Delayed Widgets

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***

This Friday I’ll be releasing a new plugin called “Delayed Widgets”.

What it does is modify ALL of your existing widgets by inserting a timer delay in seconds to the bottom of every one.  When the delay is reached, the widget reveals itself by “unfolding” itself in the sidebar.

“Why?” I hear you ask…

Well, consider this.

I’ve said this before – one of the biggest problems for a marketer is getting and retaining attention from site visitors.  Anything you can do without being too “in your face” (and driving them away) is going to be a benefit to you.

By careful use of widgets that remain hidden until the right moment, you can improve your chances of a subscription, or a sale, or whatever it is you want your visitors to do on that particular page.

This is because the human eye is drawn to movement.

To perfectly illustrate this, a few moments ago before I sat down to write, I was gazing out of the back of the house when a bird I hadn’t seen took off from one of the bushes.

My attention was instantly on it.  It’s as if my conscious mind had no choice than to look at it.

If the bird had remained unmoving, I simply wouldn’t have noticed it.

As marketers, we can turn this peculiarity of the human eye and brain to our advantage.

For example, if you take a look at the top of this blog, you’ll see that my main subscriber sign up box (in the sidebar top right) reveals itself a few seconds after the rest of the page has been drawn.

Me doing this now makes it impossible for any visitor not to notice it.  ;-)

Even if they don’t act on it, they have surely seen it and it’s in their awareness as is the offer.  All done without a pop-up.

Even better is that you can do this with ANY widget you want particular attention focussed on.

So say you’re running a promotion as an affiliate and you have a time sensitive ad that you want people to see more than anything.  If you just run it as a “regular” ad on your blog, it doesn’t matter how pretty it is, there’s a good chance it isn’t going to be noticed.

But if the visitors landing page draws itself, and then a few seconds later your ad appears in the sidebar, it WILL be seen.

This new plugin improves your chances of the stuff you WANT to be seen to actually BE seen by modifying all your existing widgets.

This coming Friday (18th Feb) at 6.00pm GMT (1.00pm EST), the Delayed Widgets plugin will go on sale at a starting price of $10.00 for the first 50 sales.

-Frank Haywood


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27 Comments

  1. Colin says:

    Now thats a great idea Frank……and I’m not sure there is anything quite like it on the market. Count me in!

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Colin:

      That’s part of how my thought processes work. In most cases I see a need for myself, and then I go looking to see if someone has already done it. If they haven’t then I’m off to get it done.

      If they have then I check it out and see if it does what I need it to do and in most cases it doesn’t quite meet my tick list so I then set out to create an improved plugin.

      In this case, I couldn’t find anything that does this. :-)

      -Frank

  2. James Dunn says:

    O.K. I’ve got my $10 lying on my desk (virtually) and ready to hit the buy button this Friday. Another very useful plug-in Frank. I can see several uses for it on sites I’m building for local businesses, so once again, you’ve come up with a great and useful idea.

    Thanks as always.

    James

  3. G’day Frank,

    Another interesting plugin. Will be curious to see how this one goes.
    I will be saying a prayer it does not conflict with anything.
    Just lost one of my blogs because of a still to be found culprit plugin.

    Might try this one on my new membership site I am building it has already given me some ideas.

    I will be back Saturday my time.

    Regards

    Rob Paris Cruisin

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Rob P. Cruisin:

      Ah, nice to put a face to a name!

      You’re right, when doing a plugin like this that amends all widgets, you never know if it’s going to work with absolutely everything and not cause any problems.

      My guess is there will be the odd widget it doesn’t get on with, and we’ll fix it to work with those as we go.

      -Frank

  4. Moi or Terve Frank, so will call to say hello here in Finnland,

    great plugin, i hope i will be the first who will buy it ;-) ,
    all plugins from you are top, this must be say someone to you ;-)
    ok i will see you on friday 8pm here in finnland

    best regards

    Olaf

  5. FreeMaverix says:

    Hi Frank…

    You always come up with new great ideas !
    Delayed widgets are another one of those.

    And since this is all about attention drawing -
    movement is excellent – can You also make the
    widget, when it unfolds, flicker a few times ?
    And perhaps applying this also at a later time again,
    and possibly even to just let anything on a page
    flicker 3 – 7 times at a preset time or triggering this
    when scrolling its position into view
    (esp. on small notebook or even mobile screens)?

    Just flickering a bit…

    HaRa

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @FreeMaverix:

      Thank you.

      Hmm, I see what you’re getting at with that. Maybe we can do something like adding a small effect to it to draw further attention. My thoughts are though that once you’ve drawn attention to it once, then that is either going to do the trick immediately or never.

      We can’t (I *think* we can’t) easily do the trick of animation when scrolling into view as that would need Flash and we prefer to use jQuery as it’s more SEO friendly. ie any text on a Flash background even if it looks like plain text, is actually invisible to search engines.

      But I’ll go and ask the question.

      -Frank

  6. FreeMaverix says:

    Would it be a possibility, to just have an animated GIF in that widget? As that could be made to just make some slight (not flashy!) colour changes… just as to keep a little, subtle ‘movement’ (or activity) there.
    A challenge to make just a opening widget be possible unnoticed, is that the user might already have scrolled down further or not far enough, and then it is not on the screen – esp. with little netbooks, ipads and mobiles. To keep some slight action going, opens a second chance.

    Another option I could think of, would be a popup mask (like a light box) – but with just very slight shading (or not even) and a very faint, transparent arrow pointing in the direction of that widget – or even a static ad / opt-in invitation – or a FB-like me now thumb…

    I guess with some imagination You could create a whole toolbox full of great little helpers.

    Good luck.

    HaRa

    PS: I had just sent You a ticket to support, because I have such a popup, and it runs fine on every other theme – but not on the MSts. Please check it soon.

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @FreeMaverix:

      Yes, those are good points and that’s a good idea, and a little thought can produce some pretty good effects.

      I have an animated widget I made for this blog, so what I’ve done is set my subscriber box to open after 7 seconds. Then I’ve set the animated widget to open after 45 seconds which is an approximate time I set based on reading a post.

      I figured that after about 45 seconds anyone reading would have reached that point on the page where the animated widget is placed. It then reveals itself.

      Because you can use this plugin with WP text widgets, then you can certainly paste any HTML you like to display your ads, sign-up boxes, special offers, whatever.

      -Frank
      (I’ll check to see if anyone has got to your ticket later this evening.)

  7. Margaret Flanigan says:

    This is probably a dumb question but…

    When you say “modify ALL of your existing widgets” does that mean that you cannot selectively apply this to just one or just a few widgets?

    Would this plugin cause ALL widgets to be hidden and then open up?

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Margaret Flanigan:

      It’s not dumb, I know I sometimes don’t make myself completely clear. ;-)

      Every single widget gets its own delay which you can selectively apply or not. If you leave the timer at 0 seconds, the widget appears immediately as you’d expect it to. Once you add a delay, then the widget will only unfold when that delay is met.

      Pretty cool huh?

      If you wanted to, you could do some nice effects like open up a single line of text every second, just by stacking text widgets with an increasing delay.

      And if you used this plugin in conjunction with the “Countdown Offer” plugin I released a couple of weeks ago, you can do some even groovier stuff like hide a regular ad for 32 seconds, and stack above it a countdown offer that disappears after 30 seconds.

      The displayed effect would be a countdown offer for 30 seconds which then slides away if not clicked, and replaced with your regular ad. Thinking more about it, you don’t even need to include the timer in your countdown offer if you don’t want to, you could just swap it out for a different one.

      Cooler than I thought.

      ;-)

      -Frank

  8. James Dunn says:

    Grabbed it moments after the email came in. Glad I was still at my desk.

  9. Hey Frank,

    yes yes i have it, i think i was the first one, nice plugin again, i will hope we bcome rest of ouer life so good parts from you,

    best regards

    Olaf

  10. anom says:

    so how does this differ from wp-expander plugin from Ken Sar I think..looks like it deos the same thing????

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @anom:

      This is a widget hack plugin that adds a delay box to ALL of your widgets, including calendar, recent posts, recent comments, etc, and any other widgets from other plugins you might have. ;-)

      -Frank

  11. FreeMaverix says:

    Again Frank…

    The point is to correctly predict, when a reader is at the right spot when the widget gets active. And you don’t know how the reader moves around. Some read slowly, others skim quickly through to get an overview first (what I do – esp. when it might involve a price, to see whether I am willing to invest the time to wade through everything – or to see whether I find too many scammy income screenshots. etc.) Other times when I visit a page, I might do something else for a few seconds to make use of my time during the page load. And heck sometimes loading takes pretty long too. So I would highly recommend to trigger any activity, with very slight delay, when the scroll position will have it on screen.
    (Need a good name for that? ‘Targetted Widgets’ LOL).

    Regarding my ticket, Edesa answered, but it was ‘chinese’ and gave me no clue what to do.
    I need to get that expander widget working real quick!. Please look into it.

    Thanks !

    HaRa

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @FreeMaverix:

      I know, and at the moment I don’t think it’s something I can accurately do anything about. Flash would be better to do that kind of thing, but then the downside is it’s Flash if you see what I mean. :-(

      If / when I get a Flash developer on board, then I’ll add Flash functionality to this widget as I can see it would be really useful In the meantime, maybe there IS a way of doing this that I don’t know about. I’ll ask my developers.

      I’ll go take a look at your ticket after I’ve finished answering these comments. :roll:

      -Frank

  12. Ken Sar says:

    Hi Frank,

    Great Plugin. But is this having the issue with Flexibility 3 theme and other theme ? Those themes will cause the widget to show up immediately, no matter what timer you enter?

    Ken Sar

    • Frank Haywood says:

      @Ken Sar:

      That’s a little worrying. There must be something missing from Flexibility that’s in WP 3.x themes derived from TwentyTen is my first thought.

      Would you raise a ticket at http://support.plugingreat.com/ under the department “Delayed Widgets”? If you can, please give Eric your WP admin and FTP details and he’ll go take a look for you and likely fix it on that site just to get it working for you. Then he’ll go create a permanent fix within the plugin itself.

      I’m saying that because I know that’s the way he works. ;-)

      I’ll drop him a line now to expect your ticket.

      -Frank

      • Gary Jenkins says:

        Frank, great plug-in.
        I’m having the same problem as above the plug-in appears instantly, then goes away until the delay is met.
        I opened a ticket a week ago, but no answer from support. I’m using the
        Multiple Stream Theme 002 1.0 theme.
        Is there a fix for this?
        Thanks,
        Gary

        • Frank Haywood says:

          Hi Gary,

          I’ll re-educate the support guys later today.

          I know what you mean though, I’ve had someone else report a very similar issue. I’ll get the developer of this one to look into it as the widget shouldn’t show at all until it’s time for it to do so.

          -Frank

  13. Gerda says:

    Hi,

    all in one it is very interesting for me to understand that selling products as internet marketeer or info producer and so on seems to be a circumstance of hype and gimmic.
    Playing around with effects is being addicted to functions and never being really needed by customer at all.
    If a product is eorth its price no cold call is needed, no “tricks” has to be placed, no smart force on mind or emotion is necessary at all AND no tdigital ell a friend portion.
    Mostly NO rethoric for prasing and praying must be constructed.
    So i delay in garden listen to the birds and if i need something that helps me to sell on internet than i do produce quality, no newsletter, no massmail for launching because i love the time in garden and i wish that even customers have enough time to relax and delay, doesnt matter haow much money they own.
    Where i do live there are people who uses such kind of making business to “steal” tge money of older humans while going by bus to a special “selling” event – internet marketeers call the virtual version of the journey webinars other even copy transport this to ships or conferences.
    It depends on what you want and how intellectual you are as seller AND as customer.

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