BIMI: Email Marketing Built on Trust

BIMI: Email Marketing Built on Trust

Email marketers are always looking for tricks to have better deliverability and better visibility in the users’ inboxes to get more emails opened.

While there is no ultimate solution, there is a new standard that can help you make your brand stand out in the inbox.

What is BIMI?

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification and designates a new standard to display your logo next to your messages in the inbox.

In addition to giving visibility, BIMI prevents fraudulent emails from using your domain and helps improve deliverability, too.

How does BIMI Work?

Like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, BIMI is a text record that lives in DNS of your domain.

This record points the mail client to your company’s logo (SVG file) publicly hosted on a web server.

When a message is delivered, the email receiver looks up the BIMI DNS entry to ensure that the message can be verified.

Once verified, the BIMI record tells the email receiver where to find the sender’s logo and the email receiver pulls that logo and places it next to the sender’s From address in the inbox.

BIMI: Email Marketing Built on Trust

How You Can Benefit from BIMI

  1. Brand Recognition

    The value that BIMI provides to email marketers is obvious: your emails have your logo and your recipients can quickly recognize your messages in their inboxes.

  2. Trust

    The real value is that BIMI helps you build trust between you and your recipients.

    When recipients see your logo, they immediately know that the message is really from you and is not a phishing attempt.

    The brand visibility and awareness that BIMI gives is nice, but the trust that is built along with those logos is much more valuable.

  3. Brand Protection

    As we told before, BIMI requires other authentication records to be properly set up. Senders not using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC will have to deploy them before they can start using BIMI to display their logos in front of their emails.

    Combined, all of these authentication methods will block any phishing attacks and will protect the sending domain from spoofing.

  4. Better Deliverability

    As these days’ deliverability is based more on authentication and reputation rather than on the email content itself, BIMI is yet another step to improving your deliverability.

    Email receivers have more trust in authenticated email messages from the technical point of view. Thus, authenticated emails have more chances to hit the inbox.

As BIMI allows to build brand recognition and trust in the company’s emails, the recipients will be more willing to open the messages sent by the company. Good user engagement will make for more reliable deliverability and a better reputation overall.

How to Implement BIMI

Although the BIMI method looks simple, there are a few key things to keep in mind when deploying BIMI for your brand:

  1. Set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC authentication records for your domain.
  2. Set the “p=reject” or the “p=quarantine” DMARC policy.
  3. Get access to your domain name servers to set up a new BIMI DNS entry.
  4. Create an SVG file for your logo and host the file at a publicly accessible HTTPS URL. If the referenced SVG file is in a GZIP-compressed form (SVGZ file), use the “svgz” extension.
  5. 5. Get a Verified Mark Certificate for your BIMI assertion TXT record.

A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is a new type of digital certificate that proves the authenticity of a logo associated with the sender’s domain. The current plan is for Verified Mark Certificates to be mandatory for BIMI to be activated on a domain.

A Verified Mark Certificate has the following key functions:

  • It validates your organization and associates it with your official logo.
  • It stops phishers and spammers from showing well-known logos next to their emails.
  • It prohibits misuse of your company’s logo.

The verification of a company’s logo will happen in two steps:

  1. The email server will take the URL specified in the / tag, which is where the logo is stored. If the logo URL is determined to be valid, then the server will take the location of the Verified Mark Certificate (VMC).
  2. The email server will check whether the certificate verifies the published logo. Upon successful verification of the logo, the email server displays it next to the message in the recipient’s inbox.

Just like SSL/TLS certificates, VMC will also be issued by trusted third-party certificate authorities after successful verification of the organization. DigiCert and Entrust Datacard are one of the first to join this initiative.

Contact their sales or support teams using the information below.

Digicert

Contact email: support@digicert.com
Live chat and phone contact are also available on the contact page.

Entrust Datacard

Contact email: sales@entrustdatacard.com
Live chat and phone contact are also available on the contact page.

At GlockApps, you can verify if a BIMI DNS record exists for your domain and generate a BIMI record if it doesn’t exist.

Currently, GlockApps generates a BIMI record without VMC. When it becomes a requirement, you will need to add the tag “a=” with a path your VMC certificate file (.pem) to the BIMI record.

Example:

default._bimi.example.com TXT "v=BIMI1; l=https://domainmail.com/company-logo.svg;
a=https://domainmail.com/company-logo.pem"

Creating a BIMI record and publishing it to the domain’s DNS per the instructions does not automatically show your logo in all customers’ Inboxes.

At this time, the only mailbox provider that supports BIMI is Yahoo! Mail, which is a member of the working group developing the new standard. But a wide range of Inbox providers is likely to add BIMI support soon. Stay on top of the game and implement BIMI to increase brand recognition, security level, and email deliverability right away.

Read also:

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)
How to Use BIMI for Increasing Your Brand Recognition and Deliverability
Email Authentication: the Ultimate Guide

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AUTHOR BIO

Julia Gulevich is an email marketing expert and customer support professional at GlockSoft LLC with more than 15 years of experience. Author of numerous blog posts, publications, and articles about email marketing and deliverability.