The BIMI working group recently released an update on Mailbox Provider support for BIMI, and what an upgrade it was. It was announced in the announcement that BIMI will be added to Apple devices with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura as part of enhancements anticipated later this year.
For those of you who don’t know, BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. Let’s examine the implications of BIMI services.
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What Is BIMI?
Essentially, BIMI enables businesses to link their logo to emails they send out. With BIMI, brands can specify their brand logo and have mailbox providers (MBPs) display it so that it appears as the contact image next to the subject line and preheader instead of the usual avatar.
Even though some of the more well-known companies, like Gmail and Yahoo!, already implement BIMI, the most recent update announcing Apple’s adoption in the very near future has made it more well-known. Given Apple’s market position and influence, BIMI usage should increase significantly, signaling a move to a more secure email marketing tool or solution.
It’s crucial to remember that several providers have needs that are essentially the same, such as:
- Supplying a brand logo in a certain SVG format
- Having DMARC policy that is enforced
Information regarding Apple’s adoption of Gmail’s Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) is presently somewhat sparse, but since the announcement, we’ve been keeping an eye out for any new information. According to certain screenshots on a Reddit thread, Apple will term this “Digitally Certified Email.” A VMC will likely be required given the way this feature is written.
Even while this is now just conjecture, it’s quite likely that in the near future, Apple will provide some news that could provide us with additional details.
How BIMI Works?
BIMI uses a multi-step process to make sure email communications are genuinely coming from the sender’s domain. Senders’ domain name system (DNS) entries for BIMI must contain a TXT record.
For BIMI to work, domains must also have the SPF, DKIM, and DMARC fraud protections:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authenticates emails by listing mail servers that are allowed to send emails from specific domains.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) adds a digital signature to each email to demonstrate that it was sent from a reliable domain. SPF and DKIM records are verified by Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), which also specifies how unaligned emails should be handled.
- The common DMARC/DKIM authentication and SPF checks will be performed first by the receiving mail server. The server will check to verify if the email passes these tests, validate the BIMI record, and show your company’s logo if it does.
Your logo file needs to be in the SVG Tiny Portable/Secure format. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. Contrary to pixel-based graphics like JPGs or GIFs, vector graphics use lines and points to define the visual forms and components of an image. Because of this, the graphic is scalable, or simple to utilize in many sizes. It is easier to make sure that your brand appears excellent wherever it is presented through BIMI by requiring a vector graphic in this safe format.
A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), which serves as proof that you are the owner of the trademark and the logo’s content, may be required by some ESPs. VMC is anticipated to become a part of the standard in the future, even though doing so at this moment is not necessary for adopting BIMI on your domain.
How do DMARC, DKIM, and SPF Interact with BIMI?
Implementing DMARC is the first step towards displaying your logo in BIMI. This is kept for your domain as a TXT record. For DMARC to work with BIMI record check, the reject policy in that record must either be p=quarantine or p=reject for all emails being sent from your domain.
While DMARC is necessary for BIMI, in order for DMARC to function, your domain must have DKIM records. When employing BIMI, it’s best to incorporate SPF data for further security. The alignment of SPF or DKIM is all that DMARC requires. For your domain, these 2 security tools are also kept as TXT records.
How BIMI Improve My Emails?
The main goal of BIMI adoption is to increase the entire security of the email ecosystem, which will also enhance the consumer experience. This serves as an additional security measure for email sends due to the regulation around BIMI and the nature of businesses dealing with MBPs.
Customers are understandably wary of scammers, thus BIMI enables you to add a layer of brand recognition and authenticity to your email communications. This gives customers more control and peace of mind by giving them an easy way to recognize and trust your communications.
With BIMI, marketers may feel more secure in the knowledge that they’ve created yet another layer of defense against anyone attempting to fake your brand.
Because inboxes are congested, another advantage for marketers is that BIMI enables you to present your brand identity to recipients even before they open your email.
A registered logo can boost email opens by 39%, purchase likelihood by 32%, and brand memory by as much as 120%, according to research conducted by Red Sift in collaboration with Entrust. Sound good, yes?
How BIMI Helps Email Marketers
Establish Brand Trust
In a world where phishing and email scams are on the rise, email marketers must take steps to preserve their customers’ trust.
The fundamental goal of BIMI is to make it straightforward for subscribers to identify trustworthy email senders so they can have confidence in the content in their inboxes. Subscribers may believe that an email from you is coming from you when they see your logo next to it in supported inboxes (and not a dangerous phishing attempt).
While it is still up to you to establish a rapport with your subscribers by adding value to your email messages, BIMI aids in laying the groundwork for the trust that is necessary to reach inboxes.
Deliverability of Emails
BIMI can increase the deliverability of your emails. Since email content is no longer the primary determinant of deliverability in today’s world, BIMI will offer another method to increase your chances of reaching the inbox.
As we previously observed, BIMI needs other authentication protocols to be configured correctly. The desire to use BIMI to get their logos in front of subscribers would drive brands who do not use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to adhere to recommended practices for authentication. These authentication techniques working together will improve sender’s reputation and deliverability.
Sending email campaigns is no longer sufficient because email marketing is continuously changing. Customers must truly believe in your emails for them to be opened. Of course, BIMI is more than just an improvement in inbox aesthetics. The biggest advantage of BIMI is that you may promote your company even if subscribers don’t open your emails. It’s enough for customers to see your logo in their inboxes to realize you and remember your brand.
BIMI improves your email deliverability, which raises your email sending rates, so you’re less likely to be flagged as spam. Additionally enhancing trust is your BIMI logo. Customers are more likely to open emails if they can identify the sender thanks to seeing your logo next to them. Connect with GoDMARC today to see their BIMI services.
Q1. Who supports BIMI?
BIMI is supported by many email services, including:
- Apple Mail (for iOS16 and MacOS Ventura)
- Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to enable BIMI in Microsoft products, such as Outlook and Office 365.
Q2. What should be the BIMI logo size?
Your BIMI logo must be in SVG format and have a maximum file size of 32 kilobytes. The background of your logo should likewise be a solid color, but it can be any hue that works well with your design. If you’re unclear about what to use, choose a white backdrop that may make your brand stand out on any email client because transparent backgrounds may display differently. Your logo ought to be square and centered so that every email client can customize it according to their display requirements.
Q3. How do I access the history of my BIMI?
You can check to verify if your BIMI is functional or if you have a BIMI logo using a BIMI inspection tool. Using a service like BIMI Group’s BIMI LookUp & Generator tool, you may check to see if your BIMI record is located and how your logo appears in various inboxes, including the Gmail app. You can also observe how your rivals are promoting their brands using similar methods.