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Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

Email inboxes are notoriously cluttered these days. Between the endless promotions, newsletters, and notifications, it can be hard to quickly identify important emails. But a new email authentication standard called BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) aims to cut through the noise by clearly branding emails from verified companies.

What is BIMI?

BIMI enables participating email providers and recipients to validate and authenticate emails coming from certain domains. When an email is authenticated with BIMI, the sender's logo will appear prominently next to the email content header in the recipient's inbox. For example, if you get an email from [email protected], and has implemented BIMI, their logo will show up right on the email preview.

This makes it much easier for email users to quickly identify messages coming from brands they know and trust. Additionally, it allows brands to maintain their visual identities throughout the email channel.

How does BIMI work?

Most mailbox providers require that logos are registered as trademarks, and are signed by a Verified Mark Certificate.

For a company to enable BIMI, they first need to authenticate their email infrastructure using DMARC. This confirms they own their domain and aren’t sending emails illegally from third-party servers. Brands then upload their logos to a public web server. Finally, they add a BIMI DNS TXT record.

When an email comes in from an authenticated domain, the mailbox provider inserts the corresponding brand logo into the inbox display. No extra steps are required from recipients to see these visual brand indicators.

BIMI benefits

BIMI offers advantages both for brands as well as for email users:

  • Brands can build trusted recognition in inboxes, avoiding impersonation.
  • Logos visually confirm emails are from legitimate senders.
  • Users can rapidly spot priority emails in crowded inboxes.
  • Phishing emails are easier to detect without logos present.

With BIMI making inboxes more recognizable and trustworthy, email sends stand to become more effective for all verified participants.

Further reading

BIMI group: Mailbox provider support

BIMI group: FAQs for senders

Google: Add a brand logo to outgoing email with BIMI