Brand Indicators for messages Identification (BIMI) is a new security technique that allows you to authenticate your marketing emails and establish trust with your clients. BIMI is compatible together with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC protocols to guard the domain you own against being used by malicious hackers to send out the fake email. It displays your logo alongside your messages within a user’s inbox, ensuring that your contact list and their email service are aware that these messages are from your company or you.
BIMI offers an extra layer of security to email security while generating brand awareness. It’s a fairly new method of establishing email authentication to stop branding fraud (when fraudsters impersonate brands to obtain sensitive information about users). This technique is slowly growing in popularity with email marketers because it builds credibility between the business and the potential customer or prospect.
Email marketers are constantly finding ways and methods to be more effective and grow their subscriber base naturally. Because visibility is important and every business would like to see their emails open, BIMI technology is an important step for every company to reach the inbox and be noticed. BIMI email authentication helps to identify genuine emails. How? Learn more in this article.
What is BIMI?
BIMI is a shorthand for Brand Indicators to message identification. It can be a means for a company to display its logos on the client’s email. We could initially imagine it as the avatars, initials, and senders’ names.
As opposed to other well-known email security, BIMI is a simpler method of identifying your brand. Still, it is difficult to replicate by criminals and focuses on your target audience and customers.
It has also been proven to be an excellent aid in improving the deliverability of an organization. It is a powerful way to build the trust of consumers and improve the experience for your customers, which is something we should aim to keep.
Regarding technicality, BIMI is a DNS record responsible for the logo to be used to portray the company’s name in the email inbox after having been authenticated by SPF, DKIM, and DMARC policy. These three systems validate the sender’s details and collaborate with BIMI to alert clients of email that you’re an authentic email domain.
What’s the reason BIMI is crucial for your business?
BIMI can benefit both the receiver and those who send it. It allows recipients to identify and establish trust in your company’s name when they read your messages. It’s beneficial for your company since it lowers the risk of people unsubscribing and being considered spam by the users. The risk of scams and fraud is reduced due to this additional layer of security and increased security. A bonus is your email being noticed due to your logo being displayed as an avatar.
The BIMI framework works to guard against fraudulent senders who spoof logos for brands. It assists users in recognizing and identifying messages that are safe and increases the credibility of your brand. It is not just about safeguarding yourself but also the person receiving it, which is a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Organizations that hold sensitive information, like banks, social media platforms, and government websites, want to gain from BIMI.
Inboxes can be a mess! Even genuine emails from trusted brands are lost in the mass of junk mail. This is the reason why BIMI assists in making your email stick out like an unwelcome thorn (but in a positive way). Your brand logo on the inbox prompts users to click on the emails, which directly affects the opening rate. Below is a picture showing how an inbox appeared before and after BIMI. We can all decide which email looks more credible to open.
What is BIMI? BIMI function?
BIMI employs a multi-step process to verify email messages by verifying that they’re linked to an email sender’s address. The sender must have a TXT entry in the domain name system (DNS) records to use BIMI.
For BIMI to function, domains need to be protected from fraud by having other safeguards in place, such as:
“Sender Policy Framework (SPF): authenticates email by identifying mail servers that can send emails from certain domains.
DomainKeys Identified (DKIM): adds a digital signature to each email. (DKIM) Adds an electronic signature to each email to confirm that the email was sent from an authorized domain.
Domain-Based message authentication, reporting, and Compliance (DMARC) confirms the validity of both SPF and DKIM documents and clarifies how non-aligned emails are handled.
If emails are sent via BIMI, the email server first runs the normal DMARC/DKIM authentication and the SPF verification. If the email does pass these tests, the server will test to determine if it’s an authentic BIMI record, verify that it is valid, and display your brand’s logo.
The logo’s file must be in a specific format, called SVG Tiny Secure/Portable. SVG is a shorthand for Scalable Vector Graphics. Graphics that are vector, in contrast to pixels-based graphics such as JPGs or GIFs, define an image’s visual shape and elements using lines and points. This makes the image flexible and easy to utilize in different dimensions. A vector image that is in this format is a way to ensure that your logo is attractive any time it’s displayed via BIMI.
Which Services Support BIMI?
Because BIMI is rolling out and supported, but it is not all-inclusive. However, some of the most popular services have already rolled out support for BIMI, such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Fastmail, and Apple Mail in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura.
The likelihood of seeing the BIMI logo within your inbox is an issue altogether. Many brands aren’t fully on board, but the impact of companies like Google and Apple on pushing the adoption and making consumers aware of the technology is unquestionable.
The majority of the discussion about BIMI has (so so far) focused on marketers, brands, and the IT professionals involved in the rollout of the standard. Google has explained how BIMI’s rollout functions within Gmail inside Google Workspace.
While support at the beginning is only available for Google Workspace, the release will give a good idea of what BIMI will look like in Gmail on desktop and mobile applications.
Google has taken Bank of America as an illustration and has the view showing how logos of brands appear automatically on both inbox and messages views. Be aware that Google lets senders show images in conjunction with emails in their profile. However, this isn’t as effective as BIMI.
Although Apple has also launched BIMI in conjunction with the launch of iOS 16, iPad 16, and macOS 13 Ventura, we could not find BIMI-certified logos for brands in Apple Mail (even in the case of Apple using an account with an iCloud Mail Account).
Yahoo! Mail is also on the BIMI bandwagon and has been able to support the standard since. Then, in November of 2022, Yahoo announced it would be expanding its support with verification checks “next to the email address and logo to signify that Yahoo has confirmed whether the message was sent out by the company with the logo that is displayed.”
How BIMI helps email marketers
When fraud and email fraud are increasing, email marketers must adopt measures to keep building the trust of their customers.
The main goal behind BIMI is to help users recognize legitimate email senders so they can be confident about the contents of their inboxes. Suppose your logo is displayed alongside your messages within their supported inboxes. In that case, they can immediately be sure that the email is legitimate from you (and isn’t a fraudulent attempt to phish). Sure, the brand’s recognition of being constantly exposed to logos is great; however, the trust associated with the logos is where the magic takes place.
Although it’s up to you to establish a connection with your customers by offering added value to your email marketing campaigns, BIMI helps you build the trust required to get your message into the inbox.
BIMI is also beneficial to the delivery of your emails. Because a lot of modern-day delivery depends on authenticity and reputation rather than the content itself, BIMI can provide a different way to boost your chances of getting to the inbox.
As we’ve seen previously, BIMI requires other authentication protocols to be installed. If a brand is not using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, The desire to utilize BIMI to get their logos noticed by users will make them use the most effective authentication methods. All of these authentication methods will allow easier delivery and increase the sender’s reputation all-around.
BIMI to email can be a fantastic option to enhance security and delivery speed. It allows brands to show their logos in their customers’ inboxes, increasing confidence and branding awareness. BIMI refers to Brand Indicators for Message Identification and requires brands to use solid email authentication and, in particular, DMARC with the policy of ‘quarantine’ or “reject as it provides solid security to your domain and ensures that recipients can see they are sending from a legitimate source.
BIMI is supported by Verizon media, Google, and Fastmail, and the adoption rate is increasing. It is possible to take the first step toward BIMI today by adopting DMARC using the GlockApps DMARC Analyzer. You’ll get 10 000 credits free in exchange for DMARC-capable messages each year, and with our dedicated assistance team, you will find it much easier to reach the most secure level of protection.