What’s BIMI? How Can it Help in Boost Your Email Deliverability?

By Bunyemiya Sambo

The degree of exposure to public notice is a constant priority in email marketing which will eventually lead to email deliverability. Over 270 million emails are being sent on a daily basis, so it is very important you distinguish yourself from your competition and put yourself in front of your target audience or potential clients before your competition does!

 

There is no solution to provide you with ultimate visibility. Only a set of techniques and guidelines that you constantly have to follow up to stay on the top. 

 

Recently, there is a new update to keep in mind because DNS added BIMI to its information verifying features.

 

In the past, we have seen the best practice for senders to authenticate their emails using SPF and DKIM. Several senders are also enabling DMARC to solidify their email security.

 

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (also known as BIMI) is one of the spanking new technologies that plays an important role in email makeover.

It is rare for subscribers to check through email headers for authentication. It is expected of them to think the mail providers have been through emails being sent to them, thus people still fall victims of internet scams, email phishing and spoofing which cause a huge decline in email trust between companies and customers. 

Is that correct?

Yes, right?

Buckle up! Because we’ll be going through this new technology in this guide. But before that, what is BIMI?

What Is BIMI?

BIMI stands short for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. This new feature allows your recipients to see your logo next to your incoming email in their inbox.

BIMI also establishes the fact that the email is authentic without requiring any internal checks to prevent any fraudulent emails by adding an additional layer of authentication. “BIMI displays your logo beside your emails to your email subscribers – which boosts brand trust!”

 

It’s a new standard that allows you to support your visibility and prevent fraud by senders who don’t comply with the SPAM-CAN act. BIMI is also said to be a 2.0 version of DMARC, It works together with DMARC, DKIM, and SPF so the email service providers of your recipients would identify you correctly and let your messages be displayed in the inbox.

 

BIMI is a visual verification, subscribers can identify and trust the messages you send. They can simply glance through their emails and know which is from what brand. 

 

Get the idea?

 

But why should I care? 

Basically TRUST!

Because BIMI is the very FIRST email identification technique that is visible to the recipient. Think of BIMI as a digitized passport, business card or even a driver’s license specifying “who I am” at the checkpoints or anywhere necessary.

You may be thinking several people fake passports, YES! For sure they do, they are not 100% guaranteed but will certainly help in getting your email delivered to Inbox.

I will rather prefer to see a company’s logo in my email than an email header with question marks, which I would be deliberating on clicking the email sent.

 

Not all emails sent without logos are fraudulent or SPAM mails but are simply companies which haven’t used BIMI (or don’t even know what it is yet).

 

Moreover, BIMI improves email deliverability via brand recognition from the user’s end and also makes your recipient trust you, something that has never been done before. Email marketers or brands do not have the need to worry because it has an extra advantage in authentication by the additional layer of authentication.

So it’s a win-win situation for both parties!

 In a nutshell BIMI provides you with:

  • Authentication

  • Trust

  • Improved deliverability

  • Prevents fraud

Now for this guide, we’ll be walking you through a step by step process on how you can set up BIMI for your brand.

How to Actually Set-Up BIMI for Your Business (step by step)

The location of the image file is also stored and it must be an SVG file. These two things are difficult to duplicate hence BIMI is said to be a safe method to protect brand image and authenticity.

 

Note that you will need SPF and DKIM in place before these steps. 

 

If you need help with that, speak to your ESP or you can simply contact us here to help you out. 

 

But, here’s a breakdown:

  • Step 1: Design a Logo. 
  • Step 2: Setup DMARC and Ensure it Runs Smoothly. 
  • Step 3: Create a BIMI record
  • Step 4: Update Your DNS Record with Your Hosting Company.

Step 1: Create a Logo

In creating your logo for your brand, you should ensure that you do not have an overwhelming design, the format and necessities of BIMI features is being implemented.
 
You should showcase the essence of your brand to your recipient at the other end which will aid in email deliverability.
 
Note, that you shouldn’t use the logo developed for your general marketing campaigns. 
 
You must use an SVG file for your logo.
 
Logo(s) should be simple and minimal in terms of design. Several brands fail to understand and implement this in creating logos for their brands.

Step 2: Set-Up DMARC Ensure it Runs Smoothly

As mentioned earlier, BIMI is considered a 2.0 version of DMARC, so it is basically the extension of DMARC.

 

If it does not function as expected, you won’t be able to integrate BIMI. The BIMI standard won’t work if you use the “p=none” DMARC policy.

 

After setting up DMARC policy at enforcement; set to either “p=quarantine” or “p=reject”.

Step 3: Create BIMI Record

To create a BIMI record, you first of all have to have other authentications records which are SPF, DKIM, DMARC and also an access to the domain name service you operate with.
The process of creating a BIMI record is similar to creating other DNS records. All the tags for BIMI are similar to the DKIM tags, so make sure to follow instructions closely.
Using the wrong characters, it will result in an incorrect interpretation. Your task is to build a pathway to the image file with your SVG logo.
In case your image file is not located in a location that can be accessed with HTTPS, you should add the URL of this location to your BIMI Assertion record.
  • You must publish your record in a “default._bimi” zone. You can find it under the second-level domain. The contents look the following way — “v=BIMI1”.
  • This string is then followed by; which is sometimes accompanied by space.
The l= tag points to the URL with the HTTPS-accessible SVG image file that contains your brand’s logo.
The end result should look like this:
v=BIMI1; default._bimi.example.com TXT. 

Step 4: Update Your DNS record and get Verified Mark Certificate. 

 

If you did everything correctly, your BIMI record is now active. Thus, a new type of digital certificate will be used to certify that the logo used by BIMI is authentic and belongs to the sender.
This certificate is called a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) and it will soon be made obligatory for all BIMI records.
The current plan is for Verified Mark Certificates to be mandatory for BIMI to be activated on a domain. VMC plays a key role :
  • It validates your organization and associates it with your official logo.
  • It prevents phishers and spammers from displaying official logos next to their emails.
  • It prohibits misuse of your company’s logo.
  • The domain or subdomain are been registered with DNS (Domain Name System)
  • The emails are SPF, DKIM and DMARC compliant and are also setup
  • The brand domain should have a good deliverability
You should also put in mind that BIMI would not be implemented until you’ve undergone these processes. Which are;

 

 

Will BIMI Guarantee 100% Deliverability?

You may be thinking…
 
“YES I’VE SCORED A HIGH CHANCE OF EMAIL DELIVERABILITY!!”
 
Well, I am sorry to burst your bubble with a hard BIG BANGING NO!
 
BIMI doesn’t reassure you with 100% deliverability. Rather, it improves your chances of getting a higher deliverability.
 
Why’s that so?
 
It’s simply because of the additional layer of security BIMI provides, plus it minimizes the risk of your emails going to spam folders, hence it may increase the possibility of your emails going to inbox. But it can never guarantee that the mails which are BIMI enabled will always land in your inbox folder. Put in mind, BIMI is being implemented because of its need to have a good deliverability. 
 
For this, you’re required to have a good domain and IP address plus a good engagement. In order to obtain this, you shouldn’t only pinpoint your focus on just the IP address which is where most people get it wrong!  Focus both on your IP address and domain. 
“Put in mind that you can’t get a good reputation without having a domain”
The reason why nothing can guarantee a 100% yet is because of the protocols and upgrade in algorithm of email service providers (ESP) settings are always changing and improving causing you not to have the 100% assurance of deliverability.
For subscribers also having to unsubscribe from your email list and also engaging in customizing their spam folder cause also kick you out of the inbox.
Let’s face it, even if you have a high IP and domain reputation, your emails might still land in spam in Gmail as the email deliverability will depend on multiple factors. 
Here, your brand indicator will appear next to your emails at Verizon Media Group (Yahoo/AOL) and other mailbox providers have announced intentions to adopt in the near future.

HOW CAN BIMI HELP OUR BRAND ?

BIMI has several benefits which thrives to the goal of having higher chances of being in the inbox folder. It is indeed an amazing tool, when implemented it provides:

  • Recognition of your brand , thus decreasing the chances of being marked as SPAM. It brings awareness and it helps your subscribers to be constantly reminded of your brand.

  • Recognition of your brand , thus decreasing the chances of being marked as SPAM. It brings awareness and it helps your subscribers to be constantly reminded of your brand.

  • Security: mailbox providers will have a certified authority to trust on brand logos.

  • Security: mailbox providers will have a certified authority to trust on brand logos.

  • With the visibility of your brand’s logo, it will elevate the user experience or trust in the engagement of your mail.

  • With the visibility of your brand’s logo, it will elevate the user experience or trust in the engagement of your mail.

Why Should Email Marketers Care About BIMI?

As we all know, diving through this post we know that BIMI is a 2.0 email makeover and it’s here to stay!!
BIMI is a new method that showcases your brand to your target audience for free. Other mailbox providers are yet to implement the use of BIMI.
 
But come to think of it, as an email marketer, it is important to adopt the use of  BIMI as it is a new method that being adopted recently and to your advantage you can implement it and have a free visibility to your subscribers against your competitors.
 
Engagement with your target audience / subscribers list and also trust are the two most important tools in successful email marketing. 
 
Imagine having the trust and engagement goal you aim at, with BIMI you can have all that because it brings the trust and responsiveness you aim for from the end user. BIMI helps in visibility as well as security. 

The Secret of Implementing BIMI for Email Senders.  

Every brand that indulges in email marketing aiming at deliverability, needs to make their brand’s logo noticeable, outstanding and also conspicuous. 
 
Lest you forget that BIMI has an additional layer of email authentication that works in such a way that your email security is complete before your email even hits the recipient mailbox.
 
Having done that your logo will be certified by VMC (Verified mark certificate) which ensures your brand’s logo is secured and your  brand security is a key benefit.
 
After all this we are good to go!
 
Your brand’s logo is secure and the safety of your brand to reach your recipient is safe and trusted. So you have no worries trying to stress over being forged by any fraudster.

What other benefits does BIMI have?

Asides helping in free visibility of your brand logo, an improvement in deliverability and engagement with recipients, BIMI also plays a role in social media marketing and branding.

 

How, you say?

 

With the help of BIMI the presence of social media branding and marketing will be acknowledged and eventually increase with engagement as proposed. 

 

Enabling BIMI will drive good engagement which in-turn could result in improved email deliverability. We are aware that engagement from your users on your emails is monitored by mailbox providers. 

 

The more engagement you receive, the more improved your deliverability is!

 

Your sending acts will still matter to the mailbox providers to allow your emails into the inbox. But the bad stuff like spam complaints, fluctuations in reputation will matter a lot as long as you are in the engaging process with your recipient.

 

As mentioned, enabling BIMI will not necessarily guarantee good inboxing, but instead, it will start a chance of positive engagement and improved domain hygiene, which could only indicate good things to follow with ESPs.

 

To get started, you can take the following steps on how to set up BIMI. 

 

For more information you and visit BIMI.org

 

Before you go…

 Was this post helpful? 

 

What is your take on BIMI? 

 

Can it boost your email deliverability and email marketing?

 

Kindly leave a comment and tell us what’s your take on BIMI.

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