by Sergiusz Olszewski, Product Operations Manager
As we approach the holiday season, the concept of the advent calendar—a special calendar used to count down the days to Christmas—becomes a staple in many households. But what if we could harness this same sense of anticipation and excitement in our email marketing? Enter the countdown timer, a dynamic tool that can transform your emails from routine to riveting.
Why People Love Advent Calendars
The allure of advent calendars goes beyond just counting down days; they tap into a deeper, more emotional aspect of anticipation and surprise. Each day brings a small reward, a moment of joy and discovery, much like unwrapping a tiny gift. This daily ritual creates a sense of ongoing engagement and delight, which can be incredibly powerful.
People love advent calendars for their ability to transform the mundane act of tracking days into an enchanting experience. By incorporating a countdown timer in emails, marketers can capture this same essence, turning each email into a mini-event that recipients look forward to.
The Power of Countdown Timers in Email Marketing
Again, it’s not just about the countdown. It’s about creating a series of engaging moments that keep the audience connected and excited about what’s coming next. This emotional connection is what makes advent calendars, and by extension, countdown timer emails, so effective and beloved. There are at least 4 reasons why you should consider using countdown timer in your next email:
- To create urgency—just like an advent calendar, a countdown timer in an email instills a sense of urgency. It’s a visual cue that time is ticking, which can encourage faster decision-making and increase conversion rates.The mere presence of a countdown timer can create a fear of missing out (FOMO), which drives customers to act immediately to secure the deal.
- To enhance engagement—as with any interactive element of your emails, countdown timers make them more engaging. This interactivity can lead to higher click-through rates and a deeper level of customer engagement.
- To build anticipation—similar to the daily surprise of an advent calendar, a countdown timer builds anticipation for a specific event, promotion, or launch. This anticipation can keep your audience checking their inboxes eagerly, looking forward to your next email.
- To target seasonal promotions—just as advent calendars are synonymous with Christmas, countdown timers can be used to highlight seasonal sales, special holiday offers, or year-end deals, making your emails timely and relevant.
Our Email Design Studio allows you to include a timer in your email with a Countdown Widget. The timer can either count down to a specific date and time, count down for a specific period, or be dynamically created for each contact based on their details.
When configuring the Countdown widget, you can choose from three countdown types:
- Standard—you select a specific point in the future (date and time) to which time will be counted. The timer will always show the actual time left until that point in the future, i.e., will be updated accordingly each time a Contact opens the email.
This countdown type is especially useful if you want to show how much time remains until a promotion starts or ends, or in the case of scheduled events, like a trade fair or a conference.
- Start-on-open – in this option, it’s not you who pushes the button. A specified time (e.g., 24 hours) will start to be counted down the moment a Contact opens your email. This means that the actual countdown start and end times will be different for each Contact (there is no single, specific date or time that would apply to all Contacts).
This countdown type is especially useful if you want to create a sense of urgency. It works best with the discount code included in the same email that is valid only for 24 hours from the moment the email is opened. You can set the timer to reset each time the email is opened, or be triggered only once—when a Contact opens your email for the first time.
- Dynamic—here you select an existing dictionary detail of the date type. The timer will count down to the date (and time) contained in that dictionary detail, individually for each Contact. This way, you can remind a Contact that their subscription is about to expire or configure a special anniversary discount that can be used within 30 days before the Contact’s anniversary (i.e., before the date from the dictionary detail).
Add some glitter
To make your countdown timers even more effective, consider adopting the advent calendar approach and offer:
- Daily Reveals: just like an advent calendar offers a daily surprise, use your countdown timer to unveil a new deal, tip, or piece of content each day leading up to a major event or holiday.
- Storytelling: incorporate storytelling into your emails, similar to how each day of an advent calendar adds to the holiday narrative. This approach can keep your audience engaged and looking forward to the next installment.
- Personalization: tailor your countdown emails to different segments of your audience, just as advent calendars come in various themes to suit different tastes (although let’s face it—chocolate is always number 1) .
Countdown timers in emails are more than just a marketing tactic; they’re a way to bring the excitement and anticipation of an advent calendar into your digital communication. By integrating this feature into your email strategy, you can create a more engaging, dynamic, and effective marketing campaign, especially around the holiday season. So, why not give your audience the gift of anticipation this year with a well-crafted countdown timer email campaign?