Avoid VMC Roadblocks: The Cost-Effective Way to Test BIMIDenis O'Sullivan
The average inbox is flooded daily with promotional emails, transactional emails, and personal emails. As a sender, you’re always looking for a unique way for your mail to stand out to help your subscribers interact with your messages. On top of that, people are very wary of falling victim to scams in their inboxes.
So how can subscribers trust that your email is trustworthy?
Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) helps on both fronts because it allows trusted senders to display a logo in the inbox. BIMI not only helps your email stand out in a crowded inbox, but subscribers can rest assured that emails with a brand’s logo are legitimate. In this post, we’ll tell you about the most common roadblocks that you might encounter when implementing BIMI and how to avoid them.
How to set up BIMI
First things first, you’ll need to set up BIMI. There are several steps a brand needs to take to have that highly impactful logo appear in the inbox—and instantly gain your email recipients’ trust:
- Authenticate your email using Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
- Publish a Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) policy at enforcement, which means either “p=quarantine” or “p=reject” on the organizational domain
- Create and publish a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Tiny 1.2 logomark
- Publish a BIMI record
- Obtain a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) for the logo, which certain inbox providers require to implement BIMI
The benefits of a Verified Mark Certificate
Now that you know you need a VMC, you should also know that obtaining a VMC is a roadblock for many brands when implementing BIMI. Why? The main reason is cost.
And since cost cutting is the name of the game these days, taking on an additional cost without knowing the impact of BIMI is a top reason many brands decide to not move forward with BIMI. Thankfully, there’s a way to test the impact of BIMI without having to pay for a VMC.
Measure the impact of BIMI before buying a VMC
A VMC is only a requirement for certain mail providers (like Gmail). That means you can implement BIMI without a VMC and have your logo still appear in Yahoo! inboxes, for example. Yahoo! shows BIMI logos in the message list and read view experiences in the mobile mail and read message views of desktop webmail experiences.
Then, Yahoo! takes it one step further with a verified checkmark. This helps subscribers identify logos verified through BIMI versus other logos or avatars that could show up in Yahoo! Mail. In Yahoo! iOS and Android apps, a verified checkmark appears next to the sending address and logo. Only emails sent by the brand that owns that logo (when a BIMI record exists for the domain) will receive the checkmark, enhancing trust in the inbox.
To get started measuring the impact of BIMI in Yahoo! Mail, check out the requirements outlined for participating in the BIMI program in the Yahoo! Sender Hub. Then, if you meet the requirements and don’t see the correct logo populate after a few days, you can contact Yahoo! via the Sender Hub.
To test the impact of BIMI, you’ll want to create 2 segments of your database before you implement BIMI:
- Segment A should receive a few emails prior to implementing BIMI
- Segment B should receive identical emails, including the subject line, after you implement BIMI
Then, if you notice a nice uptick in open rates, you can justify the expense of obtaining a VMC so your logo will appear in Gmail—if you don’t see an uptick, don’t obtain a VMC. This is an ideal path for any sender concerned about the cost of obtaining a VMC versus the return you might get with BIMI. And that’s it.
Use Twilio SendGrid to test BIMI cost-effectively
Ready to test BIMI without VMC roadblocks? Twilio SendGrid can help. Sign up for a free SendGrid account today to get started.