What is BIMI: Ultimate Guide to BIMI in 2022

BIMI: Email Marketing Built on Trust

BIMI is a relatively new form of email authentication that will help you stand out in your customer’s inbox.

Read this article to learn more about BIMI and how it can improve your email marketing program this next year.

What is BIMI?

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

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

How does BIMI Work?

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

This record points the mail client to your brand’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 brand logos and the email receiver pulls that logo and places it next to the senders From address in the email client’s inbox.

BIMI: Email Marketing Built on Trust

Benefits of BIMI Implementation:

  1. BIMI Increases Brand Recognition

    The value that Brand Indicators for Message Identification provides to email marketers is obvious: your emails have your brand logos and your recipients can quickly recognize your messages in their inboxes.

  2. BIMI Builds Trust

    BIMI helps you build trust between you and your recipients.

    When recipients see your brand logo, they immediately know that the message is really from you, increasing consumer confidence.

    The visibility and awareness that BIMI provides are beneficial, but the trust that is developed as a result of your company logo is far more essential for your marketing efforts.

  3. BIMI Increases Brand Protection

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

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

  4. BIMI Improves Email Deliverability & Brand Awareness

    Today’s deliverability is based more on email authentication and sending reputation rather than on the email content itself. BIMI is yet another step to improving your deliverability.

    Mailbox providers have more trust in authenticated messages from a technical point of view. Thus, authenticated emails have more chances to hit the inbox.

    However, only some email service providers currently support BIMI.

Currently, the following mailbox providers support or are looking to support BIMI:

  • Yahoo: Pilot publicly available with no VMC requirement (right now)
  • AOL: Pilot publicly available with no VMC requirement (right now)
  • Gmail: Rolling out general support in July 2021 with a VMC requirement (right now)
  • Netscape: Pilot publicly available with no VMC requirement (right now)
  • Fastmail: Working towards a pilot
  • Comcast: In the planning stages
  • Microsoft: No BIMI support

As BIMI helps build your brand recognition and trust in your company’s emails, your recipients will be more willing to open the messages sent by your company. Positive user engagement will improve your email marketing program’s deliverability and brand reputation with all major inbox providers.

How to Implement BIMI

Although the BIMI method looks simple, there are a few key things digital marketers should know when implementing BIMI for their brand:

  1. Set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication records for your sending domain.
  2. Set the “p=reject” or the “p=quarantine” DMARC policy.
  3. Get access to your DNS or 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. Get a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) for your BIMI assertion TXT record.

Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)

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 VMC has the following key functions:

  • It validates your organization and associates it with your official brand 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 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.

How To Get a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)

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 some 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.

How to Generate BIMI without VMC

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 to 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"

Stay on top of the game! BIMI Implementation will increase brand recognition, security level, and email deliverability for your email marketing program 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.