Enter BIMI - or Brand Indicators for Message Identification, where its goal is to "provide a mechanism for mail senders to publish a validated logotype that mail receives can display with the senders' messages." The technical nitty-gritty is here, but for brevity BIMI is essentially some sort of a visual indicator of a brand associated with the email.
The visual indicator is usually the brand logo associated with a validated email domain through use of a new special-prefix DNS TXT record. BIMI's goal is to ensure that:
- The organization is legitimate
- The domain names are controlled by the organization
- The organization has current rights to display the indicator
A little technical stuff
For a BIMI logo to show up in a receiver's inbox, the sender needs to have DMARC, SPF, and DKIM set in place so that the source can be trusted. The sender (brand) will also have to publish the logo in their DNS. The pre-requirements for BIMI are:
- Emails are authenticated with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
- DMARC policy is at enforcement; set to either "p=quarantine" or "p=reject"
- Publish a BIMI record for the domain in DNS
After complying with these pre-requirements, the sender will now select a logo and work with a Mark Verifying Authority (VMA), which then provides evidence of verification of indicator standards including size, trademark, and content. Once validated, senders will receive a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC).
BIMI is still in pilot testing, however, so not all known brands will implement this immediately.
As an email marketer, what steps are you taking to make sure your senders don't treat your message as spam/junk?