How to gain trust with BIMI Records

With around 45% of emails being sent daily comprising of spam, the integrity of the digital consumer market is headed for a fast decline.

That’s a modest estimate of 14.5 billion spam emails sent every day in an attempt to defraud consumers.

In Q1 of 2019 alone, Valentine’s day and the unveiling of Apple’s latest products saw phishing emails sent disguised as authorized messages enabling recipients to click onto links which then asked for genuine personal data on fake duplicated pages.

To put things into perspective, on March 25th of this year, a reported 79,936 attempts were made to redirect users from Apple to scam websites. That’s 79,936 attempts on a single day for just one company.

The roaring surge of fraudsters and con artists in the digital world can result in a decline in your email marketing engagements. What was once a foolproof, effective marketing technique has now become a challenge beyond technology, but rather trust and integrity.

Say hello to BIMI records for increasing trust and email engagement.

What are BIMI records?

Brand Indicators for Message Identification, also known as BIMI, acts as a mechanism to ‘brand’ your emails. Working alongside SPF, DMARC, and DKIM, BIMI allows brands to stamp their identity on all outgoing emails to verify the authenticity of all sent emails.

Having a logo stamped on all emails act as a brand validation for recipients to identify the authenticity of the emails without having to open them, thus improving trust and integrity in your brand marketing strategies.

Not only do you help recipients avoid phishing scams and fraudulent attempts through impersonation of your brand, but you also improve brand awareness and visual repetition which act as secondary marketing strategies.

Although there are existing methods of having your logo display in some email providers, there is no centralized technique, and each email provider acts differently in sourcing your brand’s logo. For example, Yahoo pulls logos from social media profiles, while Gmail used to grab logos from verified Google+ pages. BIMI, on the other hand, gives you the control to choose the logo used to represent your brand in email stamps.

As BIMI does not include encryption as part of its mechanism, it is advised to adopt SPF, DMARC and DKIM for email marketing best practices. Through adopting DMARC, BIMI can improve email delivery rates and reduce spam classifications.

As BIMI does not require new infrastructure from your end, it is extremely easy to integrate into your current system. All you need to do is publish a BIMI record in your DNS record for a qualified email service provider to automatically integrate your brand logo into all emails sent from your domain.

How beneficial is implementing BIMI records to your business?

  1. Improved business security

    Take the Apple incidences in March 2019. Assuming Apple uses BIMI records, recipients of the phishing and fraudulent emails impersonating Apple would instantly know that those emails are not from the real Apple company, but rather an imposter, due to the absence of a verified Apple logo next to the email sender and subject information.

    Brand impersonations can kill your business. To avoid this pitfall, you need to take the necessary steps to protect both your brand and your consumers from being exploited.

    Implementing BIMI records to your business increases consumer trust. The higher the security and protection you provide for your customers, the more they will trust in investing in your products and services.

  2. Brand recognition, patronage and increased open rates

    To take things beyond a security perspective, it is a marketing fact that pictures stick with people more effectively than words.

    The very existence of your logo appearing in your customer’s mailbox sets you apart from your competitors. Because chances are, they aren’t using BIMI records given its infant stage. The modern consumer is one who appreciates authenticity and ‘real’ brands as opposed to cheap attempts. By having a badge symbolizing your brand with every email sent, your business appears trustworthy and real to consumers, which then results in increased patronage.

    By having a logo appear in the mailbox of your consumer, not only will your email stand out before being opened thus increasing open rates, your brand image is already imprinted in your customer’s mind without them even opening your email.

  3. Improved deliverability of emails

    Referred to as engagement-based spam filtering, email service providers implement a system which identifies when a user deletes unopened emails. The result of the continual deletion of unopened emails sent from your brand domain results in the email service provider sending your emails to the spam box.

    By having your logo prominently displayed next to your email sent in the mailbox of the recipient, you showcase authenticity, which builds trust in your consumer.

    Being able to clearly identify your brand logo above all other emails in their mailbox, an increased open rate naturally occurs which results in higher engagements that help keep your emails from being sent straight to spam.

How to implement BIMI records to your business

To implement BIMI records to your business, you will need to obtain a BIMI certificate. Domain owners will need to have access to their DNS records to add their BIMI records such as the URL location of the logo file they intend to use. SVG files are required for the logo to act as a BIMI.

As BIMI can be viewed as an extension of DMARC, you will need additional authentication records including SPF, DKIM and DMARC set up on your domain.

Want to know more about DMARC? Read all it in “DMARC – What is it and why it matters

Currently, there are only a limited number of email service providers that support BIMI, namely Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL and Verizon. However, the increase in popularity of BIMI records will soon see more email providers accommodating the service.

For brands looking to implement BIMI to your business, you will need to ensure that all emails sent are authenticated property with SPF, DKIM and DMARC with the DMARC policy of p=reject in place to ensure that all malicious emails are stopped at first instance.

Learn how to setup your BIMI record today.