Add a Countdown Timer to an Email Experience

A countdown timer allows you to show email subscribers how much time remains in an event or sale. Some common uses for countdown timers include the following:

  • Countdown to a special event
  • Countdown to a storewide sale
  • Countdown to a flash sale on a website
  • Countdown until summer starts
  • Countdown days remaining in the holiday shopping season

Including a Countdown Timer

Follow these steps to add a countdown timer to an Open-Time Email experience.

  1. Create a new email experience, and then select the default image.

    Callout of the 'COUNTDOWN TIMER' button in the Dynamic Content area


    Callout of the 'EDIT APPEARANCE' button for the countdown timer preview

  4. Use the fields and settings in the Edit Timer modal to configure the countdown timer. See Customizing the Countdown Timer in this documentation for more information about the settings in the modal.

    The size of the timer that appears in the Edit Timer modal is the actual size that displays in the email.

    1. Click UPDATE PREVIEW as you make changes in the modal so that you can see how the revisions look.
    2. Once you have completed configuring the timer, click SAVE & CLOSE.

    The Edit Appearance modal for a countdown timer

  5. After you configure the countdown timer, finish configuring the email experience.

Customizing the Countdown Timer

Date & Time

Use the Date & Time settings of the Edit Timer modal to configure the end point for the countdown timer. The default format is hours and minutes (HH:MM) within the time zone defined on the Sites page of the platform settings. See Set Time Zones for Sites for more information.


The settings in the Appearance section of the Edit Timer modal let you change the look and feel of the email's countdown timer.

  • Options: Select to hide colons, to hide labels, or both
  • Dimensions: Set the width and height in pixels of the countdown timer
  • Positioning: Set the position in pixels of the countdown timer from the top and left of the background image
  • Numbers: Select a font, size, and color for the countdown timer numbers
  • Letters: Select a font, size, and color for the words in the countdown timer
  • Background Color: Select a background color for the countdown timer, or select No background color
  • Background Image: Optionally upload a background image for the countdown timer

The maximum size for a countdown timer is 700 pixels wide by 350 pixels high.

Keep this guidance in mind if you choose to upload an image for the countdown timer background:

  • The size of the image should be as close to the size of the countdown timer as possible. If you use a standard 400 x 90 pixel countdown timer, use a background image that is as close to that size as possible. An image that's too small may become pixelated, and oversize images can increase render times.
  • The background image colors are important, especially if you use the seconds denomination and animate the timer. Ideally, a simple image with few colors are best for two reasons. First, this type of image makes it easy to include a contrasting text color on top, making the countdown timer easy to read. Second, due to limitations for animated images in email, there is a finite amount of color space available. Therefore, a simple background image with a limited color profile is the best option.

Additional Notes

Countdown timers are built as GIF images because this format is the most compatible form of animation used in emails. This table shows which popular email clients support and don't support animated GIFs.

Email ClientSupports Animated GIFs
Desktop Clients
Outlook 2000–2003
Outlook 2007–2019
Windows 10 Mail
Outlook for Mac
Apple Mail
Mobile Clients
Gmail IMAP
iOS Mail
Samsung Mail
Webmail Clients
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
Yahoo! Mail

The countdown timer still displays even if a recipient's email client doesn't support animated GIFs. In this situation, only the first frame of the GIF appears. The recipient sees the amount of time remaining when they open the email, but the countdown timer isn't animated.