BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) enables marketers to add a logo to their emails in the inbox so subscribers can quickly identify their messages and trust that they’re from the right sender. It can do for email marketing what https in front of a web address did for websites.
It provides a shortcut for consumers to decide whether or not to trust an email and gives them the confidence they need before opening an email as to whether it’s what it says it is or if it’s some sort of scam. The visual cue that BIMI provides may create trust and lead to fewer unsubscribes and spam complaints, and boost the deliverability of your email marketing messages.
At the beginning of the year, we wrote an article on building customer trust with BIMI. Now that Google has general support for BIMI in its inboxes, we asked marketers about their thoughts on how BIMI will change email marketing.
How Will BIMI Change Email Marketing?
Like other email authentication standards, BIMI is essentially a text file in a specific format. BIMI helps organizations enhance their return on a channel that they already control and delivers a strong payoff for minimal investment.
BIMI files live on your sending servers and give the receiving inbox information about the sender. BIMI uses the DKIM, SPF, and DMARC protocols, which makes protecting a brand from fraud easier for email marketers, but that’s just one side of the benefits of BIMI. Let’s take a closer look.
Secure Global Framework for Email Security
Seth Blank, Chief Product Officer at Fishers, IN-based BLASTmedia, says that “BIMI benefits marketing professionals by providing a secure, global framework in which inboxes display sender-designated logos for authenticated messages. In other words, BIMI provides a visual cue to the recipient that the email has been authenticated and the sender is not spoofed. Marketers will note BIMI has shown to increase open rates by 10%.”
Enhanced Collaboration Between Marketing and IT Teams
Keep in mind that although BIMI is not a security solution, it requires both the use of strong email authentication technologies and collaboration between different stakeholders. Mark Packham, CMO at Lehi, Utah DigiCert shares that “implementing BIMI requires planning and collaboration between an organization’s marketing, IT, and legal teams. Also, BIMI requires Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) that allow companies to render their brand logo in an email client like Gmail.”
To qualify their domain for VMC, marketing and IT should first work together to become DMARC certified. Marketing and legal teams should also collaborate to ensure that the organization’s logos and trademarks are correctly registered.
Higher Open Rates
Speaking of open rates, research from Mailchimp found that adopting BIMI has had a significant impact on email delivery rates. Jonny Kerr, Marketing Executive at London, UK.-based ThreatProtect, considers that the reason behind this is that “for the first time ever, a user can trust an email before opening it because the brand image confirms it is really from the organization in question and that domain cannot be spoofed.”
Fewer Chances of Phishing
BIMI is adding an extra layer of security that makes email marketing easier for brands. Often, emails from authentic brands end up as spam because their authenticity could not be validated. With BIMI that is about to change. Because with the use of a brand’s logo, it is going to be easier to tell if an email is authentic. “With phishing attacks being a top trend in IT security and the gateway to bigger and more impactful attacks, implementing BIMI and DMARC are two big steps to preventing potential business-critical threats,” shares Blank.
It Makes Messages Stand Out
Before BIMI, email marketing was all about concocting clever subject lines and catchy email copy. With BIMI, marketers gain another way of calling the reader’s attention using their logos. It’s simple psychology. Readers will feel drawn to an email that comes from a trusted source rather than trusting an email that comes from a company without a logo. Also, it enables marketers to get a foot in the door at least. Even if the reader doesn’t open the email, they saw your logo and will probably remember it in the future, prompting them to open a second email even if the first one failed.
Don’t forget that to implement BIMI, you have to ensure everything is DMARC compliant. This means that you will have to ensure SPF and DKIM are authenticated on your domain for every email you send. You will also need to update your DNS records, and you can only use an SVG image that is publicly accessible on an HTTPS server. These steps are all mandatory for marketers looking to implement BIMI in their email marketing campaigns.