What is BIMI and how will it improve your email marketing?

Woman looking thoughtful in an office with laptop

Recently, the BIMI working group published an update on the support of BIMI by Mailbox Provider, and what an update that was. In the announcement, it was revealed that BIMI will be coming to Apple devices with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura as a part of updates expected later this year.

For the uninitiated among us, BIMI (pronounced bih-mee) stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. Let’s explore what this update means.

What is BIMI again?

In essence, BIMI allows brands to hook up their brand logo to their email sends. BIMI allows a brand to specify their brand logo and for mailbox providers (MBPs) to display this, so that a brand’s logo appears alongside the subject line and preheader as the contact image, rather than a default avatar.

With some of the bigger names such as Gmail and Yahoo! already using BIMI, it’s not new on the scene, but the recent update declaring Apple’s adoption in the very near future has brought it into the spotlight. Given the market share and influence from Apple, this should be a major boost for BIMI adoption, indicating a shift towards a more secure email ecosystem.

It’s important to keep in mind that different providers have more or less the same requirements, which include:

  • Providing a brand logo in a specific SVG format
  • Having DMARC policy on an enforcement level
  • Having a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) when it comes to Gmail

Information about Apple’s adoption is very scarce at this time but since the announcement we’ve been keeping an eye out for any more news. We’ve seen some screenshots on a Reddit thread which indicate this will be called “Digitally Certified Email” at Apple. Given the wording of this feature, it can be assumed that a VMC will be needed.

Although for now this is speculation, it’s very likely we’ll see some news from Apple directly in the near future which may give us more information.

How does BIMI improve my emails?

BIMI is all about improving the overall security of the email ecosystem, and therefore improving the overall customer experience. The regulation around BIMI, and the nature of brands working with MBPs means that this works as another security measure around email sends.

With consumers understandably wary of scams, BIMI allows you to add a layer of brand identity and authenticity to your email sends. This means consumers have a clear and simple way to identify and trust your communications, giving them more control and peace of mind.

BIMI also allows marketers to feel more confident, knowing you’ve added another element of protection against anyone trying to impersonate your brand by spoofing.

Another benefit to marketers is that inboxes are crowded, and BIMI allows you to showcase your brand identity before subscribers even open your email.

Research carried out by Red Sift, in partnership with Entrust, found that displaying a registered logo in the avatar slot of an email can increase email opens by 39%, purchase likelihood by 32%, and brand recall by as much as 120%. Sounds good right?

How can you implement BIMI?

You’ll find a handy guide in our help center, and to help our customers even more, Dotdigital has partnered with email and brand protection platform Red Sift. Red Sift are offering Dotdigital customers a one-stop shop for the complete implementation from DMARC, to the logo, to the VMC.

Chuck Swenberg, SVP Strategy at Red Sift, said: “Apple’s planned support for BIMI creates increased urgency for brands to move quickly to secure a VMC, to ensure that as many consumers as possible see their logos in digitally certified emails. At Red Sift, we’re proud to be the only provider of an end-to-end solution to help Dotdigital customers quickly and easily implement DMARC and the VMC to support BIMI.”

If you are interested in working with Red Sift, please get in contact with your Customer Success Manager who’ll be more than happy to help. If you’d like to check your domain’s current BIMI status, just click here.

If you’d like to find out more about Red Sift’s BIMI solution, check out their website.

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