You might have noticed in my recent post on election design that I made a bunch of splash pages for Alessandra Biaggi’s campaign.
Splash pages are common tactics for any site trying to raise money or spur action, like political campaigns and non-profits. They’re usually minimal, focused, and create a gate before you can reach the regular site.
Biaggi’s site was built on Squarespace, so my first instinct (“download a WordPress plugin!”) was out. The idea of using a regular page and overwriting a bunch of CSS was… daunting, to say the least. That’s when I discovered the utility of Cover Pages. I’d seen them announced before and thought they were nifty, though at the time, I had no use for them. This changed when I started playing around with them as an option for splash pages.
Cover Pages are great because they load a separate template into the page. You can control whether to show branding and navigation, or just go simple with a header, body text, and some action links. You have a similar style editor as the rest of the site, but it’s per-page, so you can tweak styles between different cover pages.
There’s a number of available layouts, geared towards different use-cases. I found “landing,” “profile,” and “video” to be the most useful categories for my particular needs.
In particular, I used VANGUARD, MISSION, and PROJECTOR the most often. I also found FLASH a good option for making policy-specific splash pages, which we used on social media.
One gripe — there’s no way to set per-page marketing settings, like social share images. This would have been immensely helpful for making our policy splash pages, so each had a unique social share image, instead of using the general site image.
I had to write very little CSS to get these pages looking the way I wanted. I customized non-primary buttons so they appeared as links instead, and adjusted some background positioning on different screen sizes. That may have been the extent of it?
Each splash page had its own corresponding ActBlue link, so we could track how each page performed. I wish we’d dived deeper into this — I think if I work on another campaign where we use these tools, I’d try more variations to see which pages perform better.
We primarily used Cover Pages for donations and GOTV (“get out the vote”), but I could also see early-stage campaigns using them for email gathering or “stay tuned!” landing pages. I think there’s a lot of opportunities for campaigns using Squarespace to leverage this feature!