2020 has seen growth in the adoption of the up-and-coming email authentication standard known as Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI – pronounced Bih-mee). Looking for an easier way to embed your brand’s logo within supporting email clients while improving deliverability and preventing fraudulent emails? Then you need BIMI, and Symplify can get you there. 

If you’re already familiar with BIMI jump straight to the Setup, Tips and Tricks section of the Symplify website, and let’s get you started. Want to know more? This BIMI primer’s for you.

Why should you implement BIMI? 

You’re competing for very precious inbox space. Getting into an inbox is a challenge for even the most experienced email marketers. What’s more, you’re in fierce competition for your customer’s attention. Every opportunity to stand out from the crowd is an advantage. That’s where BIMI comes in. 

As the AuthIndicators Working Group states:  “BIMI leverages the work an organization has put into deploying DMARC protection, by bringing brand logos to the customer’s inbox.”

✔ BIMI allows you to create a consistent brand image across email clients and services

✔ Implement BIMI correctly, and your logo will display prominently. Your emails will stand out, and no one will confuse your emails with your competitors’ ever again.

✔ BIMI adds a level of confidence and trust by validating your identity as the sender. Increase that level of confidence, and you’ll increase the likelihood that your email’s recipients will trust and interact with your brand.

First step : DMARC implementation

Ready for your emails to display your brand logo thanks to the BIMI standard? Your email must first pass DMARC authentication checks to ensure that your brand’s domain has not been impersonated. If you master DMARC (“Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance”), you already know how important a role it plays when it comes to protecting your reputation from the threat of spoofing and phishing.  

Haven’t implemented DMARC yet? There’s no time like the present! For more information on how to implement DMARC start here.

Barriers to successful implementation

If you have DMARC setup and your reputation with participating providers is in good standing, you should see successful implementation. However, if your reputation isn’t perfect and certain technical requirements are not met, you may not be accepted into the BIMI family even if the validation tools tell you that everything is OK. 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Your reputation. Passing the test of a BIMI validation tool does not mean instant acceptance by mailbox providers. Simply put, if you’re not in good standing with the mailbox providers you may not be accepted. Even the best senders can encounter reputational problems in their lifetime. Ensure your email program and practices all follow best practices. Resolve any reputational issues before implementing BIMI. 
  2. BIMI logos must be in SVG format. BIMI’s SVG image file format is very particular. According to the BIMI working group, current tools like Adobe Illustrator do not generate SVG files in the correct format. Unfortunately, validation tools will pass you even if your SVG file format is incorrect, so the onus is on you to ensure your logo is compliant.

Once the above is handled correctly, use a testing tool to validate your setup. (See available testing tools below). You should be able to see the results in the inbox. You are now BIMI compliant!

It should be noted that BIMI is not yet universally supported. Verizon (AOL, Yahoo) currently supports BIMI across systems, while Google only launched its BIMI pilot in July. Google does require a certified logo to be part of the pilot.  We expect morel mailbox providers will confirm their participation by the end of 2021.

Bonus Insight: Logo Certification

While considering your BIMI setup, it’s advisable to keep the move towards “verified mark” logos in mind. DigiCert, a company known mostly for TLS and SSL certificates, is launching a logo/mark certification process. This will allow companies with trademarks on their logos to apply for a digital certificate that will validate the authenticity and ownership of the logo. It’s still too early to tell if this will be adopted widely, or only by large companies willing to invest in this costly certification process. 

At this point it is hard to say what kind of impact BIMI compliance will have on overall Open and Conversion rates. Have you seen changes (good or bad)?  I’d really like to hear from you.