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Combatting email fraud and building your brand with BIMI

Email’s Not Dead: Season 1, Episode 4

Combatting email fraud & building your brand with BIMI

Email's Not Dead

About this episode:

Last time, Nick Schafer showed up to predict the future of spam. Now we’re bringing in 250ok’s Director of Privacy, Matthew Vernhout, to talk shop about Brand Indicators for Message Identification (aka BIMI). Learn how to gain more trust with your recipients, get higher engagement, and ensure greater security.

Meet your presenters

jonathan-torres

Jonathan Torres

Technical Account Manager at Mailgun by Sinch

Eric Trinidad

Technical Account Manager at Mailgun by Sinch

nick-schafer

Nick Schafer

Manager of Deliverability & Compliance at Mailgun by Sinch

Matthew Vernhout

Former Director of Privacy at 250ok

transcript

Email’s Not Dead – S1, E4: Combatting email fraud & building your brand with BIMI

Overview

00:00:06

Eric Trinidad: Hello everyone, welcome to Email's Not Dead – special webinar edition. Today we're going to be speaking about BIMI. What is it and how it's good? We have a couple of special guests, but let's first start off by introducing ourselves. My name is Eric Trinidad. I'm a technical account manager here at Mailgun, with me always... Jonathan Torres.

00:00:27

Jonathan Torres: Jonathan, the same technical account manager here at Mailgun. So that's right. Good stuff we've got going on.

00:00:31

Eric Trinidad: Yeah, we're t squared. You know, we like to find the right angle and get customers deliverability. So that's what we do.

00:00:37

Nick Schafer: Yeah. And these guys host our awesome new podcasts. Yeah. Check them out for sure. For sure.

00:00:44

Eric Trinidad: With us today is Nick Schafer. He's our deliverability engineer. He joined us from a previous episode. So welcome back, Nick.

00:00:53

Nick Schafer:  Thanks for having me again. Like I said, I'm going to try to get on all the podcasts. And webinars now. So yeah.

00:01:04

Jonathan Torres: And we do have a very extra special guest. Not Nick, your special man.

00:01:09

Nick Schafer: I mean yeah. It is what it is.

00:01:10

Eric Trinidad: Matt Vernhout out with us today, director of Privacy at 250 OK. He's joining us today from his home. Matt, how are you, sir?

00:01:19

Matt Vernhout: I'm doing great today. Thanks. Considering the heat, it's perfect inside.

00:01:23

Eric Trinidad: You can not talk to us about heat. Sir, we're in South Texas where you got... the heat has no mercy.

00:01:33

Nick Schafer: Man, we got the heat and the humidity. Just walk outside. You start sweating.

00:01:36

Eric Trinidad: Oh, yeah. No, for sure. We were just outside. I don't know if you can tell we're all glowing.

00:01:41

Jonathan Torres: It's a healthy glow.

00:01:41

Eric Trinidad: It's a healthy glow, that's for sure. And if you recognize Matt's face, you've probably been in the email community for some time. He's been to a lot of conventions, one. But not only that, he has a super aggressive list of accomplishments. He's the certified international privacy professional in Canada. He's been tapped numerous times by parliament regarding Canada's anti spam laws. He's a founder of the Canadian Email Summit, editor in chief at EmailKarma.net. He's a vice chair of EEC, which is the Email Experience Council. And speaking of EEC, you were also named the email marketer thought leader of the year. That's right, sir.

00:02:22

Nick Schafer: That is quite the list, Matthew.

00:02:25

Jonathan Torres: Yes, that's more titles than the rest of us combined.

00:02:32

Eric Trinidad: Yeah. So we definitely appreciate your time and thank you so much for joining us today to talk about BIMI. What is it, how it's good for us. You know, what does it all mean? So it's brand indicators for message identification, which I had to look up numerous times.

00:02:46

Jonathan Torres: What exactly does that mean. Brand identifiers for what what? Brand indicators for message identification. Yeah. Matt, well could you tell us about what that is.

00:02:59

Nick Schafer: That's a mouthful.

00:03:00

Matt Vernhout: We love acronyms in the industry. So BIMI is a coordinated effort by a number of different organizations to add a visual indicator to email. So when you're properly authenticating your messages, you will see a logo file show up in the email currently most commonly used at the Yahoo browser or Yahoo mobile from Verizon Media. So you'll see the brand logo show up next to the friendly “from” and the email name, when you properly authenticated, which we'll get into that.

00:03:43

Eric Trinidad: Right on. Well yeah. So this is kind of been out there for maybe the last couple of years or so. And when stuff like this comes around, I mean, you've been in the industry close to, like, almost twenty years now. Right? OK.

00:03:56

Matt Vernhout: You're dating me a little bit.

00:03:56

Eric Trinidad: I'll go back a little bit, we'll say closer to 15. We'll say that. But like when stuff like this comes around, like, you know, this is new, exciting stuff, you know, like does this keep you, like, energized, like, you know, keeps you engaged because you've been in the industry for a while?

00:04:14

Matt Vernhout: Yeah, totally. I think anything that we can do as an industry to build trust, build, you know, show reputation, sort of award organizations for doing the right things, you know, maintaining good authentication, maintaining good reputation, good relations with their subscribers. Those are all positive. So being able to have that type of, call it a reward system like BIMI would be, you know, it's certainly something that is intriguing. You know, I love all these technologies. When SPF came out, I had to figure it out right away, put it up on my own demands, figured out when DKIM came out, I had to figure it out. Same with DMARC. So I... like DMARC came out and I published my records right away because I wanted to start seeing all the information and BIMI was really no different. The only problem that I had with BIMI is not really for one to one mail, so I'm not sending a lot of commercial mail on my own. So, not necessarily going to show up for me, but otherwise I figured out how to do it so that I could work with my clients on showing them how to do it.

00:05:19

Eric Trinidad: Yeah, rewarding them for not sending spam. You know, we talked about spam a couple episodes ago on our podcast as well, Email's Not Dead, check it out. So, you know, we know, we, we don't enjoy it. I know you must really hate it. So, you know, this is awesome.

00:05:36

Nick Schafer: Yes. Spam, spam is no good, that's for sure. Yeah. I like hearing Matt talk about it. I think it's, it's kind of funny. Like, I consider myself an email nerd, email geek, whatever you want to call us, like. Yeah, I just wrote a blog post about BIMI the other day and I get excited about this kind of stuff. Especially whenever I read, you know, that our customers or senders could possibly get better engagement out of their messages like that excites me, especially as a deliverability person. So yeah, I can relate like it is something, you know, with, BIMI like he said, you have to send a lot of mail. So someone that just has like their own, like, small domain can set it up and see the benefits. But knowing that we can help our customers is really wonderful.

00:06:20

Jonathan Torres: Yeah, that's awesome. And I mean, that's kind of the name of the game, right. Like, one where new technology comes through like this. I think it's a nice positive for users. And that's really the benefit of everybody or for everyone is the user side of it. Right. So as ISPs, as people receiving these messages and putting them in front of users, it's nice for them to be able to identify those brands that they want, identify with the stuff that they want to get, the stuff that they want to see and the stuff that comes to the forefront. And as a user, that's awesome. One, it just makes things really pretty, which is always a plus. But, you know, two, like it, it really gives, you know, that the messages that are doing it, the ones that are... that I'm seeing that on are the ones that I can recognize, like, cool. These are the ones who are doing the right kind of things. These are the people who have the right type of setup. And I mean, as a user, I can also see that as a, you know, people who are doing the next thing that's coming down the pipeline. Right. Instead of seeing just the initials for whatever username they chose to send out in the message, I can get to see, you know, what their logo is and I know when to recognize it and I see it, which is exactly what this is intended to do.

00:07:18

Eric Trinidad: And up from big sends, you know, not for me, just for me to you Matt or just from me to Jon, you know. You know, I couldn't just have a picture of my mug on there and you know, you gotta send it in commercial. If unless I was, you know, making mugs then that would work, but probably not so well. Right. Well, who's using it now? I mean, you were an early adopter of a lot of these great things. Who's using BIMI now?

00:07:42

Matt Vernhout: So, yeah, we have a number of clients using it. A few brands you might recognize. E-Harmony, Wish.com, Safelite auto glass. They're using it. And then there's a number of other brands that, that have gone out and started using it. University of Michigan's using it and some sort of nontraditional brands, if you would. So, yeah, there's a number of brands. There's nothing stopping anyone from using it. You know, we've, we've published it here. And I know Nick published it from Mailgun. So certainly, you know, we're seeing, you know, brands start to adopt it. A lot of ESPs and social networks have started to use it. So it's really for anyone that's sending good quantities of mail with good quality engagement.

00:08:26

Nick Schafer: I think a key there is like, good quality mail. Like, I don't think we touched on the reputation side of this yet, like, can't be a spammer and, you know, get your logo shown. You have to have a good reputation with these, these mailbox providers. And I think one of the cool things about BIMI is like this isn't some kind of new concept. I mean, we've seen logos in mailboxes for quite a while, especially with, like, Google. You know, they had their Google Plus thing. Microsoft has Microsoft business profiles now, and a lot of mailbox providers were just caching images. But this is cool because you get to specify your own logo. And it's also something that all mailbox providers can kind of sign onto and start using. So I think that's something that will help senders out a lot in the future.

00:09:12

Jonathan Torres: I was going to say it's a... it was just in the first like initial stages of adoption. Right. Like we are just seeing the first companies start to do it when hopefully it starts catching on. You know, we'll start seeing that a lot more through the industry overall. And that's going to be I don't know, I love that kind of stuff because, like, it kind of pushes the needle forward. Right? Like, it, it makes those things so much easier in the space. Stuff like DMARC, I think a while ago, not too long ago, seemed like it was, you know, such a slow pace for it to catch on. And now we're just seeing kind of, like, we're past that hilltop and it's all starting to roll down. And now more and more people are using it. And then, you know, stuff like this is starting to require it. So we need to make sure that we're doing that kind of stuff that we're, you know, doing the DMARC properly, doing that authentication properly, making sure we're suring things up. Because the more that things go this way, I mean one, the better it is for everybody. But I mean, it's just. awesome to see in the space that it keeps email from dying. It's the name of the podcast and that's exactly what we signed up for.

00:10:08

Nick Schafer: Email's Not Dead.

00:10:13

Matt Vernhout: Just to go back to a comment that Nick made around, you know, getting to choose your logo, you know, I've seen examples where ISPs have cached logos or, you know, someone is internally at the ISP, found a logo thinking it's for the right company, only to figure out they're going to display a logo for a completely unrelated brand. That has, has bigger impact, I think, than, you know, on consumer interpretation and consumer recognition. If you have the wrong brand associated with the email sender, like, that's just human error. So, yeah.

00:10:43

Eric Trinidad: Like, you think you have a relationship with somebody and then they call you by the wrong name and boom that's it.

00:10:48

Matt Vernhout: That's right Tim, I guess. Yeah.

00:10:51

Nick Schafer: Did he say Tim?

00:10:51

Matt Vernhout: So close.

00:10:58

Eric Trinidad: Almost almost. But yeah. Like let's talk about who's using it. Like when you set it up, who can actually view this information? Like is it for everybody? Like are there certain people that can have access to it or...?

00:11:14

Nick Schafer: Yeah. Like anyone, anyone can set it up. Kind of like what it was Matt was mentioning. It's not restricted to anyone. Obviously you have to send commercial mail, what mailbox providers are using it right now? I think you mentioned Yahoo.

00:11:26

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. So there's three that I know of. Two of them are in Europe. So Sezanam, Interia in Poland. But both of those have sort of a gatekeeper still. So it's not just publishing your record and expecting it to start working. They're a little earlier in their implementations. Yeah. You know, Yahoo's been doing this probably close to a year now, so they're a little farther ahead in their implementation. It's a little more automated. It used to be, you know, there was a gatekeeper and now they've moved sort of into that. If you publish the records and you meet the requirements of good reputation and volume, they will show the image. Right. That's, that's the experience. When we did the conversations. Nick and I around this like, that was you didn't have to reach out to anyone. You just published the records and kind of waited and then the system picked it up and off you went.

00:12:13

Eric Trinidad: So what did you do to get it set up?

00:12:16

Nick Schafer: So that's a that's a good good starting point for like the setup process. Matt mentioned earlier that 250OK, has this set up. I went ahead and set this up for Mailgun.net as well. The process is pretty straightforward. You do have to have you know, we mentioned DMARC earlier, you have to have all those txt records. DMARC, SPF, DKIM messages have to be authenticated. They're... the DMARC policy has to be quarantine or reject. You can't use the none policy. We had all that taken care of already. So yeah, from there all it is, is adding another txt record. I think Matt mentioned earlier all these email acronyms. Here's yet another one BIMI. You need another BIMI record. So you add that and you obviously need a logo. We have a logo that works well for BIMI. We have the at symbol. We do have a horizontal one though as well. And I was sent that originally, the horizontal logo and I was like, no, that's not going to work. Can I get just the at symbol. So yeah, always kind of look for, you know, circular images that aren't going to look too wide because these mailbox providers are just going to show like a little circle right now.

00:13:19

Jonathan Torres: I mean, in most of the time when we're talking about, like, we're looking at the actual, like, either through web browser or the actual company's app. And I mean, on a phone in a little circle next to, you know, that email that you got, it's not very large. So it's visible. But that also works, like you mentioned, in a circle, but also in the square, depending on who the provider is, what format they're going to display. So, yeah, something that's nice and can be very precise.

00:13:40

Nick Schafer: One, one word of caution, though, and it's funny, like I laugh about this and we've laughed about this during just chatting is, you know, we're all humans and we make typos, make mistakes. So whenever I first published the record, I completely messed up the text record, even though I looked at it like 100 times. I still put it in wrong. And I'm sitting there like the next day sending out test messages, seeing if the logo would show up and they weren't showing up. So I took a further look and I was like, oh yeah, that's a typo. So I fixed it. Wait another day. Didn't see it. On the second day, though, I did start seeing the logo show up. And that's something to take note of. Like this isn't, like, just instant. You don't publish the text record and then show up. There's caching involved. But yeah, once it set up and again, you have already established a good reputation with, with the mailbox provider Verizon and Yahoo. In this case, then you'll, you'll start seeing their logos. So, yeah. I mean, other than, you know, the typos, a very smooth process.

00:14:40

Matt Vernhout: And I think that's an interesting note where you where you talked about like it was easy for you because you'd already done the work to get your DMARC records moved through to enforcement. You know, if you're already at a quarantine or a reject, you publish a BIMI record and, you know, 24 or 48 hours, you're probably going to start seeing it. If you haven't done any work towards DMARC enforcement, yet then chances are it's a bit more work before you can get something like this to work for you.

00:15:07

Nick Schafer: Yeah, DMARC is no easy thing, especially at a complex organization that has a lot of different teams that send messages. If you don't already have that up, it is a bit more of a process. Because again, you do have to have a quarantine or reject policy in place.

00:15:21

Jonathan Torres: Yeah. And that's a, I mean, it's never too early to start with DMARC. I mean, if you don't have it already, it's a great time. Jump in. And it's one of those things, though, you know, Eric and I have previous experience that, you know, working for a company that wasn't more of an ISP. Right. Like getting messages, you know, in people's inboxes and then, you know, them wanting to send out and seeing problems and working with companies who are, you know, smaller bases who are hosting. We're hosting their email. And then they wanted to get, you know, into the space of getting DMARC records published and getting things out there. And it's you know, if you don't start soon or you don't so early to start, you know, hammering out all those problems, all those issues, even with small companies like that, we would take weeks, you know, up to even months sometimes to get those records implemented and implemented with a quarantine policy, because it's, you know, one thing to just publish DMARC record and, you know, set it as a non policy. You just start getting information back for what's working and what's not. It becomes a big time, different story when you said that to quarantine and all of a sudden messages start going to spam. You missed the mail stream somewhere, you know, like and it's, it's not fun.

00:16:23

Matt Vernhout: It's worth it. We, we published a case study with a client that had never been able to get above a medium reputation at Gmail. They did the work and got their DMARC records to reject and immediately went to high reputation. It was a three day sort of transition period when they went to equals reject all of a sudden their high reputation and then they were able to implement BIMI, you know, almost as fast. You know, we just published the case study and I think they also saw like a 10 percent increase in opens and clicks and stuff. So, like, it was fairly significant, you know.

00:17:00

Jonathan Torres: That's awesome.

00:17:01

Eric Trinidad: Yeah. So even though not, you know, they weren't the best of senders, you know, didn't have the best reputation, but just them setting this up and thinking about BIMI get initiated, help them get there.

00:17:11

Matt Vernhout: But part of it was that it also showed them where they were failing some of those things, improper authentication. They were able to go through and fix some of those problems while doing that. Yeah, you know, and it really made a big difference for them.

00:17:25

Nick Schafer: Yeah. One of the questions that always comes up with any new thing with email, new authentication standard, or anything like that is the question comes up, will it help my deliverability? That's what everyone wants help with. Right. I'm a deliverability engineer, so that's what I deal with. And yeah, just by setting up like DMARC, it shows you where the problems are and puts you in the right direction to improve your deliverability. It's not really the act of setting up the record that improves your deliverability. It just helps you, makes sure everything is, is operating as it should. So it's, it's always fun to get those questions. I'm like, well, I mean, not directly. Like, you're not going to all of a sudden, like, have your messages inbox just because you created a record. But yeah, doing every step helps to get to that end point.

00:18:16

Jonathan Torres: You got to know where you're sending from. Make sure that everything is authenticated, authenticated properly. And you know, it's one of those it's funny because I don't know, it always seems like whenever we have the conversations around, you know, DKIM, SPF, DMARC gets to make sure nobody is spoofing you, make sure that, you know, nobody's sending as you. And I think that, you know, things like this, do catch and help catch some of that? Like, there are definitely those times where there are instances of something like that happening, where somebody is trying to, you know, send as somebody else. And that's not great. But, yeah, setting up these protections, like helps out with even that. So, you know, throw it in there, make sure that it's all authenticated, all shored up. And it can be really, really good for somebody.

00:18:55

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. I mean, absolutely.

00:18:57

Nick Schafer: The whole idea of this is gaining trust. Right. You know, if someone is, like, trying to phish you, if you have, like, something like BIMI set up, like DMARC obviously helped. But BIMI like you start getting logos in front of  your customers, then they all of a sudden get a message. It doesn't have a logo, maybe it causes them to pause. So I mean that's the whole idea.

00:19:15

Eric Trinidad: So I think you touched on a point earlier Matt, actually about, you know, understanding like where these like how do they understand that the image that you said is actually you and how does that differ with BIMI?

00:19:28

Matt Vernhout: With regards to that, you have to be, you know, properly SPF authenticated, properly DKIM authenticated, you know, DMARC out of reject, or quarantine. So you're doing some type of enforcement against your domain and then using sort of the alignment of all the demands and the sender and who the from addresses are. That's where they'll pull the BIMI record from. So, you know, when you have your aligned DMARC records and you have your aligned BIMI, you know, that's where you're going to see your logo. If you have unalignment, you know, chances are this is going to be a lot harder to work with, so make sure if you're using a provider that you understand domain alignment and that they can help set something up.

00:20:08

Nick Schafer: I had something that just kind of crossed across my head. Have there been like? I'm an email nerd, data nerd, whatever you want to call it. I'm a nerd. But have there been any studies that have shown, like, you know, improvement from, you know, having logos or BIMI set up? That's something that I like to read case studies or any, any kind of data points.

00:20:31

Matt Vernhout: We just shared in the chat a link to the case study that was published on the email experience council's website around BIMI that showed improvement and clicks and opens and performance for a European branded retailer and how it impacted their messaging. So it certainly has a good impact, you know, over time. There's certainly a longevity to it as well. And we've seen that with some of our clients as well, where they published these records. And then, you know, metrics over time will, will grow and improve, you know, just using a limited, you know, view of just mail being sent to the Verizon media brands.

00:21:15

Nick Schafer: That's awesome. I think we mentioned something earlier, and this is like, you know, something that's kind of cool whenever you make changes, just things that you come to expect. Obviously, you know, with BIMI, you're going to expect to see logos. But we talked about DMARC for quite a bit. And if you're new to it, like the reports that you get from setting up DMARC are so rich with data, like you can see so many things they are, i'm not going to lie, they are a little overwhelming if you send a lot of volume out, like I know looking at the DMARC reports that we get for Mailgun domains, it's quite overwhelming at times, but it's really cool. I think that kind of stuff is really interesting just to understand your sources. So if you are going through this process, you know, and you get DMARC, set up. Yeah. Make sure you have everything set up and you have, you provide an address that you're able to access to get those reports and just look at what's going on. That's something that, you know, I know I'm weird, but I enjoy looking up.

00:22:20

Jonathan Torres: I feel like you're about to have a matrix moment where, you know, it's like you're looking at so much XML like after a while you don't even see the code.

00:22:26

Nick Schafer: Yeah, no it's true.

00:22:28

Eric Trinidad: There is no spoon.

00:22:30

Matt Vernhout: And that's yeah. That's certainly why it's important to work with, with a DMARC vendor in regards to being able to interpret the reports and understand what they, what they do. Right. It's certainly one of the products that we have in regard to interpreting and reporting on DMARC reporting. So taking that XML and turning it into something useful, you know, there are certainly lots of vendors around, but it's a product that I'm very passionate about. And, you know, as a company, we're very passionate about to, to get people set up and properly utilizing the standard.

00:23:05

Jonathan Torres: Yeah, yeah. And I mean, when we talk about, like I mean, getting back to like kind of BIMI and overall what does adoption look like. I mean, do we besides Yahoo. Like I mean, can we expect somebody else like Gmail to be jumping into the space like hopefully soon?

00:23:21

Matt Vernhout: Yeah, I think so. So, Microsoft is doing their own thing. Well, they're doing a verified sender icon. That, that is part of their, their business account services. It's something you have to apply to become part of. You know, we, we saw similar Microsoft initiative with SPF versus sender ID when that happened. So, you know, it'll be interesting to see long term if they choose to adopt BIMI or not or if they're going to continue to work on their own standard. There was conversation at the, the CSA event earlier this year that Google has interest in the BIMI working group and that they're going to be involved a bit there. So that's, that's a positive sign that, that Google is going to at least evaluate BIMI. And I think if you see Gmail pick up BIMI...

00:24:13

Nick Schafer: That's huge.

00:24:16

Matt Vernhout: You know, the, the adoption rate will be a pretty strong hockey stick. In the North East Direction.

00:24:22

Nick Schafer: Did you just use or hockey reference? You definitely are living in Canada.

00:24:29

Matt Vernhout: There you go. I got to get at least one hockey reference in every webinar right? They'll pull my citizenship.

00:24:37

Nick Schafer: You mentioned Google like I mean, if they were to adopt BIMI like that, I mean we said it's huge. It really is, because just take a look at your mailing list. If you're a sender, chances are that, you know, fifty percent or so of your list could be a little more, it could be a little less is Gmail. So, I mean, that's huge. That's definitely a reason to at least consider getting started with BIMI. And you know, again, DMARC hasn't been as the adoption hasn't been as fast as everyone had hoped, but these kind of reward systems, I think Matt mentioned earlier, it will push people in the right direction.

00:25:14

Jonathan Torres: Yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, since they had already done things with, like even the Google Plus before, you know, that's one of the things we had seen where it actually, you know, they did something similar to this where they displayed that kind of stuff in, you know, the current webmail platform and the current, you know, Gmail app. So great adoption into something else that's going to bring in that space. And, you know, rather than seeing those little fun initial bubbles like you, to see actually something that would be tangible to a company would be awesome.

00:25:42

Matt Vernhout: Yeah, right. And even the new Gmail annotation has a, you know, piece of BIMI, if you will. You can identify a logo that will show next to an annotation or one of their, you know, customized coupon type solutions that's now coming to Gmail as well. So the idea is sort of already there. This would just be on a larger scale, on an automated fashion.

00:26:10

Nick Schafer: Looks like we have some questions coming in. I was just reading through some of them to see, see what we got. See, here's a good one related to BIMI. I work for a car dealership with twenty two stores, send out massive amounts of campaigns daily. How could this work for us. So my, my biggest question to this and I don't know, maybe yall are thinking the same, but it's the domain I guess, being used for these different dealerships. Are they using their own domains because if so, I mean you set up obviously go through the DKIM, SPF, DMARC route and then BIMI for that domain and you can use the logos for each dealership and send out.

00:26:48

Jonathan Torres: Right. It all depends on how you're and when I see a question like that, it might... the first thing that pops into my head is how are your campaigns running right now? Is it you know, your brand is what you're doing through the car dealerships all coming out of, you know, a higher brand is, you know, a conglomerate of these car dealerships and everything is going out from this top level, you know, which makes it a completely different story, as if everybody has their own same domain, everybody sending out their own kind of stuff. And all the branding is different for each one of those. So, you know, if it's that... that later scenario and every single domain is sending out its own thing, everybody has its own brand, it does make it a lot more difficult. But it's still possible. You know, if everybody is sending all that message, all those emails, you know, for each one of these domains, because, you know, we talk about the high volume. Earlier, we talked about getting enough volume out there for BIMI to show up. We want to make sure that, you know, it's been hit on all those domains and that everything's properly authenticated for that stuff. So would you want to make sure that it's following all the same rules and for each one of those things, you know, we, we want to get it all on, on there and and set up correctly.

00:27:54

Matt Vernhout: You bring up, you bring up an interesting point around organizational domain versus subdomain versus brand domain as well. So both DMARC and BIMI have sort of a waterfall effect. So if you, you publish the record at the organizational domain. So you know the example mailgun.com, if you publish it at that level, it will actually catch any and every subdomain as well. So you will get reporting on, you know, DMARC reporting on subdomains of mailgun.com or .net and you'll start to see that type of information come in. BIMI works the same way, so organizationally... fall down the different sort of subdomains. What else is interesting about BIMI? You could actually subdomain differently so you could put a different logo on every subdomain if you chose to, and have one sort of a parental logo at the organizational domain and then sub brand logos beneath that individually. So a lot of it comes down to, like you said, how you set up your mail. Y.

00:28:55

Nick Schafer: Yeah, that's that's something that really interests me. Actually, whenever I was reading through BIMI in the documentation at RFC was, you know, the subdomain aspect and having different logos for different subdomains. I mean, I'm sure people marketers are thinking of different ways. I mean, you can run test, see which, which all of those may be performed better. And do you know, obviously this doesn't really account for transactional messages. It depends on, I guess, the volume, but doing different logos for different types of traffic. Something that I thought was interesting when reading through the documentation,.

00:29:31

Matt Vernhout: It could be as simple or as complicated.

00:29:33

Nick Schafer: I know whenever I went through and set it up, I just use the default. You just add a little default record and it covers you with the logo provided I did not want to make it that complex to start. It looks like that. That last thing we just touched on actually addressed a comment that came in after we just talked about the last question from, you know.

00:29:54

Eric Trinidad: And I think maybe we want to cover this earlier, but the last question here is what? What about example's adding a logo with a brand of identifier can be leveraged. What about brand colors, additional images, icons? How does that work?

00:30:11

Nick Schafer: Yeah, so, I mean, I like I mentioned briefly earlier, I just did a blog post a couple of days ago in that blog post. We actually show it before and after of what, like, it kind of looked like before the logo was in place. And I think it kind of depends. You may see, like, a little generic image. You may see initials depending on if you're using, like a mobile browser or mobile app, things like that. So it's there. And I know Matt's done some blog post over at 250OK, which will show similar before and afters.

00:30:43

Jonathan Torres: Yeah. And I mean there's, there's so many little things that are coming up and it's one of those things that also spreads out so vastly with all the different providers. Right. And I think Google is leading the way a lot on this. Not necessarily with BIMI yet. But, you know, when you talk about annotations like Matt had mentioned earlier, they can do so much within the platform. You can do so many things, getting promotional emails to look a certain way and to feel a certain way according to your brand and how you're doing that. But when you go outside of the Gmail platform, that's not really found a whole lot. So, you know, you've got to kind of go with the flow of everybody and set yourself up for success at as many different places as you can. And so, you know, they are currently not supporting the big platform just yet. But, you know, with Yahoo supporting that, that's one avenue that you can kind of shore up and, and make sure that things are looking good for you on the Yahoo side, you know, you're getting the marketplace, which is going to show up in a lot of different places and then doing, you know, things like the Google annotations and, you know, making things a little prettier for yourself in your email space. And it's all about, you know, finding those locations. And, you know, hopefully you get a chance to listen to people like us that we get to talk about those things every once in a while and kind of point you in the right direction. But, yeah, it's just it's a lot of different avenues and it's a lot to cover. But, you know, there's definitely some things you can do to kind of start going that direction.

00:31:58

Matt Vernhout: You know, you have Google, you have AMP now in email, you have Schema in email. You have annotations. BIMI. So all of these things are coming and it makes email hard. And I think that's my favorite hashtag, is, you know, email is hard, you know, because there are a lot of moving pieces. But, you know, I think if you can get BIMI set up and working well at the, you know, the Verizon own domains, when Gmail comes on board or if they come on board, it's already working. You've got the test case. You've proven that it works. You know, if Microsoft comes on board, then it's already working, it's already proven and the logos will start to show up. Those are... those are things you can look at and say, you know, do it once and it will continue to work as long as people follow the standard and keep implementing it.

00:32:51

Nick Schafer: Looks like this question. I think we already answered it, but I don't know if it came in before or after. But it's, can you confirm that the image can be different at the subdomain level? If we have different lines of businesses, each has their own branding. So, yeah, yeah.

00:33:06

Matt Vernhout: We,we currently have a client set up with subdomains versus corporate domain. So, you know, it's quite possible. It's just the record is at the subdomain level versus the organizational domain level.

00:33:19

Nick Schafer: Oh right. It looks like there is one more question. Do you guys know if there are any specific requirements from ISPs like Yahoo on the volumes required to qualify for BIMI? I work with a company in the UK and we've had a live BIMI record verified by Agari for around a week. But as of yet, Yahoo isn't showing the icon. We send around 500 emails, transactional and direct per day, though obviously not all to Yahoo users. Any idea what smaller companies like us can do to achieve full BIMI status?

00:33:54

Matt Vernhout: I have a few ideas whether they're 100 percent accurate or not. You know, there are sort of minimum volume requirements, even, like, with using Google postmaster tools. I think if you don't send a thousand messages a day to Google hosted domains, they don't show you data and the Google postmaster to also assume that that's a quality benchmark, at least right now, you know, a thousand messages a day to a specific domain. As a smaller sender? I think we're still early in adoption with BIMI. So, you know, currently it's set to sort of a higher value or sort of higher volume, I should say, brands. We may see those limits decrease or we may see over time as reputational metrics for smaller brands get more accurate. You will start to see that. You know, I don't have a direct answer because I obviously don't work on the Yahoo mail platform. But it's certainly something I think I could reach out and ask and then we could follow up somehow and see how smaller senders, the other thing that's important is really it's not meant for one to one messaging. So if you are looking sort of at that one to one personal email, you're likely not going to see it if that's a portion of the volume you're talking about. So we're looking at large corporate mailers first and then trickle down to the rest as we go. So I think that's what we'll expect.

00:35:25

Eric Trinidad: Well, recently you posted a video in regards to work with the postmaster at Verizon Media and very informational. Awesome to see Lily Crowley. So check it out if you haven't. It's definitely out there. Get some great information on getting through to Yahoo!

00:35:47

Nick Schafer: Yeah, it's really kind of nice to see, like, things that we can watch and read and listen to on the email side. I know I haven't been in the business quite as long as some, but I've been doing it for, you know, around six years and there wasn't a whole lot of information out there. But now, you know, we have the podcast that you guys are doing, which is great. 250ok has the email on tap series, which I think is, is phenomenal, which just had Lily on who Eric was talking about. So, yeah, it's really good if any of you are watching, you know, haven't seen those, go check them out for sure.

00:36:22

Jonathan Torres: Yeah, email's hard.

00:36:26

Matt Vernhout: I'm going to name my podcast that.

00:36:31

Nick Schafer: Uh oh, competition.

00:36:31

Eric Trinidad: As long as you can have us as guests on there then we’re totally fine.

00:36:36

Jonathan Torres: Yeah, it works. We're okay with that.

00:36:38

Matt Vernhout: Sure. Yeah.

00:36:39

Jonathan Torres: I think the big thing too is that, you know, email for such a long time and even still to this day, it feels like, like it's, it's the man behind the curtain. Right. Like there's so much mystery, so much things that we just don't know and understand 100 percent. You know, you want to get to that place where you just know exactly what everything is and exactly how to do things and exactly what I need to do to get in the inbox of somewhere. And we are never going to know that. But every time that curtain gets pulled back just a little bit and kind of get a glance into how things are working, what people are thinking about, you know, how we can be better as senders. Man, it's awesome. I love it. And I love what you guys are doing over there. Hopefully we are, you know, reaching some kind of standard for doing the same thing for people. But it's wonderful. It's wonderful to see that and the fact that people want to get better and do things better, do things correctly and man, email will live on.

00:37:32

Eric Trinidad: Yeah, for sure. I like this collaboration we've got going on. Hopefully we're going to do a lot more of it for sure. And if you, if you would like to know more, check out our blog posts, our documentation at mailgun.com. We'll post up some of that information. Matt, did you want to plug anything you got going on over there?

00:37:50

Matt Vernhout: I would just say check out 250OK, we have lots of different tools to help marketers do their jobs better. Monitor your inbox placement, monitor your DMARC reputation, analytics, all of those fun things. You know, it's a tool that a lot of platforms use and a lot of marketers used to just make everything better. Yeah, that's, that's our goal. Make email better. Really want to get rid of a lot of that sort of shady stuff in the industry.

00:38:16

Nick Schafer: What about make, email easier since email is hard.

00:38:28

Eric Trinidad: Well, like you said before, please look up our information. Mailgun.com, 250OK.com. Listen for our podcast, our next episode coming out soon. And until then, thank you, everybody. Appreciate your time.

00:38:41

Nick Schafer: Thanks, everyone.

00:38:42

Matt Vernhout: Thanks for having me.

00:38:43

Nick Schafer: Thanks for joining us, Matt.

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