It’s a smart strategy to send e-blasts to announce new programs, remind people to renew their library cards, promote a new service, or invite your community to special events. Want to amp up the anticipation or get people to act now? Add a countdown timer!  

Opening an e-blast and seeing an animated countdown timer ticking away instantly adds a sense of urgency – knowing time is about to run out inspires action. The fear of missing out (or FOMO, as the kids call it) is real, and you can tap into it with a countdown timer.  

Here are some tips for using a countdown timer in your next library e-blast.  

  • Keep your e-blast short and focused on one thing. Make it clear that people have a limited time left to register for a program or renew their library card. Or use the time to build anticipation for something fun, like the start of summer reading or a branch’s grand opening. Regardless of when someone opens your email, the clock will always display the time remaining in real-time. 
  • Add a call-to-action button or CTA. What do you want people to do before time runs out? Keep it short and reinforce that sense of excitement you’ve built. Examples include “Register Now,” “Save My Seat,” and “I want one!” 
  • If a recipient opens your email after the countdown has ended, include a "time's up!" image with a message like “Sorry we missed you!” Add a link to a LibraryAware flyer or your library’s calendar. That way, even those late to the party can get more information or attend another event. 

With LibraryAware’s Drag & Drop Email Editor, it’s easy to add a countdown timer. Just click the timer block in your template and follow the prompts to customize it as little or as much as you want. Or use one of our templates already designed with a countdown timer. Note: Our timers are web-safe and require no HTML skills.   

Think of a countdown timer in an e-blast like watching the hands of the clock on New Year’s Eve. Midnight is going to strike eventually. Why not make it exciting while you wait? 

timer templates collage image


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Kathy Lussier is the Director of Engagement and Marketing for NoveList. She’s currently listening to The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez.