timers

Countdown timers are animated gifs served in your email at the time of opening, displaying the time remaining until a set end date. For example, you can show a live countdown to an event such as the beginning of a sale or a product launch!

Countdown timers are located in the Personalize section of the Litmus platform. From the Personalize tab, select Timers on the left side. Here, you can create a new timer and find any timers you've already created.

Create a countdown timer

In the Timers section of the Personalize tab, select New Timer in the upper right corner.

Timers section of Personalize tab with new timer button indicated

Select a Timer design template from the options provided. Options include timers counting down full days or days and time segments, or time segments starting with hours.

NOTE: All timers count down in maximum increments of 30 seconds from the time of open. At the end of 30 seconds, the timer will stop counting. Timers are specifically built to perform this action to ensure they remain lightweight email components.

Select a Timer Template

Customize the Timer using the colors for the background and text to match your email campaign. Here you can also set the Timer’s expiration, including the timezone.

countdown timer customization menu

Add a fallback image or custom text. This will ensure that if the countdown timer expires or if it is impacted by Apple Mail Privacy Protection, your email recipient will still be able to see a visual of your choosing.

Select Fallback custom message or image




NOTE: Looking for more customization options? Reach out to discuss how Litmus Personalize Pro can help!

When you are ready, select Next: Preview your timer to check your time, colors, and countdown settings.

animation of countdown timer preview

If your timer is set up and ready, select Next: Save and get HTML to generate your tag! You can copy the tag using the button below the text box, and your new timer will appear in the Timers section of the Personalize tab in your account.

timer with tag ready to copy

Add a countdown timer to your email


To add a timer to your email, simply copy the HTML tag for your Timer and add it to your email's code. You can quickly copy the tag by hovering over the timer's thumbnail and selecting Copy HTML.

timer page with copy HTML button displayed on a timer thumbnail

The tag itself is a simple img src element and can be added to your code the same as you would add any other image link.


You can also add a timer with Visual Editor in Litmus Builder using the image link from the HTML code rather than the entire tag. Copy the image link and add it in Visual Editor to replace a placeholder image with your timer.

timer tag with image link highlighted

Impression usage

A countdown timer is a single image, so any time the image is loaded this will count as one impression.

NOTE: Impressions usage limits vary based on your subscription. Learn more about usage limits and how impressions are counted to make sure you understand how your tag will impact your usage!

Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP)


Countdown timers default set up includes a transparent pixel for subscribers who have MPP enabled to ensure they are not served a blank or static timer image. You can opt to include an alternative message or upload an image to replace the timer when you set it up. MPP-impacted opens will count towards impressions usage.

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