Email Marketing

BIMI: the emerging email standard that marketers need to adopt

Lana Chu
Account Manager

As the newest member of Data Axle's Inboxable team, Lana is responsible for ensuring successful outbound email deployment and optimal email inbox placement for our clients. She continuously works with clients to provide exceptional customer service, email campaign strategy, and efficient issue resolution in email deliverability. Lana's experience with digital marketing has encompassed multiple industries, from retail to financial institutions.

1

What is BIMI?

BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) is an emerging email standard that allows businesses to display their brand logo within consumer inboxes for authenticated emails. It gives email inbox providers a standardized way to confirm your brand’s identity and pull your brand logos into their platforms and their users’ inboxes.

 

BIMI is built upon DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) standards for authentication. It is a text record that is published on your DNS (domain name system).

To explain the process simply, when your brand sends an email, the inbox provider (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) checks for your DMARC policy. If the email passes authentication, the provider uses your BIMI text record to locate your brand logo and display it on their platform.

2

Why does it matter to email marketers?

BIMI can help marketers attain four goals:

  • Protecting your brand reputation
  • Ensuring your emails land in the inbox
  • Improving engagement
  • Boosting brand trust & recognition

 

BIMI helps protect subscribers (and the brand) from fraudulent emails, phishing, and spoofing by using authentication protocols to confirm that the email is coming from a legitimate source. This can be particularly important for businesses in industries vulnerable to spoofing and phishing – like the medical industry, banking, etc.

When subscribers see your logo in the inbox, it is an easy visual cue that tells them the message is authentic and safe to open. In addition, including your logo next to your emails provides a more engaging inbox experience for your subscribers, allowing you to connect with them in a more meaningful way while boosting deliverability.

Finally, BIMI brands can benefit from the attention-grabbing bonus of having their logo displayed prominently in the inbox.

3

Which email clients support BIMI?

BIMI is an emerging practice, so not all email clients have adopted it at this point, and the list of participants can change quickly. However, many of the big players are either piloting BIMI or are in some phase of rolling it out. As of the beginning of 2021, Verizon Media Group (AOL/Yahoo), Comcast, Fastmail, and Gmail support BIMI, some with a limited rollout that is open to specific test brands.

Source: BIMIgroup.org

4

How is it set up?

Only brands that authenticate emails using DMARC can take advantage of BIMI’s benefits. This means that, before setting up your BIMI records and brand logos, you will want to adjust your domain settings to comply with authentication best practices and email providers’ requirements.

To implement BIMI, you will need to:

  • Authenticate your emails using SPF (Send Policy Framework), DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and DMARC
  • Update your DMARC policy – Only policies set to “Quarantine” or “Reject” can enable BIMI
  • Create a BIMI-compatible logo; a square-shaped SVG (scaled vector graph) file
  • Publicly host your logo on a secure URL
  • Verify your logo by requesting a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). This is a digital certification that confirms the authenticity of your BIMI compatible logo and is currently required by Google/Gmail
  • Publish a BIMI text record on your DNS (domain name system)

Learn more about deliverability strategies in our new Email Deliverability Guide.

Ready to hop on the BIMI wagon? Contact us! We’d love to help.