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How a Countdown Timer in Emails Influences Click Rate and Conversion
09.16.2021

How a Countdown Timer in Emails Influences Click Rate and Conversion

We've run several A/B tests to find out how the countdown timer in an email influences the email marketing metrics. In a nutshell — influence doesn't always play a role, but when it does — it is not necessarily positive. Let me tell you in more detail.

How Countdown Timers Are Used in Email Marketing

Countdown timers are usually used in emails to encourage the user to make a purchase.

For example, a store is holding a time-limited promotion. We can just point this fact out in the email. However, the timer is supposed to work better — it is more vivid and it literally shows how an opportunity to buy something on promo "slips" through your fingers.

Our Research: How Countdown Timers Influence Email Marketing Rates

We sent half of our addressees an email without a countdown timer, and another half — with it. We calculated the Conversion To Purchase Rate and Click To Open Rate — a unique clicks to unique opens ratio. We looked at CTOR, not at Click Rate (a unique clicks to delivered emails ratio) because in our case, it was more illustrative.

Subscribers from various countries got emails from online stores in several e-commerce niches.

Sports Shoes and Clothes, Brand #1

Average check: $100
Purchase frequency: 100 days
Here we ran 4 tests:

Only one of the four tests showed a statistically significant influence on the CTOR. In the third test, we can see that the timer had certainly influenced the CTOR in a positive way.

In the same test, we can see that the conversion influence is negative, but the significance is low, as it may be just an error limit.

Sports Shoes and Clothes, Brand #2

Average check: $80
Purchase frequency: 100 days
Here we also ran 4 tests:

Half of the tests showed statistically significant influence on the CTOR. In the second test, we can see a positive influence, and in the fourth one — negative.

A statistically significant difference in conversion can be seen both in the first and the fourth tests, in both cases the influence of the timer is negative.

Make-Up, Beauty, Skin Care

Average check: $80
Purchase frequency: 80 days

In this test, the timer didn't show any influence on the CTOR and conversion.

Electronics and Home Appliances

Average check: €215
Purchase frequency: 119 days

In the first test, the influence of the timer on the CTOR was positive, but the significance of these results was low — 87%. In the second one, the statistically significant influence of the timer on the conversion was negative.

What to Do Next?

Despite the results of our research, we recommend that you test the timers on your project — maybe they will show a good result there.

Nikita Shvetsov
CRM Marketer
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