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A step-by-step guide to setting up BIMI

Erin Gusty
October 3, 2022
An illustration of a woman holding up two envelopes with @ symbols on a yellow background.

If you're in digital marketing, you're no stranger to domain reputation. You're well aware of authentication protocols like SPF, DMARC, and DKIM... but what about BIMI?

BIMI, which stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is an email standard that attaches your company's logo to your authenticated emails. It was designed to help brands protect their reputations and improve deliverability. In an era of phishing and cyberattacks, BIMI helps customers easily identify your company in their inbox; it gives them a visual indication that you are a trusted sender.

Here’s a list of inbox service providers (ISPs) that support BIMI as of September 2022:

  • Apple Mail
  • Gmail
  • Google Workspace
  • Yahoo (excluding Yahoo Japan)
  • AOL
  • Netscape
  • Fastmail
  • Pobox

Setting up BIMI

1. Authenticate your domain with DMARC, DKIM, and SPF

BIMI is built atop the existing DMARC authentication protocol, so you must first have DMARC set up for your domain. DMARC requires you to have either DKIM or SPF set up (though it’s best practice to add both).

2. Create your brand logo

Once your DMARC, DKIM, and SPF are aligned, it’s time to create a supported logo for your BIMI record.

Logo requirements (see full specifications here):

  • Must be a SVG Tiny P/S
  • Must be a square (1:1 aspect ratio) without any additional text
  • Should not be larger than 32 KB

Upload your logo to your public web server and retrieve the image URL. You’ll need this for your DNS record.

3. Get your Verified Mark Certificate (optional)

Some inbox providers (like Yahoo and AOL) will accept a self-asserted logo, which is what you created in Step 2. However, certain providers (like Gmail) require your logo to be certified as being associated with your domain. To do this, you must acquire a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC).

At this time, VMCs are issued by two BIMI-qualified certification authorities: DigiCert and Entrust. Note: this process requires trademarking your brand logo.

4. Add a BIMI TXT record to your domain

BIMI is a text record that lives in your DNS, so you'll need to work with your DNS administrator to set it up.

  • Sign in to your DNS provider (GoDaddy, Google, Azure, etc.)
  • Create a new TXT record with the following details:
    Type = TXT
    Name = default._bimi. followed by your root domain (Some domain providers populate your root domain name automatically. If not, you’ll need to enter it manually.)
    Value = v=BIMI1;l=yourlogourl; (replace "yourlogourl" with the image URL from Step 2)
    TTL = 1 hour
  • Save

After you publish your record, be sure to run a BIMI check to verify your record has the correct values and syntax.

And that's it! You've successfully set up BIMI for your domain. If you’re not seeing the changes right away, give it 24-48 hours to propagate.

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