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.
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 It Works
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.
Although the BIMI method looks simple, there are a few key things to keep in mind when deploying BIMI for your brand:
1. You need to have correctly set up SPF, DKIM and DMARC authentication records for your domain.
2. You need to have the “p=reject” or the “p=quarantine” DMARC policy.
3. You need to have access to your domain name servers to set up a new BIMI DNS entry.
4. You must 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.
A BIMI assertion TXT record will soon require a VMC certificate to ensure that corporate logos are not used fraudulently. A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is a new type of digital certificate that proves the authenticity of a logo tied to an email sender’s domain.
VMC certificates are not yet in use in BIMI pilots, but they are expected to become a requirement soon to enable verified brand marks to be displayed.
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;
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.
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.
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.
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