With inboxes being filled with spam and scams, it can be difficult for customers to trust emails from businesses and individuals they don't know. To improve the chances of customers opening and clicking on emails, brands need to implement strategies that build trust and credibility in their email communication.
This guide will explore using Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) to build customer trust and improve your email marketing efforts.
What is BIMI?
BIMI is an emerging security technology that helps authenticate your email marketing and builds customer trust. BIMI works with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC protocols to protect your domain from being used by malicious actors to send fraudulent emails.
BIMI enables you to display your brand's logo alongside the emails you send. This helps your customers easily recognize that the email they are viewing is from your business. As a result, this increases trust and open rates by clearly marking your email as legitimate.
Why is BIMI Important?
For you as an email marketer, protecting your business against fraudulent activities is essential. However, ensuring secure email sending can be a complex and time-consuming process.
By using BIMI to authenticate your email marketing, you can:
Increase open rates and click-through rates by increasing trust in your emails;
Stand out from other emails in your recipients' inboxes by displaying your brand's logo next to your messages;
Protect your domain from being used by malicious actors to send phishing emails, damaging your brand reputation and leading to legal and financial consequences.
How Does It Work?
BIMI is a process that validates email messages by verifying that they are linked to the sender domain. This is done through a series of steps. To use BIMI, make sure your domain name system (DNS) records include a TXT record. This is necessary to authenticate the domain and enable BIMI.
Domains must have several other fraud protections in place, including Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to ensure email authenticity.
When emails are sent using BIMI, the receiving mail server will perform the standard DMARC/DKIM authentication and SPF validation. If the email passes these tests, the server will check to see if it has a valid BIMI record, validate it, and display your brand's logo.
How to Implement BIMI?
To implement BIMI, you must have a custom domain you own and control. You'll also need the necessary authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC) in place. Once those are set up, you'll need to create a BIMI file that contains your brand's logo in SVG format. You'll also need to publish a TXT record in your DNS that points to your BIMI file. Once everything is set up correctly, your logo will appear next to your email in your recipients' inboxes.
For your reference, the following are the key steps you need to take for BIMI implementation:
Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols;
Get a logo image that meets the criteria set by BIMI Group, including the following:
The logo must be in SVG (.svg) format;
The logo should be square-shaped with no additional text and centered in the image;
It should be stored using HTTPS;
The logo image should be at most 32 kb in size.
Trademark your logo and obtain a Verified Mark Certificate (if you intend to send emails to Gmail addresses).
Once you've completed all of the requirements, follow the BIMI implementation instructions provided by BIMI.
Please remember that Omnisend has no direct control over the Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) or the application of BIMI. If you have any queries or issues about BIMI implementation, it is best to contact BIMI Group directly.
Best Practices for BIMI Implementation
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when implementing BIMI ensure that:
Your logo file is in the correct format and size. BIMI requires logo files to be in SVG format and a specific size range (between 64x64 and 256x256 pixels). Make sure that your logo meets these requirements to ensure that it is displayed correctly.
Your logo is consistent with your brand's identity. Your logo should accurately represent your brand's visual identity, including its colors, fonts, and overall style.
The background of your logo should be a solid color that matches well with your logo. If unsure, you can use a white background to enhance your logo on any email client. Your logo should also be square-shaped and centered so that each email client can configure it according to their display specifications.
Your domain is properly authenticated. BIMI requires DMARC authentication at the "quarantine" or "reject" policy level. Ensure your domain is authenticated correctly using DMARC before attempting to implement BIMI.
Regularly monitor and maintain your BIMI implementation. Keep an eye on your BIMI implementation to ensure that your logo is being displayed correctly and that your email campaigns are not experiencing any issues as a result of your BIMI implementation.
Who supports BIMI?
BIMI is supported by various email providers, such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Apple Mail (for iOS16 and MacOS Ventura), and Fastmail. However, Microsoft products, including Outlook and Office 365, do not support BIMI, and there are no plans yet to do so.
How can I verify my BIMI record?
You can verify that your BIMI is working correctly and see if you have a BIMI logo by using a BIMI inspector tool such as BIMI Group's BIMI LookUp & Generator tool. This type of tool allows you to ensure that your BIMI record is discovered and see how your logo appears in different inboxes, including the Gmail app. Furthermore, you can examine how your competitors promote their brands using these tools.
By implementing BIMI, you can increase your recipients' trust in your emails, stand out from other emails in their inboxes, and protect your domain from being used by malicious actors. Following best practices and properly implementing BIMI can take your email marketing to the next level.