A countdown timer is a useful way to create a limited time for a website visitor to decide whether to opt-in to an offer, make the purchase, or something else. It ticks down visibly at or near the top of the page to let the visitor know that the clock is ticking, and the offer will expire soon.
Implementing the timer on a standalone website requires some coding sophistication that is difficult to put together if you’re not a programmer. However, there’s also the option of using a countdown timer plugin. Getting help from a web studio to implement the timer correctly is worth it to avoid any snafus.
Let’s see how it can be done.
What Is a Countdown Timer and Why Is it Beneficial?
Many people are quite indecisive. When they need to part with money for anything, it causes cognitive dissonance around decision-making.
The introduction of countdown timers on websites was designed to get around that. Especially for larger purchases, which cause the worst procrastination around the buying decision.
A countdown timer sets a virtual deadline for when the offer will expire. This encourages people to make a decision and take action on it. Usually, a short-term discount possibly combined with various bonuses for being an “early bird” is included to further incentivise not delaying.
Do Countdown Timers Work?
They certainly do. Though not with everyone.
Some people will have ultimately decided to take the action within the allotted time regardless of there being a timer.
Others will ignore the timer completely, wishing to decide in their own time. They’re happy to accept a higher price at a later point for that freedom.
However, the largest group will be sufficiently motivated to move ahead to get the discount while it’s available. As such, it can significantly increase the sales generated over the period.
How Are Countdown Timers Implemented?
While there are various countdown timer plugins available, not all of them have good functionality or are well designed. Because of this, it’s a good idea to get a web studio to add this functionality to an existing WordPress site. They can customize their appearance to better suit the website’s existing design too.
Alternatively, for standalone sites, a timer feature will need to be manually created or a pre-made solution found, tested, and added to a non-WordPress website. Again, it will need to be redesigned to fit the existing website design to avoid looking out of place.
Should You Try to Do This Yourself?
It’s probably not a good idea to attempt to do this yourself.
Some of the countdown timers function poorly. Others won’t do what you want.
For instance, some timers simply countdown from a set time upon visiting the website. When visiting again, the visitor is treated as a new user, and the clock resets. Therefore, the time limitation is an illusion.
A web studio, can use an evergreen countdown timer that will assign a separate timer to each visitor individually. It will ensure that when the timer has expired, it won’t reset upon a new visit – the offer is truly over. This also makes it an honest offer, rather than a misleading one, which is important for both fairness and clarity.
Adding a countdown timer to a landing page is an excellent way to bolster sales from people who would otherwise be on the fence.