Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Joran Hofman
April 3, 2021

What is BIMI?

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. It is a standard that inserts a brand's logo into authenticated email messages from that brand. Through this visual verification, recipients can recognize and trust the messages sent to them.

BIMI accomplishes this by using built-in protections that shield the brand, application vendors, and consumers from phishing claims.

How does BIMI Work?

BIMI is a text record with a specific format hosted on the sending servers in the DNS records. Once a message has been delivered, the recipient's inbox provider searches their BIMI text file to certify the message. When it is certified, it searches the file to find the location of the company logo.

Once the image is found, it will be attached to the message in the inbox.

Why is BIMI Important in Marketing?

The most visible benefit of BIMI-compliant email seeing the company logo in the inbox, helping your messages stand out, and promoting more openings.

There is also the advantage that BIMI better prepares users to recognize messages, thus protecting them from scammers who try to profit by helping to recognize falsified messages that are not legitimate.

Herein lies the power of BIMI for more insecure businesses such as social media platforms, banks, and major retail companies. 

How To Create a BIMI Record?

Here are the steps to create a BIMI record for a domain:

  • Create or obtain an image of the logo and convert it to SVG format.
  • Visit the DNS hosting provider. Once the session is started, the message will be searched to create a new record. 
  • Add host value. In this field, the _bimi value will be entered, and the hosting provider will add the domain/subdomain according to the value provided.
  • Select the type of TXT DNS record; depending on the provider, you will probably find a list of DNS record types. Because a BIMI record is a kind of DNS TXT record, the "TXT" option will be selected.
  • Two tag-value pairs must appear in each BIMI record: v and l.

The only tag-value pair for v (version) is v = BIMI1

Confirm that the l (location) tag is found and followed by a full logo URL using HTTPS.

  • Publish BIMI record. Press the "Save Record Set" button to create the new BIMI record.
  • Test the BIMI record to identify faults and verify that the record that has just been generated is correct. Here you will also see how the logo will be displayed in email clients.

How To Build your BIMI Reputation?

When all the technical aspects are correctly fulfilled, and the receivers still do not show the logo to senders they do not trust, work on building the BIMI reputation should be done:

An excellent shipping reputation must be maintained through high engagement with a low bounce rate and few spam complaints. This reputation should be considered subjective for each mailbox provider.

There may be mailbox providers that require you to obtain a Verified Brand Certificate (VMC). This leads to working with a trusted authority that is then listed in the BIMI TXT record with the receiver’s reference logo.

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