I recently sat down with Oliver Armstrong, our Director of Product, to chat about the new Advanced Subaccount Permissions and Privacy features, where these features come from, why they’re here, what the implications are, and a little bit about how they work.
Ander: Oliver, thank you very much for taking the time in your busy schedule to talk about these awesome new features.
Oliver: No problem. Whenever we can make some time to talk about these new features and be able to pass along what we know about it to our users, I’m more than happy to spend as much time as I can spare.
Recently, we released our grouping and alignment features, which dramatically enhanced the speed at which people could build pages and the speed at which people could build awesome mobile pages.
Oliver: Yes, definitely. And we got great responses from customers. Previously, you and I talked about our product process and where these ideas come from. We love providing a solution problems that is significant for many of our customers. This is why people get into product management and user experience design. I think it’s really where we get hooked on creating excellent experiences that actually allow people to do the things they need to do, in this case for their business.
Ander: And, those features really affected, more than anything, the individual’s workflow — the amount of time an individual would take building a page. That said, if there are multiple people working on a page then there’s that to account for as well.
These new features that we’ve just released are going to dramatically affect the ability for multiple people to interact with the landing pages and our platform in a meaningful way. Is that fair to say?
Oliver: Yeah, we have a lot of big things planned along that theme, going forward. But this is the first kind of foundational building block that allows a business and your team — whether you’re an agency or a marketing team working on multi channels — to really segment and compartmentalize the important areas of your business and work on them in contained workspaces.
Now, you can invite a team to a specific subaccount that is secure and separate from all of your other working spaces. This is particularly important if you’re an agency with a lot of clients — there’s no co-mingling of information. None of your domains, integrations, or team members are co-mingled across projects. Each of them has their own dedicated space.
Ander: As someone who has previously consulted before I came to Instapage, I can totally confirm what you are saying. It was already incredibly powerful to be able to have these separate work spaces. The only thing missing was modifying the level of access team members had and uncomplicating the process of managing the accounts and permission associated with them. There were things about it that could be better, and now they are.
Before we dive in further, what are subaccounts? What are the value of them? How do they work and why are they important to the landing page marketing process?
Oliver: Great question. I think the first and the clearest case of what a subaccount is and how it’s valuable, is using it in the context of a marketing agency. They can create a subaccount as a place where they can create their groups, their pages, everything they need for a client, and have them in their own space — or, it’s useful even just as an organizational area that makes sense and is efficient.
The way we use it here at Instapage, and the way a lot of other companies we’ve seen use it in a marketing team, is to create that compartmentalized space as a safer, functional part of your marketing team with different channels.
Ander: Exactly like we do here.
Oliver: Exactly. Maybe paid media has their own space for all of the landing pages that are coming from all your paid ads in one area where no one who’s not supposed to be in there fooling around is going to accidentally derail a whole ad campaign by deleting a page or pausing the wrong variation. Of course, those are fairly extreme examples of why you’d want some separation.
Ander: Yeah, haha. I‘d say so.
Oliver: One example of how we use subaccounts is with our webinar pages, that you manage. Or, our Content Marketing Manager using landing pages related to our blog. He’s able to work with any of our writers who might not be here in our San Francisco office. They can easily work together and they can all be in their own safe space.
Another case is a large organization that can separate out their subaccount spaces for, as an example, regional departments. If you have the Northwest region, that needs to be separate from the Midwest region, and that needs to be separate from the Southwest region.
These subaccount features allow you to have teams dedicated to working on those landing pages within those areas, without fear of getting any kind of confusion, co-mingling of information, or potentially sensitive information across those different subaccounts.
Ander: In summary, subaccounts are just individual working spaces that are kind of microcosms of what previously had been a single, full Instapage account. So, how are they different now from how they used to be?
Oliver: A year ago we really refined our subaccount system, refined our team members and the permissions.
Now, we’re allowing more advanced permissions, to compartmentalize the domains that you can publish to from within one subaccount. You can now grant access to that subaccount to be able to publish to your top-level domain. And, you can grant subaccount access to multiple subaccounts on a case-by-case basis.
It’s especially powerful in the case of an agency where they may have a couple of teams that need to be able to publish to a specific domain. As someone’s attempting to publish to that domain, they’ll get a message in the middle of their workflow that says, ‘Hey, someone else owns this domain, or has primary access to this domain. Would you like to request access to publish to it?’ You click a button and, the owner of that account now gets a little message that says, ‘Hey, so-and-so has requested access to publish to the domain.’ You have an option to either ignore that request or accept it. It really speeds up that workflow. You don’t have to jump through hoops to get your whole team on the same page.
Ander: How does this apply to teams or agencies publishing to custom domains through a Content Management System like WordPress or Drupal?
Oliver: This is where I think we’ve made a really big improvement. Every single subaccount has its own authentication token. It increases the security, it increases the privacy, and it really allows the account owner to have control of who can access pages in that subaccount or who can really push those pages to a CMS.
It allows you to have that subaccount working space that you’ve already got — for a client or a functional part of your business — and push those pages live. Once you set up the token, from that point forward, you can securely push any of your pages from Instapage to that CMS.
Say you’re an agency for an entirely different customer and maybe you want to push a page to Drupal instead of WordPress. You can grab that token and upload that in Drupal to publish to those separate subaccounts in entirely separate content management systems.
Ander: So, with the same Instapage subscription I could now publish, in separate subaccounts, to WordPress, to Drupal, and to a custom domain built on another platform.
Ander: That’s especially awesome for someone or an organization with a unique structure to their business.
Oliver: Yeah, that’s one of the goals we have here at Instapage. We know that everyone structures and organizes their business in different ways. There are many different companies of different sizes with many different needs. So, we’ve focused on creating a system that is both secure but also flexible. We don’t want to be prescriptive. We don’t want to say, like, you must organize and structure your business in this way.
Ander: We want to fit into what people are already doing.
Oliver: Exactly. One of our missions here is to facilitate the workflows and goals that agencies and businesses are already trying to accomplish. That’s why these subaccounts really, at that level, can be used for something as simple as the basis of just organizing and structuring your own team or running an entire agency with dozens, if not hundreds, of clients which we’ve seen across a dozens of different use cases throughout our customers.
Oliver: We’ve taken a lot of that feedback to heart from people who are using Instapage as a kind of multiplier on the efficiency and effectiveness of their business and of their team to understand those pain points and the things that were holding them back.
That’s why we’ve also opened up the ability to invite team members with View access to our Basic plan, and Edit access to our Professional plan.
Ander: And, this is one foundational step in many, many more exciting things to come in the future.
Oliver: Correct. We’re going to continue creating ability to effectively and efficiently build landing pages at scale and maximize the economy of your existing team.
Ander: Well, it’s very clear that this is going to really affect the ability of people publishing onto multiple content management systems, multiple domains, and working with multiple clients or within a larger organization. We’ve also added the ability to add more team members for each plan. It’s no longer confined to Premium plans. The efficiency here is incredible. I can’t wait to see how people are using it!
Oliver, thanks again for taking the time to sit down and do this.
Oliver: Yeah, thanks again for asking me! I love being able to have these conversations and talk about the exciting things that we’re doing, the work, and the thought and the process that goes into providing these solutions for our customers.
For more information on the Advanced Subaccount Permissions and Privacy features, check out the official blog announcement. Start organizing your business and client’s pages more efficiently with Instapage, the most powerful landing page platform available.