The web is a wonderful place, and over the last number of years, internet security has really ramped up. This has its benefits but means that we now need to remember a lot more passwords, which can be a challenge.
Even if you use a service such as Google Passwords, it can still be a bit of a nightmare if you try to sign into a site from a different device. Luckily, we’re now seeing Magic Links being utilized more and more frequently. Read on to see what they are, and how your business can benefit from them.
What are Magic Links?
With Magic Links, you no longer have to remember any passwords. You sign into an app or a website using your email address, you get sent a verification email, you click the link, et voilà! You’ve signed into your account without having to remember a password that consists of exactly seventeen vowels, your mother’s maiden name and your goldfish’s date of birth. They can also be used as a form of MFA (multi-factor authentication) method for users who may have forgotten their usual password.
How do they work?
Magic Links work in a similar way to a “Forgot Password” email, but rather than resetting the password, they generate a one-time login. The user then clicks on the link from their inbox, and it logs them directly into the site.
So, what are the benefits?
- No more passwords for your client to remember
- No more “Help, I forgot my password” emails from customers
- No more maintaining a password infrastructure
- Forget about password breaches
- Faster onboarding
- Creates a great customer experience- quick and easy!
Sounds great, sign me up!
Woah, woah, woah! There are a few downsides to Magic Links though, let’s run through them really quickly.
- Dependent on the end-user’s email security. If someone can access their emails, they can access their account.
- Completely dependent on your SMTP provider (not to worry, we can help with this though!)
- Can end up in the spam folder (again, we’ve got your back though!)
How can you make your Magic Links as effective as possible?
Putting limits on the links can really help to improve your security. This can be done by creating single-use links, or by putting a time limit on them, for example, ten minutes. This means that even if someone gains access to the recipient’s inbox, older links won’t work for them, and links can’t be shared or forwarded as easily.
Make sure it’s really obvious who the emails are from, and what they are. Clear subject links and “from” names are really important. Don’t make your recipients go searching for your emails.
Keep it simple! Ensure that your Magic Link emails are just that. This isn’t the time or place to include wordy paragraphs or advertising. Keep images to a minimum too and just get your point across clearly and succinctly. When someone’s trying to log into your site, make it easy for them!
Give each email a unique subject line. This will help to avoid Gmail from adding the emails to threads, as this can get confusing when trying to find the most up-to-date link.
Let’s look at an example…
Slack is one site that utilizes Magic Links. When you go to log in, you’re prompted for your email address. From there, Slack sends a 6 digit code to your email. Just open your emails, copy the code and paste or type it into the next screen. Once Slack has verified that it is really you, you will then be logged into the account.
If you’re considering integrating Magic Links on your site, try out our service today to see how we can help you with speedy delivery.