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Increasing brand recognition and improving security – introducing BIMI

Increasing brand recognition and improving security – introducing BIMI

Email remains one of the most popular and effective marketing communication mediums available to successful marketing teams. There are more than 3.7 billion users worldwide and each one of these mailboxes is being hit by more and more mails on a daily basis. And so is the challenge for marketing professionals, how do you cut through the noise and make sure that yours in one of the lucky mails that is opened and engaged with?

In our Email 101 course we talk about the 5 key things that contribute to the success of your email campaign and along with subject line one of the most important elements is who the mail is from. Based on the 2017 DMA – Consumer Email Tracker, almost half of subscribers have to recognise a sender before opening their emails.

 

There are a number of methods to ensure that it is clear, and even highlight, who the message is from. You can include your brand name in your subject line or preview text, or use it in the ‘friendly from name’ – but now there is something new being introduced to help this further.  If you found out that you could enable your subscribers identify you immediately from your logo before they open your mail – would you be interested?

Well, it is in the making with an initiative called BIMI.

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. It is a mechanism that you can use to have your brand’s logo displayed alongside your authenticated messages. This logo image may appear in the place of user photo profile or initial letters that normally many email clients display next to your from address.

Though BIMI has not officially launched yet, it is being supported by several of the largest mailbox providers and organisations worldwide like Oath (Yahoo, AOL, and Verizon), Comcast, Agari, PayPal and Return Path.

While there are existing ways of enabling logo display at some mailbox providers, but each mailbox provider is responsible for sourcing logos differently and manually (i.e. Microsoft outlook manually managing big brand logos), BIMI is meant to be an improvement. It will centralise this as a one-stop shop solution and puts more power into your brand’s hands to get you better control over which logo should be used.

According to Nhan Tran, Return Path

“Firstly, if you have implemented BIMI successfully, you will have greater control over how your logo appears in your subscribers’ inboxes. Indeed, it is a low-cost marketing strategy for you to consistently broadcast your brand’s logo to your subscribers via every authenticated message that you send. In return, your subscribers will also enjoy better experience of easily recognising your brand with the logo displayed next to your messages in their inboxes. It is a win-win scenario!”

Ultimately, that brand recognition increase can potentially boost open rates, based on the DMA findings and help consumer confidence that the mail they are receiving is genuine as a BIMI record is implemented in a very similar way to the SPF, DMARC and DKIM authentication methods that are already relied upon by the industry. 

BIMI connects your brand’s logo to your Domain Name System (DNS) to ensure that you can only display your own brand’s logo for your authenticated messages and vice versa, spammers will not be able to use your brand’s logo to display in any fraud messages pretending to be sent from your brand. So, it is a great way to protect your brand image and your subscribers from many spoofing and phishing scams

At this point, the official beta program of BIMI is limited to Oath (Yahoo, AOL, Verizon) only, so your subscriber base needs to include significant numbers of contacts with these mailbox clients for you to really embrace the benefit. But this is just the beginning.

If you are already an e-shot™ customer and would be interested in moving forward with BIMI then simply get in touch and we will work through the process with you. To enable the set up to go as smoothly as possible ensure that you have all the proper authentication set up (DKIM, DMARC and SPF) which if you are a customer, we will have already set up for you. You also need the correct logo that you wish to use, in SVG format on an accessible URL, on the same domain as you are going to be sending from.

For more information about BIMI, head to the Brand Indicators site and for the geeks amongst you, a draft industry-wide standard for BIMI is also available.

P.S. Microsoft is not participating in the BIMI initiative. Instead they have their own approach called “brand cards” which essentially amounts to the same purpose, but rather than implementing a DNS record businesses have to sign up with Microsoft Business programme, which is currently in beta.

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