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Protecting your site with an email list from Notion

Learn how to restrict access to your site with an email list derived from a Notion database

HelpKit enables you to protect your knowledge base with a restricted email list from Notion. With this option, only members whose email addresses have been added to your Notion database will be granted access to your HelpKit site. You have the ability to manage your members directly from a Notion database table. You can also further connect your email list with no-code automation tools such as Zapier and Make to fully automate your email list. Let’s look first look at login flow in perspective of a user and then learn how easy it is to setup.

User login flow

Let’s have a look at the login flow for accessing an restricted email list site created with HelpKit and hosted on the fictional custom domain:

  1. On the first page visit of your main site or any article site your user will be redirected to the access page The page will look like this:
    1. Notion image
  1. After the user has submitted their email, HelpKit will check if the user is part of the email list. If yes, a magic login link is sent to their email address:
    1. Notion image
  1. The user then has to navigate to their email inbox and click the generated login link:
    1. Notion image
  1. After clicking the link, the user is redirected to the site where they will be automatically authenticated and logged in:
    1. Notion image
  1. That’s it! HelpKit will keep the user logged-in until they are removed from the email list, their status is disabled, the user clicked the logout button in the footer or 7 days have been past.
    1. Notion image

Enabling and setting up the email list protection

Let’s learn how easy it is to setup email list protection from your HelpKit dashboard.

  1. Navigate to Settings/Protected Access and select Notion Email List:
    1. Notion image
  1. Duplicate our Restricted Email List Notion template to your own Notion workspace.
  1. Click the Share button in the top right corner of your duplicated Notion template and select publish:
    1. Notion image
  1. Copy the Notion page URL and paste it into the input field.
  1. Wait until HelpKit shows you the success dialog. Should you encounter an an error please make sure you have not modified the email and disabled field in your Notion database
    1. Notion image
  1. Hit the Save Settings button.
  1. That’s it! Your site is now protected and only users that are added to your Notion email list have access to your site.

Automating your email list with Zapier or Make

To further automate and simplify the management of your email list, we recommend leveraging the capabilities of Zapier or Make (formerly Integromat). These platforms can connect your Notion email list database with various third-party tools such as membership tools, CRM systems and more. This allows you to automate the process of adding or removing members.

  1. Choose Your Integration Platform: Decide whether to use Zapier or Make based on your preference or existing workflow. Both platforms offer robust integration capabilities but might differ in specific features or supported apps.
  1. Connect to Notion: Set up your chosen platform to connect with your Notion account. This will involve authenticating your account and granting necessary permissions.
  1. Select Your Trigger and Action: In Zapier or Make, create a new automation ('Zap' in Zapier or 'Scenario' in Make). The trigger will be an event in your third-party tool (like a new member sign-up), and the action will be updating the Notion email list database.
  1. Configure Membership Logic: Define the conditions under which users are added or removed from the Notion email list. This can be based on membership status, payment confirmation, or other relevant criteria from your third-party tool.
  1. Test and Activate: Before fully implementing, test the automation to ensure it works as expected. Once confirmed, activate the automation to start managing your email list seamlessly.

Security of the email list protection fature

Due to the fact that HelpKit works by grabbing your public Notion link we advise you to not protect extremely sensitive and confidential data as theoretically the Notion link would be publicly available. Is this an issue for my company?

  • If you are selling digital products and access to closed content this should definitely not be an issue as the public Notion url is almost impossible to guess. For example, our Notion URL looks something like https://glossy-hexagon.../HelpKit-KnowledgeBase-294085AWSAF23409 As you can see it is very hard to guess that link, if not impossible 😉 
  • If you are planning to host content that is highly sensitive such as personal/employee data, medical records or confidential information we would advise you to be a little cautious. Please reach out to us if you are unsure. We are always happy to help and provide more information!

Disabling search engine indexing from Notion

We highly recommend you to leave the Search engine indexing toggle unchecked as your Notion site would otherwise get picked up by search engines such as Google. It is disabled by default so you don’t have to necessarily worry about it.

Notion image

Disabling search engine indexing from HelpKit

By default your HelpKit site is setup so that search engines are allowed to crawl your site. Given the site is protected by the access page it is highly unlikely for a search engine to crawl the site and even if users won’t be able to access the content anyway. For good measure you can disable the search engine listing from your SEO settings as well.

Notion image

Other access protection options

In addition to password protection, HelpKit also offers other options such as restricting access via a password and more. Make sure to check them out in our Protected Access help center category.

The email list protection feature prevents access to the entire knowledge base site. Protecting individual categories separately is currently not possible.
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