How To Create Dynamic Countdown Ads in AdWords

Posted on Mon, January 18, 2016 in by Kyle Moynihan

Creating engaging ad copy is a strategic pillar of digital marketing success.

More specifically, ad copy that promotes ongoing and upcoming sales has withstood thousands of a/b tests over time and is proven to engage customers and attract clicks.

Can these types of ads be improved even further? The answer is yes.

There is a relatively unknown tool that helps to amplify the success of these ads even further, yet I very rarely see advertisers utilizing it.

I am referring to the “countdown” function available in AdWords, which allows advertisers to dynamically display a custom countdown within ads.

The end result looks something like this:

These custom-built countdowns automatically update once daily, thereby (presumably) creating urgency behind the upcoming end date of a sale or another significant event.

How does an advertiser create these ads? The process has been simplified and is actually quite easy. 

1) Enter a "curly bracket" into either line of the ad copy. Several options will immediately be presented to you. Select the "countdown" option.

2) Enter the details of your countdown. This includes the start date and the end date of the event to which you are counting down. AdWords also requires that you enter a specific time as well. Hint: assuming that your event concludes at midnight, you would most likely enter 23:59:59. Lastly, select how many days in advance of the event you would like the countdown to begin. The ultimate goal here is urgency, so starting your countdown more than 10+ days in advance is not likely to have the desired effect.

3) Complete the process by adding "normal" ad copy around the countdown timer.

Shockingly easy, right? Surprisingly this tool remains somewhat obscure to the “average” user of AdWords, even though this tool will immediately improve the overall performance of your sales campaigns and consequently assist with generating more conversions.

We encourage you to experiment and create your first countdown ad today - then tell us about the results!

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