What the heck is BIMI?

I don’t blame you for asking. Honestly it sounds like a new Scandi-style furniture company, or maybe an app for experiencing what it’s like in another person’s shoes (could someone please build that??).

But really BIMI stands for “Brand Indicators for Message Identification”, which is an attempt to give trusted senders control over how their brand is represented in messaging services. For participating mailbox providers like Gmail, Comcast, and Verizon Media Group (Yahoo, AOL, etc.), that means BIMI adopters will have the logo they choose displayed in their recipients’ inboxes. Those logos of course help their messages stand out and encourage more opens. 🙌

BIMI Before and After


It’s clear why marketers would want this, but anti-abuse professionals like me love BIMI too! 😍It not only encourages DMARC adoption among senders, but spoofing attempts against your brand might become a little easier for recipients to spot since they’d lack your logo. This makes BIMI especially powerful for more at-risk businesses like banks, social media platforms, and major retailers.

How do you implement it?

The first and most important step towards BIMI is full DMARC compliance. That means SPF and/or DKIM for all mail must be authenticated using your From domain. Once complete, that From domain also needs either a “reject” or “quarantine” DMARC policy. This process shows receivers that you’re conscientious of the types of messages your brand sends and why, helping build your reputation as a sender.

Next you’ll need to create your BIMI logo image. The recommendations right now are an SVG formatted file designed as a perfect square, hosted publicly accessible via HTTPS. Make sure there’s no taglines or extra text in it, since this logo will likely be displayed too small to render anything like that.

Now comes the DNS changes to announce your participation in BIMI. The basic setup is “v=BIMI1; l=logoURL;” as a TXT record for default._bimi.yourdomain. As an example, the insurance company Aetna currently publishes the following:

default._bimi.aetna.com TXT

Some brands may want to have multiple logos for different use cases, but this “default” selector above works as-is for all mail.

And finally, even if someone does all the technical things right, receivers won’t display the logo for senders they don’t trust. Right now there’s two ways to build your BIMI reputation:

  1. Maintain an excellent sending reputation via high engagement with low bounces and spam complaints. Keep in mind that this reputation is subjective to each receiver you’re sending to.
  2. Work with a trust authority to be issued a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). This authority is then listed in your BIMI TXT record with your logo for the receiver’s reference.

If you’d like some advice on setting up BIMI for your Postmark messages, definitely give me a shout!

But even if your email messages aren’t quite ready for BIMI adoption, keep in mind that it’s an open standard for use by any sender and receiver. That means we’re expecting it to show up not just in inboxes, but social media platforms, messaging apps, and even document and fund transfer services. Heck, someone should use it in a Transporter so Rian can boldly say “BIMI up, Scotty!” The possibilities are endless.


[Originally posted here.]