Even as governments around the world are moving to make brands and marketers more accountable for the use of consumer data and enacting privacy protections for their citizens, email platforms like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and more are cracking down on spammers and bad actors in their own ways--and consumers are responding to the influx of more and more emails in their inbox as well. Email marketing is evolving with the audience, and Site Impact knows that that can be daunting, whether you’ve been doing it for years or are just now getting started. One tool that can really help brands keep their metaphorical noses clean with the email platforms is BIMI: brand indicators for message identification. The standard isn’t yet universal, but we’ve mentioned it before on this blog, and more platforms are getting onboard. It’s poised to make it easier for brands to increase confidence from their recipients, which in turn will increase performance, so let’s take a look!
As mentioned above, BIMI stands for brand indicators for message identification. In essence, it does for email what the “verified” checkmark for Twitter, or the similar icon on Facebook does: it tells the recipient of your emails that the sender is definitely you, and not someone pretending to be you. The protocol involves creating a text file for your server that is then read by the platform your email goes to; on getting that verification, the email provider will show your logo or other verification indicator to the recipient in the subject line, proving that the email does indeed come from you--and no one else.
In short: hacking and phishing scandals have made people wary of opening emails in general. A recent survey by DMA found that almost half of email users won’t open an email if they aren’t fully confident that they know who the sender is. BIMI allows you to remove all doubts from your recipients’ minds so that they know without question that it’s you sending the email to them; in turn, they’re much more likely to open the email and engage with it.
BIMI requires a fair amount of legwork, but it’s all very doable. Step one is to ensure that all the messages you send are validated properly through the three major methods of email authentication: SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Second, you must put forward the logo you want associated with your sending domains. Finally: issue a BIMI Assertion Record through a change to your public Domain Name System (DNS) area for either one or more (not more than five) chief brand-related domain names. Your BIMI Assertion Record should include a reference to an SVG representation to your desired brand logo. This may still seem like kind of a lot--but the verification steps are what is making this protocol the gold standard for identification, and the rewards are big.
BIMI is a substantially useful tool for brands invested in email marketing, to help you identify yourself to your recipients and gain the confidence from them that comes with that identification. By letting the email platforms independently verify that you are who you say you are, you’ll gain better traction with your subscribers because they’ll know that it’s safe to open and engage with your emails. If the process seems like a lot of work, consider partnering with an email marketing agency that can help. Contact Site Impact to hear more about how we stay on top of all the methods of ensuring a good reputation.