Send Email Invitations for Application Signup

Send Email Invitations for Application Signup

If you want to restrict user signups or create accounts in bulk for your application, your application can provision users with user invitations. A typical user invitation process follows these steps:

  1. Administrator creates a user account.

  2. Administrator sends an email to the user inviting them to register.

  3. User follows a link in the invitation email to set up a password for the account.

  4. User creates and verifies a password.

  5. User signs in.

In this article you'll see how to implement a user invitation workflow with Auth0.

Generate invitations

A user invitation is basically a change password link repurposed as an invitation. With Auth0, there are two common approaches to implementing user invitations:

You can allow a user to access an existing account that you have created on their behalf. Then, send the user a unique link to set their password. You generate the unique link by creating a Password Change ticket where your invitation app calls the /password-change Management API endpoint. You will need to:

Create password change tickets

  1. Specify the user using user_id or email and connection_id.

  2. Specify where the user will be redirected. The result_url parameter is the location the user will be redirected to once they have set their password. In this case, this should be back to the target app login page. To learn more, read Redirect Users After Login.

  3. Specify the lifespan of the invitation link. Use the ttl_sec parameter to set how long the invitation link will remain active. This should align with your relevant security concerns. The link is a one time use, so once the user has set their password, it is not vulnerable to reuse.

  4. Verify the email address. As long as this invitation is being sent to the email registered to the account, you should set the email as verified once the user has set their password. Use the mark_email_as_verified parameter as true. If this invitation is sent anywhere other than the user's registered email address, you should not set the email verification to true. A successful request to this endpoint will result in a ticket URL returned. The URL will then be used to create the user invitation.

Add query parameters ticket URL

The query parameters are used to customize the password reset UI. The returned URL will have the unique code value that allows the user to set their password followed by a #. For the link to work, you do not want to edit anything before the hash.

  1. Add hash parameters to the generated password ticket URL.

  2. Add a parameter to identify that the UI should represent a set password workflow rather than a change password workflow.

  3. Add a parameter to identify the target app in the case that invites might be sent for more than one app.

Create email template

The email invitation needs to be sent with your existing email service provider. The language in the email should align with your use case. Include the link generated from the steps above. The text in the email should explain:

  • The next steps to claiming the user account.

  • The expiration of the link.

  • Steps to generate a new invite if it has expired.

Customize Password Reset UI

Once the user clicks the link in the invitation they will be brought to the Universal Login Password Reset page where they will set a password for their account. Since this page is used both for the forgot password workflow and for your user invitations, you will want to use the query parameters you defined earlier to identify the invite workflow and customize the UI accordingly. To learn more, read Customize Password Reset Page.

Complete the user experience

In most cases, once the user has set their password, you grant them access to the target app. The target app initiates the login sequence with the following steps:

  1. User submits password.

  2. Change password screen redirects return URL.

  3. Target app redirects to /authorize.

  4. User submits their credentials.

  5. User is authenticated into the app.

The workflow involves redirects but it is possible for the transition from the set password form to the login form to appear seamless to the end user.

If you're using Classic Universal Login, the result_url you set when you created the password change ticket is where the user will be redirected after creating their password. In this case, you want the URL to be on the site the user has been invited to so that it can initiate the login workflow. Your target app will need to parse the success parameter to confirm no errors occurred then immediately initiate the redirect back to Auth0 to log the user in.

To optimize the user experience, you can have the target app parse the email parameter and include it with the authentication request as the login_hint parameter. This will pre-fill the user's email address in the login form.

Learn more