While Squarespace does have a built-in ability to allow password-protected pages, some organisations need additional and more robust member-focused features. Those groups that need membership software but love the simplicity and elegance of building pages and editing content in Squarespace can use a third party plugin for membership.
What can you do with a Squarespace Membership Site?
1. Collect recurring payments and donations.
Nonprofits, clubs, professional and trade associations, chambers of commerce and other groups can use a Squarespace plugin like MembershipWorks to collect recurring membership dues payments and donations. Bloggers can use a membership plugin to handle member billing if they want to charge for and restrict access to their content.
The most profitable membership websites have a revenue stream that is predictably stable or growing. Revenue will be higher with automatic recurring payments than one-time payments. If you are asking a busy member to take action such as logging in to enter their credit card information again for renewal, you have created friction in the renewal process.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer one-time payments, but incentivising auto-recurring payments isn’t a bad idea. The easiest and perhaps most attractive incentive is a discounted membership rate for auto-recurring credit card payments. Offering the option of one-off payments may still be a good idea, especially for new members who may not yet fully understand the value and are reluctant to commit.
2. Create content that is restricted to members
Membership plugins can make it easy to put content behind a paywall on Squarespace. In the case of MembershipWorks, the process involves dropping an HTML snippet that is copied from their Help section into a code block or the header section of pages where content needs to be restricted. Content can even be hidden from different levels of membership to accommodate tiered membership level pricing.
3. Display a public or private member directory
Groups such as chambers of commerce often have a mission to promote their members to tourists. Art collectives use directories to promote their members and their works. Professional associations publish directories for networking purposes. A public or private member directory is a great way to accomplish these goals. It’s not necessary to obtain a separate plugin for this feature as it is often built into most membership management software.
4. Create events and sell member only tickets
A primary benefit of most membership software is the ability to connect your membership database to other features on your site such as your events calendar. When your member records are tied to event registration, you can create member only events as well as member only tickets that require login to access. Members feel special when they receive benefits that others do not; discounted member only ticket pricing is a great way to show appreciation and value.
5. Allow members to add events to your event calendar.
Chambers of commerce, networking groups, social clubs and professional associations often post events held by various hosts on a community calendar. Adding these events to a shared calendar can be a tedious task for a staff member, especially as event details can shift and require updating. Membership software can streamline this process. Staff or a volunteer can simply approve events instead of entering them into a calendar. Members feel empowered to both submit and edit their event themselves. With some systems, the ability to add events to a community calendar can be restricted to only premium membership levels, members with a specific label or those who have purchased the privilege to add events.
6. Use a shopping cart to sell items to members or the public.
Membership software isn’t just a member database. Squarespace offers shopping cart features as well, for selling items like T-shirts, bags, promotional items and other one-time purchases. Some items can be made available only to members while others are open to all.
7. Collect form submissions that tie to a member record.
This is useful for organisations that have committees or volunteer sign ups and want to know which members have interest in a particular committee or volunteer opportunity. A membership CRM should be able to tie these form submissions to a member record, even when the member is not logged into the website as long as the member submitted the same email address that is used in their member record.
Have other ideas for using membership software on Squarespace? Let us know in the comments.
Amy Hufford is a Technologist at MembershipWorks. She has worked in membership technology for more than 20 years and has experience building membership websites with a variety of membership software platforms.