ReferMessage let's you post specific messages to visitors arriving from other sites. A different message for each site. You can present the message as a splash screen, an introductory message text, or even sneak it in with your main body text. It will only be visible to visitors arriving from the sites that you have stipulated. Quite an interesting idea.
Let's say that you have a special offer posted on special-deals.com. You can post a message on your linked page to greet visitors that clicked the link on special-deals and include a code to retrieve your offer. Visitors that find your site by chance or come from other websites won't see the offer or the code. You could add a second message and a new code for visitors from daily-deals.com, perhaps with a different price. A good way to track the effectiveness of your A/B tests.
So how does ReferMessage work? I assure you – there's no witchcraft involved. Simply drop the stack onto your page, add whichever stacks you wish to display into it and then consult the settings panel. You will find a checkbox to Show in Preview Mode and a field to enter your Referring URL. If the name of the website is specific enough, you only need to enter part of the address. 'google', for instance, will load ReferMessage for any visitors coming from a google search. 'rapidweaver' is fine if you want visitors from rapidweaver.ninja or rapidweavercentral.info to see your message, but not specific enough to exclude one, or the other.
If you wish to display where the visitor arrived from within the ReferMessage text, you must activate Use URL in Text and add the tag <span id=’[unique ID]’></span> to the text. The Unique ID refers to the ID you must add to the next field in the settings panel.
So what's this Unique ID stuff? Well, as already mentioned, you want to display a unique message to some of your visitors. Each message requires its own ReferMessage stack and each of these stacks must have a unique ID to differentiate them.
Jeroen's Antiquify stack is his traditional free stack for 2016's Xmas period. It does nothing more than make text look as if it were printed on an old letterpress. The effect is random and looks different each time the page is loaded. The poster above was created with Antiquify using the same 'Aref Ruqaa' font as the 'CAMPBELL'S Soup Ad' text. You'll notice that the text looks bolder – as could often happen when the printing plates were freshly inked – and some of the letters have irregular weights. In some cases Antiquify can present your text with too much, or too little ink; too much, or too little pressure from the printing plate and with letters displaced.
There are two ways to set up the stack. Method one is simple enough. Add your text to the stack. Publish. Finished!
Finer fonts work better than bolder fonts. Serifs work better than sans serif. You might want to drop Antiquify into a Font Stack to define your font.
Method two. Add a Unique ID to Antiquify and use the same ID for any text stacks that you wish to change the appearance of. The Screenshot above uses method two.
More about the screenshot: The whole layout was created inside a ReferMessage stack and would hypothetically appear, if the page were visited from the Ninja News page. The right half was created with the addition of two paragraph stacks, each with an Antiquify ID.
ReferMessage is a useful stack for presenting targeted messages, or evaluating A/B tests. I especially like that it can be set within the body content, allowing a page's text to change depending on where the visitor arrived from. Antiquify is a fun stack and, if used thoughtfully, could be ideal for presenting quotes or other text snippets. Don't overdo things though, Antiquify has a few limitations (see the demo page)!
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