How to Strengthen Your Brand with BIMI

How to Strengthen Your Brand with BIMI

This 2020, BIMI or Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is expected to be adopted and actively supported by more and more Email providers. Currently, only Yahoo and Gmail support BIMI. This new standard will provide email senders yet another way to stand out in their recipient’s inbox by allowing you to display your logo along with your email.

How to Strengthen Your Brand with BIMI

It is important to note that you need to deploy DMARC to be able to apply the BIMI standard. DMARC enforcement is possible when all of your emails sent by you are DMARC aligned. To achieve alignment, the Return-Path and From email should be the same domain (or a subdomain). For example, if your From domain is example.com, then your Return-Path domain should be example.com or subdomain.example.com to be considered DMARC aligned.

Popular email delivery services such as Amazon SES, SendGrid, Mailgun, and SparkPost allow senders to set a custom Return-Path domain and benefit from strong email authentication and alignment. MailChimp only allows enterprise customers to set up a custom Return-Path domain and only upon request.

Other email delivery providers such as Hubspot, iContact, and InfusionSoft do not allow custom Return-Path domains at the moment. It remains to be seen if they will add-in this functionality at a later time. This means that, for the moment, you will not be able to achieve full DMARC alignment with these providers. This also means that you will not be able to take advantage of BIMI.

You may have been told that DMARC alignment does not matter for email deliverability. In truth, it actually matters quite a bit. Email inbox providers have more trust in messages with strong authentication. DMARC alignment allows you to block any email spoofing attempts and protect your brand as well as your recipients from phishing emails.

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If your business frequently sends emails, we highly recommend taking proactive steps towards securing your emails for the benefit of you and your customers. If you are not yet using a custom Return-Path domain, ask your email service provider if they allow it. Set up your Return-Path and then deploy DMARC enforcement when you have confirmed that you are sending fully authenticated emails.

The next step is to create and upload your logo in the SVG file format, get a Verified Mark Certificate for your BIMI assertion TXT record and then apply BIMI.

A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is a digital certificate that proves the authenticity of a logo associated with the sender’s domain. The plan is to make VMC mandatory for a domain to be able to deploy BIMI.

VMC will 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.

As we mentioned, BIMI is slowly (but surely) being implemented by all of the major email inbox providers. Having your logo appear alongside your email helps your audience associate your mailings with your brand. In this case, the early adoption of the technology will give you a leg up on your competition.

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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.