Meet your newest marketing asset, BIMI, pronounced “bih-mee.” True, it sounds like a lovely Caribbean island, an obscure Star Trek character, or a Pokemon. However, BIMI—or Brand Indicators for Message Identification—is a tech standard that gets more out of your email marketing, especially if you embrace it before competitors do.
When you use the BIMI standard, two things happen.
First, files stored on your email server tell the receiving email service to display your logo next to your subject line in the user’s email interface. You’ve probably seen this if you’ve ordered from Amazon recently; Amazon uses BIMI,and as a result, their “smile” logo is displayed to the left of the subject line of their emails.
Second, because BIMI involves using certain security and verification standards, it makes it easier for email server software to see that your message is authentic. This makes phishing and fraud less likely, ensuring the message ends up in the recipient’s inbox, not their spam folder.
Here, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news: The company providing an email program has to choose to support BIMI, or the logo doesn’t display. The good news is that BIMI’s security standards may result in better delivery rates even on those platforms.
The even better news? BIMI is supported by Apple Mail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail, meaning that over 89% of email users are on a platform that will display your logo, and so will some providers outside the U.S., such as Australia’s Fastmail.
You also don’t necessarily have to have your own email servers to use BIMI, because email marketing platforms, including MailChimp, are increasingly giving their customers the option to add it to their accounts.
We know what BIMI does and how much of the market it reaches, but does that mean it has real business value, or is it a nice-to-have gee whiz feature?
Here are six business benefits of BIMI adoption:
Increased brand visibility, consistency, and recognition
Many email platforms don’t display any identifier in the user’s inbox, or they supply something generic, such as Gmail’s randomly colored circle. Your branding can only benefit from replacing that with your logo and ensuring it’s displayed in the exact same way on each platform. A joint study released by the network security firms Entrust and Red Sift found using BIMI increased brand recall for a group of competing supermarket chains by at least 8% and up to 44%.
As part of BIMI, your email will comply with three foundational authentication specifications: Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). This makes your messages less likely to be caught in spam or security filtering.
Increased credibility and trust, decreased risk of fraud
BIMI shows users that your email is definitely from you and creates the expectation that any email with your company’s name that doesn’t include it is illegitimate. This increases trust for your brand and decreases the possibility a customer will be taken in by phishing.
Improved email engagement
Studies are showing that use of a BIMI logo substantially increases email open rates and even purchase rates. Yahoo has documented a 10% increase in open rates, and Entrust and Red Sift’s study found that open rates increased 21% and that a food delivery brand increased sales share by 34% after they adopted BIMI and a competitor did not.
BIMI doesn’t require advanced software, major code changes, or other expensive outlays. All that’s required is a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) logo hosted on your website or email server, and adding a small Domain Name System (DNS) txt file to the server. Imagine the ROI if the minimal time your staff spends on those one-time tasks could increase your open rates by 10% and your close rates by even just 3 or 4%.
A head start
As we saw in the example above, using BIMI before your competition does can give you a significant boost in sales. However, early adoption will also have the benefit of increased mindshare, cementing your brand in customers’ minds as the go-to company in your sector. That advantage is likely to remain solid even if your competitor eventually adopts BIMI for their own email marketing.
Email Marketing for Businesses in the Rockford, Illinois Area
If you would like some help implementing BIMI and making other improvements to your email marketing, we can help. We follow the most up-to-date practices and achieve the metrics that matter. Get in touch with Cain & Company for thoughtful, strategic marketing that boosts your bottom line.