What is BIMI?
Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is an industry-wide standards effort to unify the use of brand logos across all email platforms giving marketers a new way of putting their brand in front of the receiver. The display of the logo is conditional and will be only displayed for trusted sources giving the receiver a clear signal about reputable senders.
Over the years the avatars displayed in mailboxes became a standard user interface element but their source was never standardized. While some email clients had the logos predefined by the authors of the email client, others have relied heavily on data from social networks, favicons on coresponding websites or gravatars. That led to many inconsistencies and brands had little to no control over the logo displayed. BIMI changes that by putting the control over the logo back to the hands of the brand.
How Does BIMI Work?
BIMI builds on the DMARC standard for authenticating email. Before sending an email to a user's inbox, email platforms check the email against the sender's DMARC record within each email message to confirm authenticity. Once a DMARC standard has been adopted and a reject policy has been applied, domain owners can add a BIMI record containing the brand's prefered logo.
Where will I see it?
Creating a BIMI record and publishing it to the DNS per the instructions does not automatically place the logo in all customer inboxes. At this time, only limited number of inbox providers support BIMI, but a wide range of inbox providers have participated in creating of the standard and are likely to add BIMI support soon. The BIMI record and associated logo published in your DNS will help you stand out in email clients that will have support for the BIMI standard.