You’ll love your countdown emails

BONUS: Get More Email Countdown Timer Examples and Ideas by Moosend!

countdown of old movies

You’ll need 7 minutes to read this post on the advantages of using a countdown timer in emails.

Why did I tell you that?

Because letting you estimate the approximate read time will help you take action: if you have 7 minutes, you will read the article. If not, you’ll pass.

Essentially, this rough estimate helps you plan.

If, throughout the article I estimated the remaining read time left for you, you would know whether to speed up or slow down.

By analogy, a countdown timer in emails does the trick for your customers:

Countdown timers help consumers plan their actions (e.g. shop on the spot, or stay put to shop a limited edition collection online)

Countdown timers help consumers excite users and consumers with their “personalized” heads-up messages (e.g. “Time is running out, stock is running low”)
Let’s make the best out of the remaining 6.5 minutes. (Only have 10 secs? Jump to the TL;DR section at the bottom of this post.)

Here are some interesting email marketing facts you need to know in 2019.

Table of Contents

Ok, you love countdowns!

And you love countdowns!

Everyone loves countdowns!


How do we know everyone loves countdowns?

Countdowns are everywhere, literally part of our everyday lives!

Some people count down to the end of their workday (or so we’ve heard), others, count down to their birthdays, and the vast majority counting down to the end of the month (when their next paycheck arrives).

People count down for rocket launches, pregnancy due dates, the New Year’s.

People count down to the day they find the one, or to the day the get that sports car they’ve always dreamed of.

Whatever is exciting comes with a countdown!

Rather, whatever comes with a countdown is exciting!

What do these examples of countdown timers tell us?

Essentially, countdowns elicit a feeling of impatience in us, a gut feeling, a fight-or-flight mode, alertness.

Here’s a few everyday examples of countdown timers

Why not have a countdown for the promotion and growth of your business?

Let’s take a look at some examples from everyday life!

old movie countdown from 4 photo

Have you seen those countdowns right before a movie started?

You know, to stir things up.

Like seeing a moving idol on a white sheet was not exciting enough on its own. Oh, well.

espn nfl countdown

World’s most popular events come with countdowns to get the temperature rising and to lift spirits gradually.

And of course, there are rocket launches. I mean, who hasn’t spent three hours counting down to zero, eating pop corn, waiting for the launch to start? I know, right?

nasa gif countdown to launch sunset

Yes. A countdown timer in emails is a catalyst for launches and new beginnings. 

From product launches, to eshop launches, to new product launches, to so much more (see below).


There’s something we must inform you of.

Everything will sell out.


What is an email countdown timer?


A countdown timer in emails is a real-time countdown gif.

Generally, countdown timer gifs count down to 00:00:00 and then start over. Like all gifs.

Moosend is different because what you get is a real-time countdown timer gif.

By “real time” we mean that your timer will show the true number of remaining days, hours, minutes or seconds remaining until the offering expires.

So, every time your subscribers open their email to see how much time they have left, they will be getting an actual update on the remaining time.

As soon as the offer expires, subscribers who open that email will see 00.00.00 on their countdown timer.

Designing my email countdown timer for free – The Basics

Moosend s editor screenshots from timer customization

Head over to our Editor and select Timer under Settings.

A. Start customizing your timer.

B. Choose the expiry date and time.

C. Edit labels on your timer to suit your needs.

Did you know you can also schedule a countdown timer in emails on Moosend?

How to schedule a countdown timer in emails

Let’s consider this scenario:

You own an eshop and want to run a quick sale over the weekend.

You head over to our foolproof Campaign Editor and easily generate a countdown timer:

1. It is January 21st and you want to schedule an email for the next month.

2. Practically, you want smart scheduling for your email to correctly count down from February 3rd to February 4th, when your sales period is off.

3. Head over to the Editor, insert a countdown timer, and click on it, for the settings to appear.

4. Simply choose the expiration day (here, February 4th) on the Timer’s calendar.

5. Then, select the exact time you want your sales period to end, for instance, 23.59.

Click Generate Timer when you are happy with the customization of the timer (title, theme, background color, etc.).

Your brand new feature on Moosend: Countdown Timer in emails

Up until now, to send out a countdown timer in emails, your’d have to design a couple of emails.

More specifically, to communicate a weekend-long sale, you would have to design, say, four newsletters.

First, you would have to send out a newsletter campaign reading “3 days left until sale starts!”.

This would be followed by “Sales period just launched” and then, “One day to go“, and “Few hours to go- Shop while stock lasts“.

Sure, this would work.

Besides the fact that increasing the frequency of emails which could hurt your open rate, you’d have to go through twice the trouble and time on your part.

However, using a countdown timer in emails will help you reach twice the goals you set at the beginning.

Countdown timer in emails helps digital marketers create a sense of urgency.

Countdowns give our heart rates a little boost.

We at Moosend released this sweet new feature, our Countdown Timer, to help email marketers nudge their subscribers out their comfy chairs and to their websites.

Inserting a new countdown timer element to a new campaign is fairly easy and straightforward. (After all, our Campaign Editor is an award-winning one.)

Alternatively, you could quickly customize one of your previous campaigns simply by Duplicating it and inserting a timer.

How to tick(tock) all the right boxes

What do countdown emails offer consumers (and consequently, businesses)?

We made a list of the main benefits you will be harnessing:

✓ Countdowns enable people to plan – if you send the email in advance

If you run an e-commerce store and send out a countdown email well in advance, you give your subscribers they chance to plan their budget, their spendings, their timetable.

This is why it is considered a best practice to send out a teaser in advance.

This way, your subscribers are not dismayed if they get a BARGAIN email at the end of the month, when their paycheck has already vanished into thin air. Don’t ask me how I found out.

✓ Countdown timers also encourage people to act on a whim

This is Social Psychology 101.

By leveraging the Rule of Scarcity, companies instigate in consumers a need to own something that is selling out fast or one that is discounted.

Everyone experiences this feeling; apparently not for the same things, or we would be all out of certain items!

Countdown timers make a great way to amplify urgency in emails and encourage users to take immediate action.

✓ Send out a countdown to your subscribers’ birthday

Join in the excitement of users’ birthdays; send them an email counting down to the day they were born!

You can make this part of a workflow, which could be followed by a discount code for the day or week.

woman and man celebrating over a birthday cake sketch countdown to birthday

Made exclusively on our editor


✓ Countdown emails can work wonders

Did you know that the Rule of Scarcity also applied to your not-so-popular product categories?

Counting down to offers ending in various product categories might not be as effective as running a sale across all of them at once.

In essence, you are satisfying an ensemble of needs, and given the standard shipping fee, users will be tempted to purchase more, even if they don’t need it, or to offer to friends.

✓ Use countdown timers to remind your subscribers to save the date

With your new launch/collection launch/book publication coming up, you want to make sure that people mark their calendars with your event first.

Consider sending out a series of emails which reveal small surprises or intrigue subscribers.

Gamification is also a golden strategy here, by getting your subscribers to communicate your event so as to win a special offer through their referrals.

✓ Use countdown timers in your cart abandonment workflows

Make the most of your cart abandonment emails by increasing excitement with countdowns!

Inform recipients of the expiry date of their cart: in other words, let them know by which day their cart will be stored.

This is what one of our designers put together for you:

two couples running with super market carts fun

#inspo by Moosend

✓ Welcome new users with a gift

Another idea is to send out a countdown timer to those who sign up to your newsletter for the first time, giving them a $20 coupon for their first purchase, expiring within the first week.

✓ Get higher click-to-open rates with countdown timers

Get up to 300% increase in CTR and up to 10% in sales.

Or higher. Break the records.

Remember to write copy as powerful as your offering!

✓ Play the Fear-of-Missing-Out card

Convince your subscribers that your offer is not going to be valid after the expiry date.

Keep your copy short, and remove any distractions from your newsletter.

Anything that might draw their attention elsewhere might detract from your CTA.

So keep it clean, with high-converting design.

Get email countdown timer tips and ideas for your business

We went fishing for the best countdown timer email out there.

Here’s a list of ideas you could consider:

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Communicate your exclusive early releases

countdown timer in email for exclusive early release of dermatological creamReward your most loyal customers with exclusive updates, behind-the-scenes news, and more.

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Increase excitement before your new launch

countdown timer in emails We are coming soon Services

countdown timer launching new offer on cell phonesAre you launching a new service and are taking signups in the meantime?

Make the most of your dedicated fan base.

Welcome those who sign up to be notified when your service launches with a countdown timer of the exact time and date you are launching.

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Create a ticking offer for free shipping

countdown timer farfetch email shopping bags

Free shipping finds itself in the top 3 places of conversion tactics.

Couple that with a countdown timer and raise the conversion rate faster than ever!

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Rattle up the crowds with the right reminder

    countdown timer for Dr. Marterns cyber monday deals

The first thing your subscribers see when they open this newsletter is that time is ticking.

Top it up with a compelling offer and an image design they won’t miss!

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Shake things up for upcoming holidays or celebrations – a kind reminder that everyone will appreciate
    countdown timer for father's day with a joke reading What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter? An irrelephant.


You might be looking for more shopping opportunities for your customers, but so might they!

You see, besides public holidays and popular celebrations, there might be other occasions your subscribers are celebrating.

By running a random flash sale on your merchandise (or part of it), you might not get a conversion rate as high as usual, but you can tap that opportunity window and get some new users to shop.        

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Notify your subscribers that a special offer is ending soon

countdown timer USAA bank showing woman with a tablet and a card

For the users who have been viewing pages or specific products on your website / eshop, you can motivate them with the use of timers.

Inform users on the expiration date of a specific offer and watch your CTR rocket!

  • How to use a countdown timer in emails: Make consumers jump out their seats with major offers

countdown timer in french reading "Last few hours -90% "

Who would not check out this offer?

This “-90%” discount is arguably the most compelling line of copy we could think of!

We really loved the extra touch of the CTA button “Je fonce” (:I’m rushing).

RyanAir’s “1.000.000 seats” for less (below) is also an offer their subscribers would not resist:

countdown timer ryanair's 1 million seats from 9.99 euros

Make your sales tick; Add value to your newsletter design for your countdown timer in emails

Do you need more inspiration about your email design?

We are adding a few more ideas that inspired us and could inspire you, too.

See what you can do with your countdown timer on Moosend’s platform:

  • A smart way to communicate both your offering and your offer

black and white timer with fashionable clothes on women with each photo shaped like a number from 1 to 5. countdown to GO

We like how this brand chose to achieve maximum communication in such a minimal way.

Images appear in shapes of numbers counting down from 5.

This gif would link to the website page with the items in stock.

Another plus of this design is that the gif is in black and white.

This helps the user focus more, despite the information they process simultaneously: dress styles and countdown.

The feeling that countdown timers alone generate is a stirrer itself!

Couple a similar gif with the countdown timer you will create on our Editor and grow your sales!

  • We thought that this could inspire a very innovative way to count down to a project taking off

airport destination board with countdown

This is a style you can replicate by customizing the email countdown timer boxes on Moosend’s Editor.

Then, simply add an image of destinations as in the example above.

Complement this with “These clothes are taking you places. Shop now for less! Sale ends on Sunday February 13th, at 23.59.”

  • Scheduling a site maintenance? Notify your users in advance!

countdown to site maintenance completion

Save your users the unpleasant surprise of not being able to serve them during site maintenance.

It shows professionalism and organization on your part.

These are two characteristics help establish you in the minds of your users as a reliable professional.



Countdown timers are one of the truly unique features you can use in your newsletter campaigns to make your design stand out from your competition.

Available throughout Moosend’s subscription plans, adding a countdown timer in emails is a must for all fast-growing businesses.


  1. An application of the Rule of Scarcity in social economics, adding a countdown timer in emails accentuates urgency and skyrockets CTR and sales.
  2. Keep the copy clean and, like grandpa used to say, “Make them an offer they can’t refuse”.
  3. Use our countdown timer in emails today or pick one of ready to use email newsletter templates!
  4. One more thing: we have more of these articles… Sign up to our blog!