A step by step guide on how to add countdown timer to Ontraport emails or into any other email provider's mails.
Even though Ontraport offers a countdown timer on their page builder, there are no out-of-the-box countdown timers available for emails (at least as of May 2023).
So this limitation force us to look for solution outside of Ontraport. And you are in luck as there are a bunch of third party tools available that we can use in our Ontraport emails.
The main one that stands out is Sendtric.
Because Sendtric is 100% Free, it offers Unlimited timers and it has no watermarks!!
Plus it offers up to 100,000 free views per timer. ( This means, if you have more than 100k contacts and they all opened the email you sent and saw the countdown timer embedded in the email, you have used up your free quota. If you want more views or more features, better looking layouts, perpetual timers etc the paid plan starts with US$9.)
Few other options if are curious
Step 1: Go to Sendtric landing page and fill out the details as per your requirements
Step 2: Change the colours of Background, labels and digits to suit your branding.
Step 3: Click Generate to get the HTML embed code.
Now that we have the html code for the timer, all we have to do is embed it into Ontraport emails.
Since Ontraport doesn't have any Custom HTML element (just yet) on their email building block, we can't just add this html embed code. So if we want to use this code, our option is to use Raw HTML email.
But there is an easier solution. Use IMAGES!
So what Sendtric does in the backend is creating a GIF image file as the output. When you inspect the embed code, you can find the url for the GIF file.
<table align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <img src="https://gen.sendtric.com/countdown/52fb8ua0wq" style="display: block;max-width:100%" /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
If you can copy the url and insert the url as the source of the image, just like I did below, you will see the countdown timer.
( Most probably you will see 00:00:00 here as the max countdown duration you can set using sendtric is for 30 days)
When creating a new Ontraport email message, select "Simple Mail". Then add an image where the countdown timer is required. Now insert the image URL in the required space. Adjust the width or heigh as required. If you wish to add the countdown timer to Ontraprts fancier Ontramail, you can add an image block and do the same step as above. Once you add the image block, go to 'Edit image block' and Enter Url to get the image file.
Above mentioned methods for ontramail and Simple mail are wrong methods. When you get the file using the url and add it to Ontraport, the gif file now is hosted by Ontraport and loses the time tracking ability. So it countdown will always start from the time you uploaded the image. It DOES NOT countdown from the time you have explicitly set while creating it.
So countdown timer works only with RAW HTML Email builder of Ontraport.
This is where you can actually use your Sendtric html embed code as it is. Once you open up the Raw Html email message, click on "Source" to add html code
Then it will open up the html code editor for the email. Then you copy and paste the code as is.
Sendtric offers free to use email countdown timers for Ontraport or any other email platform that you want to use. The reasons to use Sendtric is, its free to use and has no watermarks. Plus it is pretty straightforward appliction.
I hope this post helps you. If you have used any other app or have a better recommendation, please leave it in the comment.