BIMI – More Than a Funny Name

Written by Nick Schafer

Categories: Best Practices

3 minute read time

If I told you there was a way you could gain more trust with your recipients for free, you’d be on board, right? It’s easy to understand why people jump at the opportunity to increase their brand reputation because the relationship between your brand and your recipients is extremely important. The more your recipients trust your brand, the more likely they will engage with your messaging.

User engagement is crucial when it comes to deliverability as it’s the single best metric that mailbox providers can look at to gauge the reputation of a sender, in my opinion. As your reputation moves up and down, so does your inbox placement. When you have more engagement, you end up with a better reputation and better deliverability.

So what is this solution everyone should be using? BIMI!

BIMI, pronounced “bih-mee” is the solution we’ve all been dreaming about.

What is BIMI?

Well, for one, it’s not the character from the Drew Carey Show with that crazy makeup. It’s also not just another email acronym you need to learn and never really understand; there is more to BIMI than meets the eye.

BIMI, which stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is an email authentication standard that aims to protect users while also giving brands the ability to provide visual indicators by way of logos to their recipients.

We’ve seen similar concepts with Gmail and their Google+ company logos as well as Microsoft Business Profiles, so it’s not completely uncharted territory. BIMI, however, takes this concept a step further as it can be used with any mailbox provider that participates (currently only Yahoo, Seznam, and Interia).

How does BIMI work?

BIMI takes previous authentication standards like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC and builds on top of them. That means that in order to participate with BIMI, you must have your sending domain protected by the above standards. Make sure you aren’t using a policy of p=none with your DMARC record as BIMI requires a policy of quarantine OR reject.

Once you have all of that setup, you will need to create a new BIMI TXT record in DNS with an SVG version of your logo. This step lets mailbox providers know where to find your logo. If you need more detailed instructions on how to create this BIMI TXT record, take a look at the RFC found here.

After that record has been created, supporting mailbox providers will display your brand logo alongside the messages you send to your customers; as long as your message is validated and passing DMARC. Pretty cool, right?

Too legit to quit

What can you expect after implementing BIMI?

For starters, your logo will now show up in inboxes, and that’s great for free visual impressions! No more question marks or weird filler images next to your company that can make you look like a spammer. It looks really nice in all customer communications.

It looks so much better

Outside of looking awesome, you’re also going to be building more trust with your customers. That translates to better customer relationships and more opens and clicks which everyone will love to see, especially your bosses!

If you’re one of the late adopters of DMARC, this means you will also get to see some DMARC reports. These reports are really helpful in understanding the traffic coming from your domain(s), so it’s a great learning opportunity, and we can help you out if you’re still confused about all things DMARC.

Final thoughts

As a deliverability engineer, weird things get me excited about email — BIMI is one of them. I’m stoked about the possibility of higher engagement metrics like opens and clicks. Studies have shown that recipients are much more likely to engage with messages from trusted senders. With more ways for senders to improve trust, there’s only one way for engagement levels to go!

But all this positive engagement isn’t the only benefit to BIMI; security is playing a significant role as well. Marcel Becker, director of product management at Verizon Media Group, summed it up great. “There’s a win-win situation: The brand has better exposure and control of their brand and higher engagement on the consumer side, and it’s more secure, and we get authenticated emails into our system.”

In my opinion, a more secure email ecosystem for you as a sender is the biggest benefit of BIMI. DMARC is a fantastic tool that helps senders protect their domains against fraudulent phish, and it’s a shame that adoption has been slower than many anticipated.

BIMI might just be the thing that helps get those last few senders through the DMARC door, and it’ll be a big blow to spammers. If a cool little logo can help senders become more secure and hurt spammers at the same time, I am 100% on board with that.

Right on.

Upcoming Webinar: Combatting Email Fraud & Building Your Brand with BIMI

Now that I’ve given you a brief overview of what BIMI is, you should join myself, JT, Eric, and 250ok tomorrow for our webinar: Combatting Email Fraud & Building Your Brand with BIMI! We’ll be covering a little of what talked about here, as well as our predictions for BIMI over time. If you’ve got questions, bring them to us! We’re excited to get going tomorrow.

Register your spot for tomorrow here, and I’ll see you at 1 PM CDT!

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Modified on: July 11, 2019

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