Email marketers are constantly looking for an additional trick to improve the visibility of their email campaigns in the inbox of their recipients (in order to optimize, among other things, their opening rate and the other emailing KPIs). If there is no miracle solution, the BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) standard can be useful to you! Here’s everything you need to know about it (and how to implement it in your business).
BIMI in email marketing, what is it?
Have you ever noticed that some brands manage to display their logo next to their emails in the inbox (and some don’t)? The logo that appears is known as the “ verified sender logo ”.
To put it simply, the BIMI allows you to display a sender logo next to your messages in your recipients’ inboxes .
“BIMI is an emerging email specification that allows the use of brand-controlled logos in email clients that support it. –BIMI
Who is behind BIMI?
The companies behind the BIMI Group are well known, they are none other than Google, Mailchimp, Fastmail, Validity, proofpoint, Valimail, Yahoo and Sendgrid (Twilio).
How does BIMI work?
Like other email authentication standards, BIMI is essentially a text file. This text file follows a specific format and is located on your sending servers.
When a message is delivered, the recipient’s messaging service checks the BIMI text file and where it is hosted to ensure that the message can be verified. Once verified, the BIMI file tells the courier where to find the sender’s logo, and the courier shows that logo in the inbox.
Why is BIMI important?
BIMI can help improve your brand’s visibility, build brand recognition and build trust.
It was originally created to help mailboxes better detect fraudulent emails. In a world where phishing and email scams are on the rise every year, building trust with your newsletter subscribers is imperative.
BIMI is a way to verify your brand information . Like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF, three methods of verifying sender information, BIMI is a text record that sits on your servers . In fact, it works alongside SPF, DMARC, and DKIM to signal to email clients that you are you. As such, BIMI also contributes to deliverability .
Although a number of email clients are already trying to get your logo to appear in the inbox, you currently don’t have much control over what logo or imagery they collect. With BIMI, on the other hand, you have direct control over the logo that is displayed, allowing you to maintain control of your brand and the experience of your subscribers, while creating an atmosphere of trust .
Different methods for verifying senders and using logos have been around for years, but the first formal specification for BIMI was released in February 2019 .
The original creators have since formed the AuthIndicators Task Force to formalize and promote BIMI throughout the email marketing industry.
Over the past two years, the task force has been joined by companies like Fastmail, Google, Mailchimp, Proofpoint, Twilio SendGrid, Validity, Valimail, and Verizon Media (which owns Yahoo Mail).
What are the 2 main benefits of BIMI for email marketers?
1- Build trust in the brand
In a world where phishing and email scams are on the rise, it’s imperative that email marketers take steps to continually build trust with their subscribers.
The underlying purpose of BIMI is to make it easy for subscribers to identify trusted email senders so they can have confidence in the content of their inbox. When subscribers see your logo next to your messages in supported inboxes, they can immediately believe it’s a real email from you (and not a dangerous phishing attempt) ). Sure, brand recognition through the constant presence of logos is nice, but it’s the confidence that comes with those logos that’s magic.
While it’s still your responsibility to build a relationship with your subscribers by delivering value to your email campaigns, BIMI helps you build the foundational trust needed to reach the inbox.
2- Optimize the deliverability of your emails
BIMI can also be beneficial for your email deliverability. Since much of modern deliverability is based on authentication and reputation – rather than the content of the email itself – BIMI will provide another mechanism to improve your chances of arriving in the email. mailbox.
As we have seen in this article, BIMI requires other authentication protocols to be properly configured. For brands that don’t use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, the desire to use BIMI to get their logos out to subscribers will require them to follow authentication best practices. Combined, all of these authentication methods will result in more reliable deliverability and better sender reputation overall.
Which email providers support BIMI?
BIMI support includes several major mailbox providers (ISPs), such as:
- Verizon Media Group (Yahoo (except Yahoo Japan), AOL, Netscape);
- Apple Mail (since June 2022);
- Google Workspace;
- The post office.
Other mailbox software plans to support BIMI soon, here is a non-exhaustive (and evolving) list:
- Yahoo Japan;
Which mailbox providers do not support BIMI?
To date, Microsoft Outlook does not support BIMI (and does not plan to support it soon).
How to set up the BIMI?
Want to set up BIMI for your own emails? You can consult the dedicated BIMI group implementation guide here: https://bimigroup.org/implementation-guide/
Some frequently asked questions about BIMI
(This is a French version of the official FAQ of the BIMI group which can be found here ).
How does BIMI work?
Domain (brand) owners publish brand assertions for domains through the DNS.
Then, for any email message received by a mailbox provider, the mailbox provider authenticates the message. If the message passes authentication, the mailbox provider queries DNS to find a matching BIMI record. If a BIMI record is present, the mailbox provider may use the brand (logo) for the display of this message in the inbox.
NOTE: Each participating mailbox provider has its own criteria for determining when a domain’s BIMI logo can be displayed. Please see the BIMI Senders FAQ for more information.
How will BIMI support for Apple work?
If you already have BIMI set up, you won’t need to change anything, it will work the same way. According to BIMI, we can expect it to be available in fall 2022 on MacOS/iOS16.
However, according to Postmark’s first tests on the iOS16 beta, brand logos will not be displayed next to the email in the inbox. They will be displayed after opening the email.
How to set up the BIMI?
Although the underlying concept of BIMI seems simple, there are a few key elements you will need to set up BIMI:
- Authentication of your emails with SPF, DKIM and DMARC.
- Access to your domain name servers to configure a new BIMI DNS entry.
- An SVG file of your logo
- A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), optional but recommended.
Although not all mailbox vendors support BIMI yet, others will likely do so in the future, especially due to the tightening of email privacy protections. This is an emerging standard (as of 2019) that is still under development, but implementing it now will help protect the privacy of your email program.
Like everything in email, support for BIMI is subject to change over time. But, with the participation of big names like Google, Verizon Media, and Fastmail, it’s likely other service providers will join the task force and pilot program in the years to come.
Is there an example of an SVG logo compatible with BIMI?
Yes, here is an official one: https://gostart.biz/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/localimages/bimi-sq.svg
Why should I use BIMI?
Matching your brand logo to an email is a challenge, and there are hundreds of thousands of brand and logo combinations. In the absence of a standardized way to discover and publish each brand’s preferred logo, each mailbox provider or messaging interface (MUA) wishing to display logos must create a unique system for managing and displaying logos. logos. The result is complex proprietary systems that are difficult to maintain and often leave brands frustrated with the logos associated with their emails. BIMI helps standardize the display of logos for participating organizations.
Where will my BIMI logo currently render?
Currently, your BIMI logo will generally appear next to your email address in the message display of the email client. Some email clients also display the logo in the list view.
Why should I implement BIMI?
BIMI allows brands to have control over the logos displayed with their emails. It is important to know that BIMI is not a security solution in itself, although it does require the use of strong email authentication solutions. BIMI allows mailbox providers to use your brand logo to display in their email interface.
What are the specifications of the logo that will be displayed via the BIMI?
To be used in association with BIMI, the logo must be formatted in such a way that it is recognizable as associated with the brand, displays easily at various resolutions and includes features that allow for verification and security.
The logo must be square, must be saved as a version of the Scaled Vector Graphic (SVG) format. Specifically, the SVG logo must adhere to the restrictions defined by the Tiny Portable/Secure SVG Profile, as written by the BIMI Working Group. The logo cannot include tags