A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Countdown Timers that Convert

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Countdown Timers that Convert

Countdown timers create a sense of urgency, making them a key tool in digital marketing strategies. The Stackable plugin adds functionality and ease to WordPress sites, offering diverse blocks for various needs.

Creating urgency and a sense of scarcity encourages customers to make decisions quickly, preventing missed opportunities.

We often see this used as a sales tactic called “Scarcity Marketing”. An example would be when a business holds a sale for a limited time of 3 days. Another would be offering limited edition products in small quantities, garnering a sense of exclusivity.

This tactic leverages the principle that people are more likely to purchase something more readily if they believe it is in scarce supply or available only for a limited time. This approach taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO) concept and can be highly effective in boosting sales.

In the world of web design, we can also apply this tactic and boost conversion. But how? How exactly can you create a sense of urgency on a website? One of the easiest and most common ways is to implement a countdown timer.

By using countdown timers, marketers can significantly enhance user engagement and increase the likelihood of conversions on a website. In this article, we’ll walk you through how you can create an effective countdown timer.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Effective Countdown Timer

If you want to add a countdown timer by yourself, you will find that there are many different ways to do it. A route you can go for is to code it with HTML, CSS and Javascript. However, if you have little to no knowledge in coding, this might prove difficult.

In this tutorial, we’ll create a countdown timer using Stackable. Stackable offers a powerful set of tools and features that can significantly enhance the creation of websites. Stackable provides pre-made blocks built to work with the WordPress Block Editor. This includes the Countdown block, which allows for extensive customization. It’s the perfect tool to set you up for success!

Step 1: Installing and Activating Stackable

Begin by installing and activating the Stackable plugin on your WordPress site. You can find the Stackable plugin for free on the WordPress block directory.

A screenshot of Stackable in the WordPress plugin library

Step 2: Define the Purpose

Determine what you are counting down to. Is it a sale, product launch, event, or something else? With this, you then have to decide what you want to achieve with the countdown timer, such as increasing sales, boosting event attendance or creating buzz around a product launch.

As an example, here we have a website for a hypothetical productivity app created using Stackable blocks:

A screenshot of a website of a hypothetical productivity app

In this example, it doesn’t exactly create the sense of urgency we want to impose on the website visitor. The website visitor wouldn’t exactly know until when the sale will be held either.

Here, we’ll be counting down to the end of a sale and the goal is to increase sales.

Step 3: Determine Prominent Placement

You have to strategically position the timer in a visible spot on your website. Common places are on the homepage hero, a sticky banner on the top or bottom of the page, and in some cases, a pop up banner that appears as a user scrolls on the page.

Let’s add the Countdown block on the hero, right beside the pricing.

Step 4: Configure the Countdown Timer

Choose the target end date and time for your countdown. With the Countdown block selected, go to Style tab > General panel and input the date and time when this countdown will end.

You can manually select the Timezone with Stackable’s Countdown block. You may select a specific timezone or select Local Timezone. Local Timezone means that the Countdown block adapts to the timezone of the website visitor. However, we want to keep this number uniform for all users across different timezones. Let’s select the New York (Eastern) option in the Timezone setting.

In the General tab, you will find other settings such as the Action on Expiration .

Now, in the Action on Expiration option, you have three options to choose from: None, Hide Block, or Display Message Upon Expiration. Let’s select Display Message Upon Expiration so that the website visitor would at least be informed that the sale has ended.

You will then find a new panel in the Style tab called “Expired Message”. This is where you can input the text that will appear once the countdown has finished.

In the Content field, write the text that you want to appear once the countdown is done. Here, we put “You just missed it! Sale has ended 😉”

Step 5: Impose Urgency and Relevance

The message accompanying the timer should create a sense of urgency but must also be relevant to the audience. You could use phrases like “Offer ends soon!” or “Available only for a limited time!”. These phrases can motivate users to act quickly.

Here are some other examples of slogans you can use to impose that urgency and relevance:

  • Sale ends soon
  • Hurry!
  • more

In our example, we changed the accompanying message to: “Sale ends in”

Step 6: Customize the Countdown Timer

Stackable blocks automatically adopt the Typography of your website’s theme. If you want to further customize the blocks, you can do so with Stackable’s extensive settings and controls. This is where you can apply your website’s branding and aesthetic to catch the eye of your website visitors.

Here, we just changed the Text Color of the Digits, and adjusted some of the typography, such as the Font Weight and Font Transform.

Step 7: Add a Call to Action

Strategically place a clear and compelling call to action near the countdown timer to enhance its effectiveness. This is what will ultimately help you achieve your goal.

The CTA will reinforce the message of urgency or the importance of completing the desired action immediately. More than that, we streamline the decision-making process for the user. Instead of scrolling further down the page, we give them the opportunity to take the next step right then and there.

Here are some examples of CTAs you could use in conjunction with a countdown timer:

For E-commerce and Sales Campaigns

  • Shop Now – Sale Ends Soon!
  • Claim your discount now

For Event Registration

  • Register now. Spots are limited!
  • Sign up before it’s too late
  • Reserve your seat today

For Product Launches

  • Pre-order now to guarantee yours
  • Be the first to experience

For Charity and Fundraising

  • Help us reach our goal now
  • Last few (time unit) to give

How could we do this in our example? The button text in our homepage’s hero section is simply “Get it now!”. This doesn’t exactly enforce a sense of urgency so we can improve on that.

We’ve changed the button text to: “Get it before it’s gone!”. This is an improvement from just the typical button text that we usually see.

Step 7: Preview and Launch

Now you’ve set up your countdown timer, it’s time to preview how it looks like in the frontend. You could also make sure to check if it works well across various browsers and devices.

If it’s looking great, now it’s time to determine the best time to launch this countdown based on your website’s audience’s behavior. For example, if you’re launching the countdown for a sale, it might be best to wait until the afternoon. This is usually when people get off work and have more time to browse online.

Once your countdown timer is live, you may want to monitor its initial performance. First, for any unexpected issues that might arise. This includes checking the website load times, functionality issues, or user experience problems.

Second, for how well it’s performing against your goal. Again, if the goal is to boost conversions, we want to make sure our countdown timer is achieving that. You can utilize web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to track users’ engagement with your countdown timer.


Creating urgency with countdown timers significantly boosts engagement and conversions. Using Stackable for WordPress, we’ve shown how to effectively set up and launch these timers. Countdown timers are a great tool to utilize in your marketing strategies, enhancing sales, registrations, or product launches. Proper placement and compelling calls to action are crucial. Embrace the power of urgency and transform site visitors into active customers. Follow the steps provided to achieve measurable success in your digital marketing efforts.

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