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!

Create a countdown timer

Start in the Personalize top menu tab, then build a new countdown timer from the Overview or from the Timers sectionin the left menu. Select the green New timer button to choose an available template.


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 for this action to ensure they remain lightweight email components.

Timer template selection options

Customize your timer

Customize the timer with colors for the background and text to match your email campaign. You can also set the font family, expiration including the timezone, fallback content, and the timer’s labels and language. Special characters are allowed!

Timer settings

 

  1. Countdown expiration
    • set the end date and time for your timer
  2. Timezone
    • select the timezone for your end time
  3. Font family
    • choose from serif or sans serif options
  4. Background color/Text color
    • select from the palette or enter a hex code
  5. Edit labels toggle
    • use toggle to change default labels
    • languages and special characters are supported

timer countdown date font and color customization menu Enlarge timer settings image


Expiration settings

expiration state settings for timers Enlarge expiration state image

 

Select your preferred option to display when your timer expires

  • Timer at zero - displays timer with all 0s
  • Custom message - include a message that replaces the timer
  • Upload image - upload an image to replace the timer in your email

NOTE: You can append your finished countdown timer code to set the expiration based on when the email is sent. This requires manually editing the code to include your own date/time parameter. Delete code after exp= and append with your ESP's formatted parameter.

Please check with your ESP for specific format requirements.

<https://image.ltms.app/t/q55j93i5ull0q62e28zedq0p4.gif?exp=INCLUDE YOUR PARAMETER>

MPP fallback settings

 

Choose your preferred option for subscribers using Apple MPP

  • Transparent pixel - timer space will collapse to a transparent pixel
  • Custom message - include a message that replaces the timer
  • Upload image - upload an image to replace the timer in your email

mpp fallback state options Enlarge mpp fallback options image

 

NOTE: iOS 15+ and Apple Mail previews in Litmus reflect the MPP fallback option in your tests so you'll see what your recipients see!

Preview and finish

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

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 for this action to ensure they remain lightweight email components.

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

NOTE: Looking for more customization options for countdown timers? Please contact us to learn more!

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.

Litmus previews for iOS15+ devices and Apple Mail will reflect the fallback option you selected for your countdown timer.

MPP-impacted opens will count towards impressions usage.

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