Time Targeting: Having a countdown timer is an exciting way to create a sense of urgency.

Emails that include a live countdown timer for limited-time offers can significantly increase conversions by reminding recipients how much time they have left to act. ...

How does this work?

The output of a countdown is a ‘live animated gif.’ This means the gif is inserted to the email as an image src.

<img src="http://gen.sendtric.com/image/countdown?to=1488244920&bg=004988&fg=ffffff&days=1&lang=en" width="400" alt="countdown" border="0" style="display:block;border-width:0;-ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic;" />

How to make a countdown gif:

In order for the gif to be a ‘live’ countdown, it uses PHP.

There is two ways of doing this.

1. Build your own

  • [CON] You will require to have a PHP server hosting access.

  • [CON] Creating your own one will take a bit of time.

  • [PRO] You can customise this to however you wish (keeping with contains).

Here is a good how-to sample: seanja.com You will need to know some programing.

2. Use a third party service

  • [PRO] Don’t require having your own PHP hosting.

  • [PRO] Quicker and easier.

  • [CON] Customisation is limited.

  • [CON] Support will rely on third party.

A good free service one is: sendtric You will need to go through the terms to see if it fits your needs.

Sendtric NOTES:

Only countdowns within 30days. Countdown based on your current time zone. Therefore, if you are wanting to choose an end date/time in a different timezone, you will have to manually adjust when you create the countdown. Once the countdown is created, it just counts down a finite amount of time, so time zones become irrelevant.

A good paid service: motionmailapp

Email support and compatibility

Countdown in emails are compatible across all platforms. As mentioned, it’s an animated gif. GIF isn’t fully supported across all Outlooks and will render the first frame of animated GIF only.

Outlook compatibility

  • Outlook 02/03: Is supported

  • Outlook.com: Is supported

  • Outlook 07/10/13: Displays first frame of animated GIF.


Keep in mind the time frame on this. You don’t want the customer to open the email to see that timer/sale has already ended. Keep it simple. Be mindful if time is based on ‘time-zone’ or user's computer.

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