So ... we love HubSpot. We love it so much we have enough shirts in the office to outfit a soccer team. We love it so much we think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Why? Because HubSpot enables us to service our clients in new and innovative ways.
However, this story isn't about puppies and rainbows. It's about a proposal that took us from the well-lit path we knew to an untraveled – and unpaved! – path.
On a calm Monday afternoon, my boss walked through my office doors and requested something odd.
"Hey DJ, we have a client who wants us to build a partner portal in HubSpot." (He said this nonchalantly.)
"Lol, Dan, you're hilarious. With your jokes." I literally laughed out loud, assuming it could be nothing more than a joke.
"Oh, I'm serious," replied Dan.
"Wait, what?" My lol immediately became concern.
"Our client really wants a partner portal, but it's important for it to be inside HubSpot because they want one central platform for everything. No problem – right?" He smirked.
"Ummm ..." was all I could think of to say. I'm not one to say no or quit easily, but I must admit I was afraid of this task. I'd heard of people using HubSpot in really unique ways – but this was not one of the ways I heard about.
"Okay, I'll see what I can do."
Shortly thereafter, I began the seven steps of grieving for a failed dream because "There's no way I can do this" was the only thought in my head.
But, with "Don't quit" being my motto, I buckled down; I called HubSpot and colleagues, brainstormed with coworkers, and spoke to programmers.
The portal our client wanted had the following requirements:
- Allow users to use their name and email to log in
- Once logged in, ability to access special, for-partners-only resources
- If not a partner, ability to request to be a partner
- When someone makes a partner request, a notification must go to an administrator
- Upon request approval, an automatic email should tell the new partner they have access the portal
The OpenLegacy Partner Portal resides within our HubSpot system and uses a “Membership” approach.
Here's what we came up with (see graph).
First, the portal admins uploaded a list of their partners; each partner list includes name, email, partner number, and additional company details. The list is titled "Full Members List."
Second, we built a landing page where visitors can log in to the partner portal; this page requires the simple input of their name and email.
Upon clicking 'submit,' the visitors land on a confirmation page where they confirm their membership. (We needed a clever way of refreshing the page to compare the list of names to the information inputted.) There are two buttons on this page: 'I confirm' and 'I am not a member.'
Upon clicking 'I confirm,' the member portal appears, they're greeted with their name and partner number, and they're offered a list of categories/resources.
If they click 'I confirm' but aren't a member, they receive a warning message and are prompted to click 'I am not a member.' If they click 'I am not a member,' they're sent to a page where they can request membership.
When they fill out the member request, the portal admin is notified; the portal admin can then enroll them in the "Verify Workflow," which sets the property member to 'yes' and adds the requester to the "Full Members List." If they choose to deny the request, the portal admin enrolls them in the "Deny Workflow," which sends the requester notification that they were denied, along with potential reasons.
All of the pages inside the portal are set to 'no index' and 'no follow.'
Also upon completing registration they receive an email with their new password which they can also use to login.
Components of the Partner Portal
LIST: Partner Portal Member Full List
This is a contact list in HubSpot that contains all contacts who can access any page within the partner portal. This list is controlled through a custom field named Partner Portal Member on the contact record in HubSpot. If set to 'yes,' the individual is a member and can see the Partner Portal web pages.
LIST: Partner Portal Request to be Added List
This is a list of contacts who have completed the online request form to be added to the partner portal; it serves as a work list for the Partner Portal Administrator to review and determine if the requester is a valid partner. The Administrator simply edits the contact and sets the 'Partner Portal Member' contact field to 'yes.'
Web Form: Partner Portal Request to be Added List
This is a “self-service” form that a potential partner can use to request access to the portal.
Web Form: Input For New Members
This is an internal admin-only form. It allows the OpenLegacy Partner team to add individuals as members of the Partner Portal.
Partner Portal Welcome Workflow
This workflow is invoked manually from the Partner Portal 'Request to be Added' List. This workflow will set the Partner Portal Member to 'yes' and send out the welcome email that includes the link to the login page for the new member.
Partner Portal Welcome Email
This email is automatically sent when a person is added to the partner full member list. It includes a welcome message and the link for logging into the portal.
(Please review and update as needed.)
Partner Portal Thank You for Your Request Email
This email is automatically sent when an individual completes and submits the Partner Portal 'Request to be added' form.