The Sneaky Way on Squarespace: Download Documents in Exchange for Filling Out a Form

In today's world, there is very little that's free. You're already well aware of this marketing trend: to provide site visitors a free download in exchange for their information. (Or as we called in in 2012: Downloading Whitepapers in Exchange for an Email Address) 🥇SEO BONUS POINT 🥇

While not a "feature" in Squarespace, this is definitely possible to do, with just a little creativity. You got this.

1. Create your downloads landing page

Yes, we're going into this thing backwards. It will make the most sense.

The secret sauce here is to provide a place where you can send the visitor for your download(s). If this download is for one file, you could just add the one file to the page. But with enough planning, you could use this technique for other uses. 

Put your downloads page in the "NOT LINKED" section of your site.

Put your downloads page in the "NOT LINKED" section of your site.

Example: if you want all your partners to access your "partners-only" area of your site, you could add all your super-secret partner documents to this particular downloads page. Make sure the page is "hidden"; keeping it outside plain view is the key to keeping things secret, Miss Sneaky-Pants.

I recorded a quick silent film to show you how I would setup the page. Using images in a gallery block is easy-peasy, and all the Squarespace settings are already there for you! (Document Title, Open in New Window, etc)

2. Create your form

What do you want to collect from the visitor? It's all up to you, but keeping in mind that they may just want to grab your document and run, you'll probably want things short and sweet. 

TIP: since they're grabbing, running and giggling with your free document, be sure to add lots of branding to the document on that thing! (my example that's used in this post is found here)

Remember what we said about the secret sauce?
The secret sauce is to provide the link to your downloads page at the end of the form. 

In the form's advanced settings, just add the link to the newly-created downloads page.

You're already a marketing genius!

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The actual form is below. Give it a whirl!

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We invented this very technique SIX years ago on Squarespace V5. Allegedly: 
Squarespace Marketing Tip: Downloading Whitepapers in Exchange for an Email Address 


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In Squarespace, instead of forcing line breaks in your text, just insert SPACER BLOCKS on both sides of your paragraph. They disappear on mobile widths, making them INCREDIBLY AWESOME for tweaks like this. 

In the video, I've added a full-wide Spacer Block to "cut the text apart". Then I drag/drop a few more, and make adjustments to center everything.

Squarespace docs on Spacer Blocks (that totally rhymes)

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When working on templates for clients, I'm typically inserting temporary image content to get through training. 

In this case, I'm using the default Squarespace "Default Image" to show the client admin: "you need an image here"

Simply, on mouse hover, the user would see an image is needed when they see the image I've provided.

Another class could be selected to normally display the helper image, or a logo could be added to replace the default image JUST IN CASE the site is launched with this "hack" in place.

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When adding site content, sometimes it's hard to remember that a site's text content should adapt across all device widths. This is the essence of Responsive Design.

Specifically, within Squarespace it's easy to adapt content to work across all devices.

The following is a bit of a hack, using a "Spacer Block", one of Squarespace's built-in content blocks.

Squarespace Summary Blocks: Featured and Latest Posts

This tip is based on the blog — At the bottom of the blog, they have "greatest hists" and "latest posts".

This is easily re-created in Squarespace using built-in Summary Blocks and CSS tweaks to make it pretty.