With phishing, spoofing, and fraudulent emails on the rise, recipients are increasingly suspicious of messages in their inbox. It has become crucial to have more protection. To add another layer of email protection (and to build brand visibility), that’s where BIMI jumps in with it’s all new standards of protection and promises to take consumer confidence to the next level. Sounds goods, Let’s dig into details:
What is BIMI?
Brand Indicators for Message Identification is an emerging standard created to make it easier to get a brand’s logo displayed next to a message in the inbox. Not only will this help the brand visibility, but it is also a way to verify information about your brand.
Like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF—three methods for verifying sender information—BIMI is a text record that lives on the servers. In fact, it works right alongside SPF, DMARC, and DKIM to signal to email clients that your brand is yours and prevent fraudulent emails, and aid deliverability. It is different in that it also allows the company to display the company logo in supported inboxes, putting your brand front-and-center for subscribers.
How does BIMI enhance your brand’s protection?
Over the years there have been different methods of verifying senders and using logos, but the first formalized spec for BIMI was published in February 2019. The original creators have since formed the AUTH Indicators Working Group to formalize and promote BIMI throughout the industry.
Control over visibility: With BIMI, one has direct control over what logo is displayed—allowing the brand to keep control over brand and subscriber’s experience, creating trust in the process.
Benefit for both senders and recipients: For recipients, it would mean more safety since it will be able to prevent a lot of phishing scams while businesses will gain more visibility while saving up on their budget.
Over the last couple of years, the working group has been joined by the likes of Google, Fastmail, LinkedIn, Validity, Mailchimp, Verizon Media, SendGrid, and more.
How does it work?
Like other email authentication standards, BIMI is essentially a text file. That text file follows a specific format and lives on your sending servers.
When a message is delivered, the recipient’s email service looks up the text file and where it’s hosted to ensure that the message can be verified. Once verified, the file tells the email service where to find the sender’s logo, and the email service pulls that logo into the inbox.
Although the underlying concept of BIMI sounds simple, there are a few key things to keep in mind when setting up for a brand:
- It needs additional authentication records set up for BIMI to work, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
- It also requires access to your domain name servers to set up a new BIMI DNS entry.
- And lastly one must use an SVG file for the logo.
But, with major names like Google, Verizon Media, and Fastmail involved, it’s likely we’ll see more service providers joining the working group and pilot program over the coming years.
TRUST IS A MUST when emailing:
Like everything in email, it’s support is likely to change over time. BIMI is still in its infancy. While only a couple major email providers support it for now, it’s an interesting, relatively new standard that has the industry talking. The underlying goal of BIMI is to make it easy for subscribers to identify trustworthy email senders so they can have confidence in the content in their inbox. When subscribers see the brand’s logo, they can immediately trust that it’s an actual email and not a dangerous phishing attempt. Sure, the brand awareness of constantly seeing logos is nice, but the trust that comes along with those logos is where the actual trust is built.
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