Everything you need to know about BIMI email authentication protocol

BIMI email

According to recent reports, more than 80% of organizations have noticed an uptick in email phishing attacks. What is more surprising is that around 60% of Americans claim to have been a victim of spoofing, phishing, and fraudulent emails. Hence to safeguard the subscribers, email service providers have introduced a new layer of protection called the BIMI. But, BIMI is in its early stages, and only a handful of email service providers have adopted it. As a result, getting your Adobe email templates BIMI approved might not reap any rewards now, but will pay hefty dividends by increasing your brand reputation later. Here is everything you need to know about BIMI to get up to date with the newest email authentication protocol.

What is BIMI?

Brand Indicators for Message Identification, or BIMI, is one of the latest email authentication protocols and helps marketers prevent brand spoofing. Just like any other protocols, the brand needs to set up a record on its sender’s DNS. Then, the receiving server of the subscriber will check the text record to verify its authenticity. From a subscriber’s point of view, it is difficult to verify whether your brand emails conform to the other emailing protocols like DKIM, DMARC, and SPF. But, it is easy to verify the BIMI authentication. The receiver just needs to look at the sender’s logo on their emails. 

Previously, email marketers skipped this authentication as it was not supported by major email services like Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, and many more. However, these sentiments changed when Google announced that they would start supporting BIMI from July 2021. Suddenly, BIMI became an attractive proposition for brands as they could start applying their logos next to the subject lines of their emails. 

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How does BIMI work? 

The moment subscribers receive your email, their mailbox providers automatically check for all the authentication protocols. The mailbox provider uses the DMARC record to find and verify the SPF and DKIM. Only then does it start searching for the domain’s BIMI authentication record in the DNS. After the email passes all the necessary verification processes, the subscriber’s mailbox provider will retrieve your brand logo and display it alongside your email’s subject line. 

The email providers use the same technique to search and display the profile pictures of your contacts. As a result, BIMI could increase the appeal of your emails with all the brand logos. In addition, the readers can easily identify their favorite brands with one look and increase their engagement with the emails. In a way, BIMI increases the overall open and click-through rates of your email campaigns. 

What is the relationship between BIMI and deliverability rates?

At the moment, the BIMI email authentication protocol is optional as some major email providers are still contemplating its application and need. On top of that, having BIMI authentication does not necessarily mean that your email will achieve a 100% deliverability rate. But, it does help boost the deliverability rate in the mail providers that follow the BIMI protocols. 

At the least, BIMI adds an extra layer of protocols to improve the authenticity of your emails and improve the chances of your emails being delivered to the subscriber’s inbox. Additionally, the subscribers can quickly identify your emails, decreasing their chances of marking them as spam. 

What are the benefits of BIMI?

BIMI has been a blessing for the brands targeted by email spoofing. Usually, all the major financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies face this problem regularly. This discourages the subscribers from interacting with the original emails from the brands. The implementation of BIMI helps the subscribers quickly distinguish fake emails from real ones.

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Even smaller brands and startups can enjoy the benefits of BIMI. As mentioned earlier, BIMI has proven to increase the overall engagement rate of your campaign emails. Email marketers have noted that subscribers are more intrigued to engage with a brand that displays its logo. 

For the subscribers, BIMI adds an extra layer of security. They are protected from cybercriminals attempting to trick them into revealing their personal information. Your brand is also protected from the criminals attempting to malign your brand’s reputation. BIMI is most beneficial for brands that regularly send emails containing sensitive information to their customers. 

Lastly, all the brands love promoting their logos and increasing their brand presence everywhere they can. And, BIMI enables them to display their logos right in its subscribers’ inboxes. Hence, adopting BIMI protocols as early as possible gives these brands a competitive edge. 

What are the downsides of using BIMI?

Since it has not been widely adopted, the BIMI implementation process can be expensive for some brands. The process can get technical and challenging for the brand’s in-house email marketing department. Another hurdle to using BIMI is that email clients only display the logos of the bulk senders. Therefore, you need to have a fairly large send volume to become eligible for their BIMI authentication. To top it off, the minimum send limit for the brands to become eligible for BIMI is unclear. 

Should you consider getting BIMI approved now?

Experienced email marketers are expecting the BIMI approval process to be manual, at least in the early stages. Consequently, brands have a better chance of uploading and getting their identification approved. The process will also be quicker as fewer brands will be waiting in line. 

Conclusion 

More email clients are expected to follow Google and start implementing the BIMI authentication protocol. Until then, ensure that your Adobe email templates are DKIM, DMARC, and SPK approved. 

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