What is BIMI?
BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification and is a standard that associates a brand’s logo with an authenticated piece of email. BIMI gives brands an opportunity to reinforce their logo while building trust as a sender within their subscriber’s inboxes.
How does it work?
Like other email authentication standards, BIMI is a text record that lives on your domain’s DNS and includes the location of the brand’s logo, a square .SVG image.
To implement BIMI, both SPF and DKIM must be set up for the email domain, with DMARC deployed with a policy set to either reject or quarantine. This shows receivers that you are proactive about the types of emails your domain sends and that you’re mindful of your brand and your reputation as a trusted sender.
Additionally, you’ll need to follow good deliverability practices and cultivate a healthy, engaged subscriber list with good email open rates. Your practices will determine if a receiver decides to display your BIMI-based logo as it is up to the email receiver if your logo is to be displayed. For a broader discussion on deliverability as a key concern for today’s marketers, you can read this piece by dmarcian Strategic Alliances Manager Victor Minev.
How to get ready for BIMI.
BIMI is relatively new and doesn’t have a high adoption rate today; as of December 2019, the only email client supporting it is Yahoo. However, Gmail has announced that they will pilot the technology in 2020.
The two important factors for deploying BIMI are having a DMARC policy in place (set to either p=reject or p=quarantine) and maintaining a good reputation as a sender (via a high engagement rate with low bounce and spam complaints). Although reputation can be subjective depending upon the individual receiver, having the underpinning technologies of DMARC (SPF and DKIM) in place shows the world that you are serious about your domain’s reputation and contributes to building your reputation as a sender.
To prepare for BIMI, make sure you have reached DMARC compliance at p=reject or p=quarantine. DMARC is not only a prerequisite for BIMI, but is a foundational security protocol that future domain security initiatives will continue to be built upon. Mailkit has an excellent BIMI inspector that will let you check the status of your BIMI progress.