Add Power to Your Promo Emails with a Countdown Timer

Monday, December 29th, 2014
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Recently I enrolled my American Express card for a special offer – spend at least $15 on Amazon using my AMEX card and get a $15 credit. Good deal, right? At the time I enrolled I had several weeks to use the offer, and planned to use it later. Well, I’m busy and after I enrolled the card with good intentions, I forgot to use the offer, and frankly, forgot that I had even enrolled for it.

Fast forward, my offer is about to expire, I got a courtesy email from American Express with subject line “Ends 12/31! Your Amazon offer is expiring soon.” I’m glad they sent me this reminder, because when I first read about the offer, I really wanted to take advantage of it.

Anyway, I opened the email and what did I see? An active countdown, to the second, of exactly how much time I had left before the offer expires. POW! That was an effective mobilizer… I navigated to Amazon, placed my order, and now my organic made-from-bamboo pillowcases are on their way (hope they’re soft and comfy!), as is my $15 credit to my AMEX.

And this got me to thinking – what a fantastic way to increase urgency and motivate action. If you don’t send reminder emails on your promos, perhaps you should consider it? And perhaps you should also consider including a countdown timer in them…

I did a little research and found that it hasn’t always been so easy to do this – seems that the countdown solutions for websites mostly involve javascript, and that isn’t handled well by email clients – in email, your only solution is an automated gif. I’ve found a few solutions for this, some free, some with related fees, some with more options than others, but all super-simple to embed in your emails. Some are more customizable than others, some claim to be completely optimized for viewing on various devices as well.

Here are three that seemed most promising to me – I recommend experimenting with them and picking the one that you like best –

It worked on me, so I’m completely convinced that combined with attractive offers and reminder emails with urgency-creating subject lines (like: “Only 3 Days Left”, or “Time is Almost Up”, or “Ends 12/31” or “Your offer expires soon”), these automated time counters can really help you increase your email conversion rates year-round!

Pamela is a Senior Account Manager at Nexternal and works in the Napa Valley office. She is passionate about helping her clients succeed. With 20 years' experience in the wine industry spearheading business development and marketing for various wineries including her own, plus previous years practicing general business law, Pamela is well qualified to provide the service and guidance to her clients that sets Nexternal apart from other eCommerce providers.