There’s no doubt that phishing attempts are getting more sophisticated every day, but so is the email authentication infrastructure. In 2021, Kaspersky detected 469 different kinds of ‘phishing kits’ and blocked 1.2 million phishing pages. BIMI is another tool to help protect against phishing attacks.
BIMI, or Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is a feather in the cap when it comes to email authentication. It’s a standard that allows email senders to associate their brand logo with their emails. This logo is displayed in the recipient’s inbox, providing a visual indicator of the legitimacy of the email. Even though it is optional so far, BIMI can do wonders for your email marketing performance.
Read on to discover why email marketers should care to implement BIMI.
10 Reasons Why Email Marketing Experts Need BIMI
Over 90% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email. This increase in cyber menaces, especially with respect to online shopping platforms, is prompting users to be watchful of red flags of fake marketing emails and websites they get redirected to — and the absence of a logo is one of the warning signs. That’s one of the several ways BIMI can help you manage the impact of this on your website traffic and sales. Here are some significant reasons to implement BIMI.
1. Enhanced Brand Trust
BIMI helps build trust by displaying senders’ official logos alongside their emails. This visual cue makes it easier for recipients to recognize legitimate communications from the brand. So, if recipients regularly receive emails with your brand logo, they will be more likely to gain suspicion over emails claiming to be coming from your brand but lacking a logo.
2. Reduced Phishing and Spoofing
BIMI helps authenticate the sender and provides a visual indicator to users that the email is from a legitimate source, thus segregating potentially fraudulent emails from genuine ones. Any brand linked with frequent instances of phishing and spoofing loses its charm and strength in the market, giving an edge to competitive brands.
Reduction in phishing and spoofing also saves your business from legal penalties and fines. After all, you don’t want to be infamous for your inability to safeguard your customers and prospects.
3. Improved Email Deliverability
When sending out mailers to your potential customers, you want those emails to land in their main inboxes and not get bounced back or lost in spam folders. This ability to deliver emails to the subscribers’ inboxes is called email deliverability. Plus, approximately 2.5% of all spam emails are attributed to scams and fraud. It’s not surprising that email providers are increasingly using authentication mechanisms to determine whether an email is legitimate or spam.
Implementing BIMI, along with other authentication methods like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, helps recipients and your email service providers (ESPs) verify information about your brand. It enhances customer engagement through increased click-through and opening rates and fewer number of unsubscribes. Additionally, your logo helps people perceive your brand as genuine, so fewer recipients mark it as spam.
4. Enhanced User Experience
People are more likely to identify your logos since we tend to remember visuals better than text. Therefore, including a brand logo in the inbox creates a more appealing and professional email experience for recipients. It results in easier recall and recognition of your brand, and helps recipients identify you at first glance.
5. Differentiation in the Inboxes
With BIMI, your emails stand out in crowded inboxes by displaying your brand logo. This helps in distinguishing your emails from phishing attempts or fraudulent communications, and potentially keeping them out of the spam folder. In 2022, spam emails accounted for approximately 56.5% of all email traffic. In a sea of endless promotions, subscriptions, and spam, standing out with your logo gives your potential customers a chance to engage with your brand.
6. Consistent Branding
Consistent branding is the key to building brand awareness. It is important to make sure that the brand promise and user experience remain similar across all channels. BIMI ensures that your brand is consistently represented in the inbox, reinforcing brand recognition and making it easier for recipients to identify your emails.
7. Industry Standard Compliance
As BIMI gains traction, it is becoming a standard in the email industry. Implementing BIMI demonstrates your commitment to industry best practices and standards, which can positively impact your sender’s reputation.
8. Competitive Advantage
The early bird gets the worm, right? As more brands adopt BIMI, implementing it early can provide a competitive advantage. It showcases your brand as being proactive in adopting the latest email authentication and security standards. Keeping ahead of the trends is a great way to build a solid reputation in front of your consumers.
9. Regulatory Compliance
Compliance with email authentication standards is increasingly becoming a requirement. BIMI aligns with industry best practices and can contribute to meeting regulatory requirements related to email security. Staying compliant not only helps you avoid potential lawsuits but also portrays you as a transparent and honest brand for your consumers.
10. Support for Visual Email Identification
BIMI supports the visual identification of emails, making it easier for users to quickly recognize and trust your brand’s communications, ensuring your brand remains on top of their minds. With an increase in brand awareness, customer engagement increases, ultimately resulting in the growth of your business.
Implementing BIMI Email Authentication
BIMI is currently compatible with the following platforms:
However, it is quickly becoming the industry standard, and will, in all probability, soon be supported by most ESPs.
The BIMI authentication protocol consists of two key elements:
BIMI Authentication Entry in DNS Record
This entry informs email servers about the location of your BIMI email logo. When your email is received, the server checks the DNS record to retrieve your brand logo.
BIMI Email Logo
Your brand’s logo plays a crucial role in BIMI authentication. It must be created in the SVG format, be square-shaped with the logo in the center, and be devoid of any text.
To implement BIMI authentication, follow these steps:
- Verify DMARC Authentication: Ensure that your emails pass DMARC authentication, with the DMARC policy set to “p=quarantine” or “p=reject defined.” The “p=none” policy will not work with BIMI.
- Create a Brand Logo in SVG Format: Develop an SVG logo that is square, centered, and text-free.
- Use HTTPS for Logo Storage: Store your logo using HTTPS, as logos stored with HTTP will not function. Be certain that you know the URL where your brand’s logo is stored.
- Add BIMI Record to DNS: Include the BIMI record in the DNS TXT record for your sending domain.
Image sourced from kickbox.com
After adding the BIMI record to your DNS, conduct a test email to ensure the proper functioning of your BIMI authentication.
The adoption of BIMI is crucial for email marketers to bolster their email authentication and security measures. BIMI offers a multitude of benefits, from enhancing brand trust and reducing phishing risks to improving email deliverability and user experience. The visual identification of emails through brand logos contributes to consistent branding. Plus, the competitive advantage gained by early implementation, combined with the support for visual email identification, contributes to a more secure and reputable email marketing program.
To learn more about BIMI, get in touch with us.