Create a countdown timer campaign tag

Once your countdown timer template is complete, you can add it to a campaign tag.

Create your campaign tag

In Campaigns, create a new campaign or use the edit icon for an existing one to add your new countdown timer tag.

The campaign section in Litmus Personalize

Within your campaign, use the plus sign icon to show the tag options menu, then select the countdown timer orange clock icon in the Contextual category.

Tag options menu open with arrow pointing to the countdown timer icon

Name your new mailing tag, then Next to select your templateChoose a template from your countdown timer options, add a description, then Next to continue. If you need to make a change, you can use the Previous button to return to the previous window.

Choose a template using the search field, or scrolling through the thumbnails below to browse template options

Choose the landing page including https:// for the timer and set the end time and date that it will count down to. Use the toggles to change time and date and if necessary, adjust which time zone the timer will be based on.

NOTE: For a timer to end at midnight, choose the next day and set the end time to 00:00. The latest time for any date is 11:59PM. Midnight is the start of the following day.

You can also select the option to have your timer restart every day. When you have set the end date and time, use the Update preview button to refresh the timer preview to reflect your settings. Upload an image to display when the timer expires—if no image is uploaded, the timer will show all zeroes when the countdown ends.

Set your end date and time in the End date field, and upload a fallback image to display when the timer expires

Select Next to generate your completed campaign tag code.

Next, you'll want to create fallback content using Rule Builder for any subscribers with mail privacy protection enabled.

final generated tag with fallback content alert

Create an MPP fallback in Rule builder

Use your finished campaign in a new rule builder mailing. Select Create a new tag in your mailing and then choose Rule Builder with the light green return arrows icon. Add a description for your rule builder tag in the modal that appears.

Define your rules in the Rule Flow modal. Rules will be implemented in the order they are entered in the flow. For a countdown timer, adding fallback content only needs two rules!

For the first rule, select the Condition link on the left under the If section.

rule flow modal with condition link of first rule indicated

In the Condition Editor dropdown, find Privacy Protection under the Device category. The condition dropdown to the right will automatically change to show Enabled. Save your IF condition, and choose the Edit action link under the THEN side on the right.

edit action link in rule flow modal for countdown timers

In the Action Editor, select Image from the display options, then use the Next button to continue. Choose an image to upload that you want as your fallback. In our example, we're using a 600 x 1 pixel transparent image to collapse the space where the countdown timer would otherwise appear. Enter the required URL for your fallback image and Save your action.

NOTE: Your fallback image or transparent pixel width needs to be the same as your countdown timer's width so your email content spacing stays consistent.

With your Privacy Protection rule enabled, you can add a final rule to display your countdown timer to all other users. Select the Edit rule link on the right under the THEN side.

In this Action Editor, select the Countdown Clock radio button and Next in the lower right corner. All your available countdown timers will appear in a scrollable library. Select the active countdown timer for your email and Save with the button in the lower right corner.

You'll see your completed rule flow appear. If you need to make changes, you can edit any of the areas you'd like. Otherwise, choose Next and your new tag will generate.

completed rule flow for countdown timer mpp fallback image

Add this code to your email wherever you want your timer or your alternate image to appear for every subscriber!

tag code generated for countdown mpp fallback

Test your countdown timer

You can test your code by copying the img src portion of the countdown tag and using it in your browser. Copy everything between the quotation marks to capture the full URL. You'll see the timer that will be served to your subscribers unless the fallback image is required due to their individual mail privacy settings.

campaign tag code with img src highlighted

Make a personalized countdown

It is possible to set a unique end date and time for each user, such as a limited time discount based on when a user signed up or the time left to renew a subscription.

  1. Set up your campaign and follow the steps to configure your TAG.
  2. When configuring your TAG, select any end date in the future.
  3. Once you have your TAG, append the img src link with &cntdate=
  4. Then add the time part merge tag from your ESP to populate the TAG. For example: %YEAR%%MONTH%%DAY%
  5. Add the number of hours required to countdown onto the end of the TAG with an underscore. For example, if it's 48 hours then add _48

Here's an example of the original tag before steps 3-5:

And here's what it looks like after completing steps 3-5:

The following date formats are accepted:




NOTE: If you use a date stamp and do not include a time stamp, the clock will count down from midnight on the specific date merged.

Show time elapsed (a count up timer)

Instead of counting down to an event, you can count up from when an event occurred. 

  1. Set up your campaign and follow the steps to configure your TAG.
  2. When configuring your TAG, select any end date in the future.
  3. Once you have your TAG, append the img src link with &cntdate=YYYYMMDDHHMMSS&dir=up
  4. Update YYYYMMDDHHMMSS with the time you're wanting to count up from.

Here's an example of the original tag before steps 3-5:

And here's what it looks like after completing steps 3-5:

Create a timer that restarts every day

You can use a daily countdown timer to promote limited time opportunities like free delivery for orders placed before noon or a next-day delivery cutoff. Here are the steps:

  1. Set up your campaign and follow the steps to configure your TAG.
  2. In step 3 of the TAG configuration, select the date in the End date field and select any end date in the future. Use the slider to select the time you want the timer to count down to. For example, if it's noon, then set the time to 12:00. If it's end of day, use 23:59.
  3. Check the box to Restart every day.
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