screenshot of nifty promo control panel

FAQ updated 30th September 2019

Not a Zazzler but want to be an affiliate and earn good money?

How do I become a Zazzle affiliate?

Visit Zazzle's Associate Program page and sign up there.

What are the benefits?

Zazzle's program is one of the best in the affiliate marketing world. As long as you're able to get relevant eyeballs to your site / blog, then you'll be able to earn referral commission.

  • 15% per sale
  • Volume bonus: up to 17% per sale
  • Cookie length: 45 days

What products do I promote - how do I find them?

These are strategies that can work well, if you already have the "eyeballs" visiting your blog / site. Promote:

  • popular items from a marketplace niche
  • popular items from great stores - independent artists or brands like Disney, Transformers and so on
  • items from collections that use the same design theme on complementary products. For example, wedding invitations, menus, table cards, thankyou cards, favor boxes...

You find the stores and collections you like by visiting Zazzle, looking at suitable designs and seeing the store-id of the designer and any collection(s) the designs appear in. To help, when you put in a store-id, you get a button to look up its collections:


Where else can I get help on using the Nifty Promo Control Panel?

Your starting point is to look at what the help buttons give you. You'll find one for each option/setting:

If you need an actual human to help you, join the NiftyToolZ Tips and Support Group. You'll find the link right at the top of the control panel:

What is referral commission?

If someone follows a link to Zazzle that includes your referral id (also known as your associate id) then you can earn a 15% commission on any items they buy. Get yours in Zazzle's Associate Center:

More than that, whether they buy or not on that first visit, you have 45 days from them first clicking the link for them to buy. Anything they do buy during that period will earn you the 15% referral commission.

There are some ifs and buts, such as their browser allowing cookies, and there are some circumstances where someone else's referral id can override yours. See Zazzle's help system for more on this.

Here's where you put your referral id into the Nifty Promo Control Panel:

What is a 50/50 referral split?

All tools available via the Nifty Promo Control panel are free to use without a subscription.

When you don't have a subscription, then to help pay for the server, tool development and maintenance, half of the links made will use your referral id and half will use ours. Which is which is chosen at random, with a computer toss of the coin.

Note that if any of the products such a person buys are from your store, you'll get and keep all royalties due.

How do I make sure I get all the referral commission due?

You need a subscription. With a subscription, all links will always use your referral id - provided you give it in the first place.

With the Zazzle Promoter Program and a suitable Nifty subscription, links for products in your Promoter Account stores will be "clean" - no referral id or tracking code as per Zazzle's rules. Those links will bring you 35% referral commission. Any links for products NOT in those stores will use your referral id and tracking code as normal and bring you 15% referral commission.

See the separate FAQ entry about subscriptions.

What are tracking codes?

Tracking codes are made-up codes you put onto Zazzle links and they let you see if the referral links using it are selling. You'll know because the tracking code you used will show up in your Referral History Report on Zazzle. It'll look like this:

They're designed to give you feedback on how well (or not) your promotion in different places is working. If you make sure you make up tracking codes specific to each, you'll then know where's working and where's not by looking at that report.

You can see in the one shown that it was pinned to our watches board on Pinterest by the nIFTTTy Scheduler. (If you know this, you can also see it was pinned before September-ish 2018 because, after that date, the scheduler automatically appends the date pinned/shared to the tracking code.)

What does "pull from Zazzle mean"?

It means to make a request from Zazzle's rss feed mechanism and get given back in return the products that fit the request made.

Whoa - what's this rss feed mechanism?

Ah, that's a separate question. For now, just think of it as a black box - requests get stuffed in and out pops a bunch of products - what happens to them next is up to whatever did the requesting.

How do I tell Nifty I want to promote products from my store?

We'd call that "pulling from your store" and you do it by giving Nifty your store's url name - what we call your "Store Id". By that, we mean the part of the Zazzle url that identifies your store. We need to be precise here because there's also a store name you chose when you originally set things up. It's the one that people see in your store's banner area.

So, for example, an artist's store on Zazzle has the store id of "critterwings" but the store name displayed in the banner area when you visit it is "Critterwings Gifts":

Just remember that you always use your Store Id in the Nifty Promo Control Panel.

Note that if you want to pull from Zazzle's marketplace, just leave the store / collection id blank.

What about getting products to promote from a collection?

To pull from a collection, you need to get the Collection Id. When you visit a collection and look in the address bar, the number at the end is the id but Nifty only calls it a Collection Id when you begin that number with "collections/":

How do I use a search to get products to promote?

In the example shown we're searching for birthday cards. It doesn't matter if you use upper or lower case or a mixture - they all work the same. If you're using more than one word, use a space to separate them. What you get back depends entirely on how Zazzle interprets your search term.

If you like, you can combine a search with a store id but note that any search terms you give are ignored when pulling from collections.

Don't use quotes, commas or special symbols, as the results can be unpredictable and likely not what you might expect.

Note that the best way to make sure you only get birthday greetings cards, and not other types of cards, is to be specific by using a department id (see the Advanced FAQ section for more on using departments).

Is there a way to "lock in" my settings for later?

Yes. What you do is bookmark the link that's provided just for this purpose.

All you have to do is right-click that link and add it to your bookmarks. When you next visit that bookmark, all your settings from before will be put back.

(Note that the multifeed options available under advanced settings won't be reinstated.)

What's the best way for a beginner to promote?

While you're getting used to things, probably the best way is to share individual products on social media like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

When you click the "show/hide" button you'll see the choices you can make.

Do add something unique to the default tracking code. The default will automatically have the channel you share on added at the start as you pin / tweet / share.

Here's what the Speed Sharer looks like. You move through the slides with the forward and back buttons and when you reach a product you want to pin / tweet / share, just click / tap the relevant button. You can get up quite a speed this way.

Hashtags are made and automatically included by the speed sharer when you pin or tweet. If sharing on Facebook, you (possibly edit and then) copy the text given, ready for pasting after you click the Facebook button.

Note that if you scroll down, you'll find the BBCode to copy and paste into a Zazzle Forum post - usually the Show Me Forum. Why not have a go? It's a great way to get used to using Nifty in a friendly environment while showcasing your designs at the same time.


I don't have a website or blog, so how can I share a slideshow?

Sharing a slideshow is a piece of cake with Nifty. To share it, first click/tap the "show/hide" button and you'll see:

There's also an option to make a QRCode graphic for you to use on flyers and / or the back of your business cards. When someone points their camera app at it, the majority of mobiles will open the slideshow in their web browser app.

Finally, you can get the BBCode to paste into a Zazzle forum post so you can show it off there.

Here's what the slideshow looks like in action:

If you look at the bottom of the screenshot, you'll see a button to let you get the code to embed the slideshow in your blog or website.

How can I change how many products get requested from Zazzle for onward promoting?

Unless you do something about it, the default number of products requested from Zazzle for any given "pull" is 15. If you want to change that, you need to hit "show/hide" button beside "More options" in Step 1:

Once you've done that you'll see where to change how many to request:

If Zazzle has more than this number, you can ask for a different "page" of results.

What is the "Product background color" option for?

This is a carry-over from when all products pulled from Zazzle could use the background color you set. Many products types still respect this but most newly introduced ones don't. If you want to try it, you can set the color requested in the "More options" section:

Is there anything special about pulling from Collections?

Yes. There's a few things to know. The first is that the maximum number of products you can request with collections is 296. But before you use such large collections, think of your visitor and their internet connection / data allowance.

Collections are a great way to go because you have full control over what they contain and the order of the products in them. You can make sure the designs all go together in some way and encourages multiple sales / referrals.

There are some things you should know about that Zazzle doesn't cater for in pulling from collections. These are:

  • Department
  • Category

These settings, if you've used them, will be ignored and make no difference when pulling from collections.

One thing you must remember is not to delete your collection if you've shared either a slideshow page or product grid page based on it. It's because those tools pull afresh each time it's visited.

Another thing that can mess those pages up is during those times where collection content disappears after you add to / remove from or reorder their content. It's a Zazzle thing that's got nothing to do with Nifty.

What do I need to use the nIFTTTy Scheduler?

The nIFTTTy scheduler works in conjunction with the well-known IfThisThenThat (IFTTT) to do automatic, unattended sharing / pinning for you. It stands for If This (some form of online thing happens) Then That (do some form of online action).

The way we use IFTTT, explained in English, is like this: If the feed url produced by the scheduler has a product in it, Then tweet it, for example.

So to use the nIFTTTy Scheduler, you need an account with IFTTT, connected to the social media accounts you're going to use.

You choose the nIFTTTy Scheduler here:

..and set it up on the page that opens:

Once you've set things up and chosen the days and active timeslots you want, you get given a url to use in IFTTT:

To actually use it, paste the feed url you're given into a new IFTTT "RSS Feed" applet and complete the applet's setup.

When you've done that, IFTTT will then check the applet every 15 minutes or so, "pulling" the feed url and doing its action if it gets something from the pull.

It will only get something if one of your chosen timeslots is active, on an active day. If the applet has never seen that product before, then it carries out the action you set up the applet to do. If it has seen it before, it ignores it and does nothing.

The feed being pulled is programmed to jump about at random through the products it, in turn, is pulling from Zazzle, working out which one to give out, based on when the feed url was created, the number of timeslots that have passed since then and the randomness it generates based on your referral id. It does this so everyone pins / shares different things even though they might be using the same pull (as can happen around Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, St Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day and so on).

The feed will continue doing its stuff as long as Zazzle has matching items or 1000 products have been reached. Why? It's because that's the maximum you can get at using Zazzle's RSS feed mechanism (296 for a collection).

My IFTTT nIFTTTy applet is giving "Applet failed" messages - should I worry?

Probably not. If your IFTTT nIFTTTy applet is failing outside any active timeslot it's not an issue. If it runs successfully during an active timeslot, even if it failed during the same timeslot a few minutes earlier, then it's not an issue.

Do remember that a timeslot remains active for 1 hour from its start time.

If you get nothing but failures for an applet that was working before, it's 99% for sure that your nIFTTTy schedule has run out of items. In that case, just delete the applet.

If I switch off a nIFTTTy applet and then switch it back on later, will it pick up where it left off?

No. You see, the way that the nIFTTTy scheduler works means that can't happen. When you first make your schedule, the date it was made is included in the feed url generated and this is used to work out each time which product to choose.

At 12 items per day, if 5 days have passed (toady's date minus the date it was made), then the 61st product in the feed from Zazzle is the one to use first on day 6 (well, its randomised equivalent). Even if you have the applet switched off, days still keep passing.


How do I pull a particular type of product / from a department?

Zazzle's various product types are held in a department hierarchy. You'll find the option to pull from a given department as the first item in the "Advanced options" section:

No-one can remember what the 18 digit number is for each department, so Zazzle has provided a lookup tool. Click the link and see:

When you click the link, you'll be given the department lookup tool. Just navigate as far down the hierarchy as you need, to get what you want.

Once you click done, you'll see the department number for you to copy and paste into the Nifty Promo Control Panel option:

I want to pull from a category - how do I do that?

You need to get to the Advanced option, under More options, where you'll find where to put in the Category number.

You'll get the Category number on Zazzle. So navigate to the category you want to pull from and then look in the browser's address bar. You'll see it contains, amongst other things, cg= folowed by an 18 digit number - that's the Category number:

So you can see, in this case, the Category number to copy and paste into the Nifty Promo Control Panel is 196342454137263644

Note that if you use a Category number, you still need to put int the store-id.

What will go here when this is next updated?

In a future update, we'll be answering common questions covering:

Subscription to Nifty

What do I get with a subscription to Nifty?

With a subscription, no more 50/50 referral split - all generated links from that point on will always use your referral id.

Note that this also applies to previously made slideshow / product grid sharer pages. This happens because the subscription check takes place as product links are created - and the 'live' nature of those pages means everything is regenerated when a visitor visits them.

You also get up to 25 nIFTTTy Scheduler applets active at any one time. By active, we mean they are switched on.

If you go Pro, you get up to 25 nIFTTTy Scheduler applets active at any one time (split however you like between Zazzle and Society6). A time lag of around 1-3 months is usual to start getting regular referrals.

A Nifty Promoter Program subscription is different. Nifty follows all Zazzle's rules for its Promoter Program, generating "clean" links for any products from the stores in your Zazzle promoter program account. For anyone else's products, you'll get normal affiliate links (with referral id and tracking code) for all others.

For a full breakdown of the differences, please see the Nifty Subscription page.

What happens if I cancel my subscription?

If, for some reason, you find you're not earning enough income from Nifty, you can cancel your subscription. Everything will carry on working as usual but all your future product links will revert to the 50/50 referral split.

This will also apply to links in any product grid or slideshow sharer pages you may have made. This happens because the subscription check takes place as product links are created - and the 'live' nature of those pages means everything is regenerated when a visitor visits them.

go back to main NiftyToolZ site