Email marketers are always on the lookout for the “silver bullet,” the one tip that will increase their grip over subscribers and increase engagement rates. While there is no such answer, a new standard has emerged that can help your business stand out in the inbox.
The newest in email authentication techniques is Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). Today, we will cover the basics and professional email examples of using BIMI for your perusal. It’s another important tool for building trust and providing a better subscriber experience, which we should all strive for at every level of our email program.
Isn’t it appealing? Let’s have a look at how BIMI works.
What Is BIMI
BIMI is a tool that allows you to double-check facts about your company. It is a text record that resides on your servers, similar to DMARC, DKIM, and SPF—three techniques for validating sender information. It works in tandem with SPF, DMARC, and DKIM to let email clients know you’re the real deal.
BIMI lets you show your company logo in supported inboxes, placing your brand in front of subscribers.
While many email clients already attempt to display your logo into the inbox, you don’t have much control over the logos or graphics they collect. With BIMI, on the other hand, you have complete control over which logo is displayed, allowing you to maintain control over your brand and subscriber experience while also building trust.
How Does It Work
BIMI is a text file, similar to other email authentication protocols. The text file is formatted in a certain way and is stored on your sending servers.
When a message is delivered, the recipient’s email service searches for the BIMI text file and its hosting location to verify the message. Once validated, the BIMI file instructs the email provider where to look for the sender’s logo, which it then inserts into the inbox.
Although BIMI appears to be simple and straightforward, there are certain considerations that you need to keep in mind while setting it up for your business:
- For BIMI to operate, you’ll need to put up extra authentication records like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
- To create a new BIMI DNS record, you must have access to your domain name servers.
- For your logo, you must use an SVG file.
While just a few email clients now support BIMI as part of their trial program, additional email clients are expected to do so in the future. It may be a lot of labor with little reward, depending on your capacity to perform the above, at least for now.
How Do You Put BIMI Into Action
It will take some effort to get a BIMI logo to appear in inboxes. To put it another way, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Determine Your Transmitting Domain And Get Assistance
The BIMI record must be published on your transmitting domain’s DNS (or domains). It may not be the same as your company’s main website domain. Larger businesses frequently use a dedicated subdomain for their mail server.
You might want to get help from your IT team or an email marketing firm, and your email service provider (ESP) may be able to assist with debugging.
2. Confirm The Use Of Alternative Email Authentication Mechanisms
BIMI can be considered as an indicator of fulfilling all your email authentication methods. The fact is that BIMI will not work unless you have a DMARC policy in place.
Receiving mail servers are told how to handle emails that fail authentication by DMARC, which checks for both SPF and DKIM. When a fraudster tries to mimic your brand with a phishing email, your logo will never be displayed.
Your DMARC enforcement policy must be configured to either reject or quarantine to fulfill BIMI compliance criteria.
3. Create A BIMI Logo And Have It Approved
There are certain criteria for BIMI logos. To begin with, they must be SVG files, which are secure vector files that are more difficult to imitate.
The logo should be in a square format. However, because it will be shown in inboxes, it should also fit neatly inside a circle. BIMI logos must also be tiny, not exceeding 32kb in size.
Your BIMI logo’s picture should be a recognized trademark. You’ll need to concentrate on developing a trademarked logo if you don’t already have one. In addition, BIMI logos must get a specific certification that validates your ownership to fulfill Gmail’s criteria.
The Impact of BIMI On Deliverability
Adding a BIMI record to your email software will not guarantee 100% delivery. It can, however, be beneficial.
For mailbox providers that accept BIMI, it will give an extra degree of legitimacy to your messages, increasing the likelihood that they will be delivered. Subscribers will also be more likely to identify your brand, reducing the odds of their marking it as spam.
What Are The Advantages Of Using BIMI
For brands that are frequently targeted by email spoofing, BIMI is a very useful email authentication solution. Bank of America has collaborated on the technology alongside Google and the BIMI Working Group to make this a reality.
BIMI safeguards your subscribers against cyber criminals that try to exploit your brand’s reputation to mislead customers into installing malware or disclosing sensitive personal data. Thus, BIMI helps secure your brand image, which is essential when you are sending plenty of transactional messages revolving around online transactions.
However, BIMI installation will incur fees, and the process can become highly complex. It’s also worth noting that certain email programs claim to only display BIMI emblems for bulk senders. As a result, you’ll require a sizable transmit volume, and it’s unclear whether there is a set threshold.
While it’s still up to you to establish a relationship with your subscribers by delivering value in your email campaigns, BIMI will help you lay the groundwork for mailbox success. BIMI is still in its early stages. A few mailbox providers offer it as of now, and it’s an intriguing, relatively new standard that’s causing a stir in the industry.
Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.