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Last updated Fri Jul 12 2024

Countdown Timer Popup: A Beginner's Guide [+Examples]

Countdown timers are used on landing pages, ads, website banners, and of course, popups.

They are a great way to generate leads and get sales by creating a sense of urgency.

If you'd like to use a countdown timer popup on your website, this guide will help you get started the right way.

In this post:

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What's a countdown timer popup?

A countdown timer popup is a popup campaign with an embedded countdown, made to create a sense of urgency to buy. Countdown timer popups are used to make limited-time offers, increase engagement during flash sales, and prevent cart abandonment in online stores.

timer popup

Are countdown popups effective?

Adding a countdown to a popup boosts the average conversion rate by 41% compared to the traditional format: 5.36% vs 3.79%.

That's why countdowns in popups are a proven way to increase conversion during limited-time sales, Black Friday promos, and other time-sensitive offers.

popups with countdown vs popups without a countdown statistics

Successful examples of using countdown timers to various types of popups are quite easy to find.

Here's one:

Charlotte Bio, a cosmetics store, added a countdown to a bar popup (below) with a discount and generated 17% of monthly sales in six hours of the flash sale:

website sticky bar

Here's what one of the campaign creators had to say:

marilou bertrand

“We added the bar with the countdown to reinforce the sense of urgency for those who did not apply the code in the popup, which was key to success.”

Marilou Bertrand, Director of Digital Marketing, Charlotte Bio

Over 230 shoppers clicked the bar popup to apply the discount code to the shopping cart:

website bar performance

See how you can do the same: Read Charlotte Bio case study

You can also watch our interview of Marilou about this campaign (in French):

How to create a countdown timer popup

Follow these steps to create a timer popup with a limited-time discount:

  1. Create a new campaign

  2. Pick a template

  3. Add a countdown timer

  4. Customize the design

  5. Add the discount code

  6. Choose how to display

  7. Publish

We'll use Wisepops (4.8-star rating on Shopify), which also offers built-in Shopify targeting properties, Klaviyo segment targeting, and other advanced features.

Begin by grabbing a free account:

Unlimited free trial, no cc needed. Learn more about Wisepops popup maker


"Easy to integrate with other marketing tools and even easier to create campaigns. Customer support is second to none. If you are looking for a reliable popups and data capture you can't go wrong with Wisepops."

Alex, Trustpilot review

Step 1: Create a new campaign

In Wisepops, go to Create campaign > Campaign assistant > Coupon:

creating a timer popup


Wisepops has a dedicated template with a countdown timer (Go to Drive Sales > Limited time offers to find it). But we'll use a template without the countdown so you know how to add them to any campaign in the future.

Step 2: Pick a template

Feel free to choose a template that you think suits your website design better. For this tutorial, though, I'll pick this one:


Your popup also has a sticky tab—a small window that hangs out in the bottom left corner of the website after visitors close the popup: learn about sticky tabs.

Step 3: Add the countdown timer

Go to Blocks in the main menu and find Countdown:

countdown section in popup app


Drag that block onto the template:

adding a countdown timer to a popup

Now, we have a countdown timer popup!

Step 4: Customize the design

Now, our job is to make our timer popup look like a natural part of your website. To do that, change the colors of the template and add an original image. Customizing is easy: just click the element you'd like to change to see the options you need.

For example—

If you click the timer section, you'll be able to modify the time zone, the end date, and the countdown type in the menu that will appear on the left:

Click the next tab in the countdown settings ("Style") to set up the exact time frame for your offer:

choosing time for a popup

Step 5: Add the discount code

When you're done customizing the template, we need to add the discount code we're giving away. Since it will appear in the next popup window, go to Step 2 in the editor (right above the popup preview) to see it:

step 2

In Design > Style, choose Apply this design to all steps and Wisepops will finish customizing the second popup window in seconds:

option formatting


Click the discount section to customize it:

code customization


Connect Wisepops to your Shopify account to be able to create and use unique Shopify discounts: here's how.

Also, check out these 18 discount code ideas if you need some inspiration.

Step 6: Choose how to display

Go to Display Rules to set up where your countdown timer popup appears and to what visitors (all about display rules). By default, the campaign will be shown to all visitors three seconds after they land on your website.

More about page targeting and audience targeting.

display exit popup

Step 7: Save and publish

Hey, your countdown timer popup is good to go!

See how it'll look on your site (just hit Preview in the top right corner).

To display the campaign on your site, simply pop in the Wisepops code snippet with a few clicks: add Wisepops to your website (you can skip this part if you already connected Wisepops with Shopify)

Also, if you want the collected emails to go straight to your email app, link it up with Wisepops: Integrations.

Best practices for using countdown timer popups
  • Cart abandonment recovery. A strategic countdown timer in a cart recovery popup can remind customers what they're missing out on with an added incentive to complete the order

  • Flash sales and limited-time offers. These events create a spike in urgency, pushing undecided buyers over the edge. By showcasing the timer, customers are nudged to act quickly

  • Product launches and pre-order campaigns. For brand new products or services, a countdown timer can build anticipation and ensure a surge of conversions at the launch

Examples of countdown timer popups

1. Pedego Harlem

countdown timer popup

This countdown timer popup example (created with Wisepops) promotes a limited-time offer: a free product upgrade. Clicking the button in the campaign will help customers go straight to the page with the deal.

Note a well-written headline that makes the main benefit clear right away.


countdown timer popup example

TOMS prevents website exit by showing this timer popup with a discount. Visitors can get 15% off their first order if they subscribe to the brand's newsletter in 15 minutes.

Like in many other timer popups, the main benefit is written in the biggest font, which is a good idea to grab attention.

3. Journeys

countdown timer popup example with discount

This timer popup offers a discount for a specific order value, which is an interesting tactic designed to protect margins.

Like in the previous example, there's only 15 minutes to take advantage of the deal.

Related content: Sales promotions examples

4. Adore Me

adore me timer popup

Adore Me promotes one of their best-selling products in this timer popup. This time, the offer is valid for one hour and also includes free shipping and exchange as additional reasons to make a purchase.

Increase engagement with product launches:

How to promote products [strategies and examples]

5. Nora Gardner

Create more effective offers:

Guide to limited-time offers with examples

Next Steps

Using countdown timer popups can boost online marketing efforts, aiding in cart recovery and sales spikes during limited-time offers. These prompts create urgency, prompting visitors to act fast. By applying the steps and best practices from this post, you can create campaigns that boost conversions and build excitement for your products.

Check out more guides to know how to convert visitors:

Oleksii Kovalenko

Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing expert and a writer with a degree in international marketing. He has seven years of experience helping ecommerce store owners promote their businesses by writing detailed, in-depth guides.


Master's in International Marketing, Academy of Municipal Administration

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