Jul 12, 2021

Google launches BIMI. Here’s how to take advantage.

BIMI Valimail Amplify

As a member of the Authindicators Working Group, Valimail has been an active participant in the development of the BIMI protocol, adding to its already burnished credentials through its work developing the DMARC protocol.

As of July 12, 2021 we are happy to announce that BIMI availability has taken a big leap forward as Google has announced general support for BIMI in its Gmail product. Gmail’s support, along with the support of other mailbox providers such as Verizon Media’s Yahoo! Mail, means that there are now roughly two billion mailboxes with the potential to show brand logos next to email messages.

“We’ve been an avid supporter of BIMI since Valilmail’s founding in 2015. BIMI is an industry-wide effort to advance email authentication and help all brands protect themselves.”

Seth Blank, Chair of the AuthIndicators Working Group (BIMI’s creators) and Chief Product Officer, Valimail

Before we get into exactly how to leverage BIMI now that Google’s support has significantly increased its reach and potential, it’s important to first understand a bit more about the protocol itself…

Understanding BIMI

DMARC is a mature email protocol that domain owners can use to strongly authenticate their email and prevent same-domain spoofing. While DMARC is in wide adoption, its use is not universal, nor are many domain owners that publish DMARC records taking advantage of its full capabilities. 

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is an emerging email standard that incentivizes domain owners to fully embrace DMARC, offering them a way to have their logo displayed next to their email under certain conditions. When a domain owner sends a BIMI-compliant email message to a participating mailbox provider, the domain owner has the opportunity to capitalize on the trust the recipient has in their email, and possibly drive higher engagement rates through increased opens and clicks.

What BIMI means for your brand

BIMI represents a massive opportunity for marketers to grow brand awareness and customer engagement:

  • Billions of potential new brand impressions
  • Increased email open rates (10% avg.) to boost ROI
  • Control over how your brand logo is displayed globally
  • Visual differentiation in the inbox improves engagement across devices

Getting BIMI-ready

In order to be eligible for logo display when sending BIMI-compliant messages, a domain owner must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Both its sending domain and its organizational domain must have published DMARC records, and those records must have a strong authentication policy, meaning either “p=reject” or “p=quarantine, pct=100”
  • The domain must have a registered trademark to use for a logo, and be able to represent it in a specific version of the Scalable Vector Graphics format known as “SVG/Tiny”
  • The domain must have obtained a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), which is a digital certificate that asserts that a third party has verified the domain’s right to use the trademarked logo
  • The domain must have properly published a DNS record called a BIMI Assertion Record that includes both a reference to the SVG/Tiny version of the trademarked logo and the VMC.

While not all mailbox providers currently require VMCs, and while there are expectations that BIMI will be available in the future to domains that do not have trademarked logos, those are the requirements as the announcement of Google’s declaration of general support. 

We’ve published an in-depth knowledge base article to help you navigate these requirements.

Valimail Amplify™: Fast-track BIMI

Because of our expertise with both BIMI and DMARC, we here at Valimail know that authenticating email has twin challenges: first, only 15% of implementations are successfully deployed and second, up until today, there was no visual indication that the email message was authenticated. 

Our new product offering, Amplify, in conjunction with Valimail’s market leading email authentication solutions, solves both challenges. Our DMARC solutions offer proper, easy, and accurate email authentication, while Amplify provides brands with a proven and cost-effective solution to display their logo next to properly authenticated email:

  • No manual DNS updates; records managed on customer’s behalf
  • Step-by-step support for VMC acquisition and BIMI configuration
  • All records and logos managed from one unified dashboard
  • Scalable for orgs with multiple brand entities, domains, and logos

Valimail is also partnered with leading certificate providers DigiCert and Entrust that share a commitment to grow and develop the BIMI standard with a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). Together with Valimail, they have established a streamlined process for companies to enforce DMARC and earn a VMC, both essential steps for BIMI compliance.

For more information on our Amplify product and how it can help you fast-track BIMI, please visit our Amplify product page.

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