January 2020

What is BIMI?

Stephan Hradek from the CSA provides the basics on the BIMI standard for displaying logos in email marketing, underlining that BIMI is not just about colorful logos, but also the trust mechanism behind them.

What is BIMI?

© bankrx | istockphoto.com

BIMI is an acronym for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. It is an open standard created jointly by several big players in the email market, such as Google, Verizon Media/Yahoo, and Linkedin.

In the past, several mailbox providers (MBP) developed individual techniques to get a brand’s logo into the recipient’s inbox. This approach has several disadvantages:

- The MBP needs to maintain a repository of logos.

- The brand owner needs to get in contact with every MBP in order to make sure the correct logo will be used.

- As each individual MBP implements its own way of supporting logos, each individual brand owner has to implement each MBP’s specification separately.

BIMI has been developed as an open standard to overcome these disadvantages.

What are BIMI’s Advantages?

BIMI provides the MBP with a consistent and reliable way of retrieving the correct logo for every email. Brands benefit from BIMI due to the fact that email recipients see the familiar brand logo immediately. Recognizing a logo is much faster than reading and creates a different and additional level of trust. After all; “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Open rates of emails should increase after BIMI is implemented.

Additionally, due to the way BIMI is designed, it helps prevent fraudulent emails.

Who can use BIMI?

BIMI is an open standard, so anyone can implement and use it. BIMI builds upon the well-established standards of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Provided these are already in place, BIMI is just a small step away. These are the main, minimal steps required:

  • Implement DMARC as it is required for BIMI.
  • DMARC policy has to be set to “reject” or “quarantine.”
  • Create your logo as a square SVG file without any text.
  • Publish your logo on an accessible web source.
  • Create a DNS TXT record for your emails’ “From:” address. Something like:
    default._bimi.yourbrand.com IN TXT "v=BIMI1; l=https://subdomain.yourbrand.com/image/logo.svg; a=;"

Where can I get more information about BIMI?

Visit the CSA Email Summit https://summit.certified-senders.org/. But there is also plenty of information available online.