Setting up and using Global Slot Messaging

You can also think of it as message / promotion injection.

Here’s a 7 min 30 sec YouTube video taking you through the steps and showing the results. It covers:

  • Swtiching global slot messaging on and off
  • Setting up your own global slot message
  • How to prevent a particular post’s/page’s from showing global slot messages
  • How to set up a specific slot message using your post’s/page’s grid shortcode

Here it is:

If we’ve currently got global messaging switched on, you’ll see the current one in the grid below 🙂

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Important points to remember

  • Global slot messages are real-time
  • Only eligible grids will display your global slot message
  • Product grids with fewer than four products in them aren’t eligible
  • Product grids with a slot message defined in their shortcodes aren’t eligible
  • Product grids that include use_message_slot=0 in their shortcode options aren’t eligible
  • The position a slot message displays in a grid is chosen randomly each time

Turn that on its head and you should get that every product grid that makes no mention of slot messages in its shortcode will automatically display the global one (as long it has four or more products in its grid).

Great feature – how can I use it?

The bare facts are that you get to define the web address of an image you want to display and the web address it gets linked to.

Armed with those two facts, here’s some obvious examples

  • Feature a different designer or brand store from time to time
  • Announce major Zazzle promotions and link either to Zazzle’s suggested landing page or to their coupon page
  • Feature your own specific product when you launch a new design
  • Provide an affiliate image/link for, say Amazon, or wherever else you might affiliate
  • Promote other pages of your own site
  • Make a short campaign in the run up to special holidays (hello “Halloween”!)
  • You could even sell that “ad space” to who you choose

We’d love to hear about ways you’d use it, so if you don’t mind sharing, drop off a comment 🙂

Making a product grid from a store category

Here’s the grid made using the shortcode: [niftygridzpro category_id="196345274397862357"] as shown in the video at the bottom:


Creating a product grid for a specific department

NiftyGridZPro allows you to restrict a product grid to products from a specific department. For example, to restrict it to just business cards, you use the shortcode option: department_id="252055618931521092"

Here’s the shortcode used for the grid below:

[niftygridzpro store_or_collection="hightonridley" department_id="252055618931521092" page_size=2]

So the next question is, how do you find out what the department id is for the products you want?

Finding the department id

The answer is that Zazzle provides a utility for it. Follow this link and at the very top of the window you’ll see:

Screenshot showing the location of Zazzle's Department Id finder
Locating Zazzle’s Department Id finder

(I’ve scrolled up a tad so you can see the context)

Just click “select” and keep navigating until you get to the type of product you want:

screenshot of Zazzle's department id tool
Zazzle’s tool for finding a department id

When you click “Done”, you’ll be given the department id – just copy it ready for pasting into your shortcode:

You can stop navigating before you get to a specific type of product and that way you’ll get all product types within the department.

That’s all there is to it.

New facility to test fallback grids

NiftyGridZPro has a feature to ensure that you always have a grid displayed, even if Zazzle’s feed mechanism goes down. A number of such fallback grids are included with your installation and our sister site’s Nifty Promo Control Panel lets you make your own so you have full flexibility on what’s displayed (see the FAQ for more on this).

Of course, you need a way to make sure that they’re working ok and this post shows you how to make sure they are. It’s all spelled out in the FAQ but let’s run through it here.

  • By default, one with a filename of backup-file2-birthday6.html is used – unless you give a different filename in your shortcode options.
  • It’s easy to test that the fallback grid shows up and is as you expect. Just include this special shortcode: mimic_zazzle_down=1. Again, simply preview it to see the fallback grid in place. Don’t forget to take it out when you’re happy with the result!

Here’s the shortcode for the grid below:
[niftygridzpro store_or_collection="hightonridley" associate_id="238582202591969585" mimic_zazzle_down=1]

The only thing to watch out for with the fallback grid is to make sure that none of the products in it on Zazzle get hidden or deleted – if they do, you’ll get broken links. You can best do this by using your own products and then you’re in control.