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Getting Started

What is BIMI?

BIMI, Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is an emerging standard for inserting registered trademarks inside email clients that makes it simple for organizations to display their brand on emails.

The idea behind developing BIMI guidelines was to promote a safer email ecosystem by accelerating DMARC adoption and giving brands an incentive to properly implement DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). This incentive was designed in the form of a Verified Mark Certificate, VMC, that enables an organization's verified logo to be displayed in an inbox. To use BIMI at the highest level of validation, organizations require a VMC from an authorized certification authority, such as Entrust, and a DMARC policy set to 100% quarantine or reject.

Why is BIMI important?

By incentivizing organizations to implement DMARC, BIMI promotes a more secure email ecosystem for all. The required DMARC policy helps in improving security against spoofing and phishing attacks. The display of the logo in the inbox brings immediate brand recognition and boosts email engagement. Together, these BIMI requirements help organizations create an enhanced experience for their customers. Early adopters can differentiate their brand while showing their customers that they have implemented best practices.

What is a VMC (Verified Mark Certificate)?

VMC is the digital certificate that enables organizations to display their registered trademark logos alongside outbound emails in accordance with the BIMI guidelines. VMCs help organizations create a more immersive and personalized email experience for their customers and elevate their overall email strategy.

Why do I need a VMC?

Business email compromise (BEC) continues to disrupt consumer trust and leads to costly fraudulent activity. New enhanced personalization methods that can drive more immersive email experiences safely help to improve email strategy. Combining VMCs with the required DMARC authentication and anti-spoofing technology helps to reduce email spoofing and phishing and improve deliverability.

VMCs help brands create a more engaging email experience for their customers and bring best practices to their email strategy.

What is DMARC?

DMARC is an email authentication protocol that was developed to give email domain owners the ability to prevent email spoofing.

How are logos displayed in the inbox?

email with VMC and email with VMC enabled

Which mailbox providers support BIMI?

Gmail, Yahoo, Fastmail are supporting BIMI since 2021. Apple has announced support for BIMI in macOS/iOS16 from Fall 2022 while La Poste announced its support on August 29th, 2022. Additionally, Gmail , Apple and La Poste support only VMCs along with BIMI.

How do VMCs improve email engagement?

An initial study conducted in June 2021 revealed that VMCs help boost email engagement by positively impacting email open rates and other interactions. To learn more about this study, read our blog post.

What are the requirements for VMC issuance?

  1. High assurance validation process.
  2. Have DMARC policy for the email domain and organizational domain set to quarantine or reject.
  3. Trademarked logo registered in an approved jurisdiction.
  4. Trademarked logo file formatted as an SVG with Tiny (1.2) profile, in a square aspect ratio.

Where can I get a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)?

To get started, visit entrust.com/vmc or contact us at: +1-888-690-2424 between 8:30am to 4:30pm EST.

Can government agencies use BIMI to display their logos in emails?

Government departments and agencies can leverage BIMI to display their logos. They will need a Government Mark Certificate (GMC) and have DMARC for the email domain and the organization domain set to a quarantine or reject policy.

What is a Government Mark Certificate (GMC)?

A GMC verifies the logo granted by statute, regulation, treaty, or other government action for a government agency or department and enables their authorized logo to be displayed in email communications as per BIMI guidelines.

Deep Dive

BIMI

What is the approximate time it would take to get BIMI via a Verified Mark Certificate if starting without DMARC or a registered trademark logo?

DMARC compliance takes an average of five to eight weeks, depending on the number of sources there are to configure and the speed at which you can implement the needed records. It can take anywhere from three to six months or more to get a registered trademark, depending upon country.

Is BIMI expected to become a new internet standard?

There is currently an IETF draft under review, but there is no internet standard yet.

Can BIMI be attached to CRM-generated emails that may be sent from a different IP?

Yes, but only if the email sender is authorized to send via the DMARC-compliant policy.

What is a BIMI record?

A BIMI record is a TXT record that needs to be added to the organization's DNS record for the email domain(s) licensed by the VMC. It contains the hosting location of the registered trademark logo and the VMC associated with the email domain.

Where are the company logos that are used for Verified Mark Certificate records sourced?

The registered logo is provided by your company for authentication as an image in SVG Tiny format. Once authenticated, a VMC is created with this image and hosted by the customer or Entrust. A BIMI record is placed in your DNS, which provides the URL where the VMC is hosted.

Where do we upload the registered logo that we want to show up in email communications?

Entrust will host the VMC and SVG logo by default, but it also can be uploaded to any public-facing website secured with a TLS/SSL certificate. The URLs will need to be placed in your DNS as a BIMI TXT record.

Is BIMI available for only B2C email deployment? What about B2B?

BIMI will show the registered logo on any supported mailbox provider as long as the email domain and organizational domain (if relevant) is BIMI-enabled. Note: Google and Apple only support BIMI with Verified Mark Certificates.

Do I need to send a high volume of email to be eligible for BIMI?

No. Any sender, regardless of volume, can be eligible for BIMI if they have a registered trademark logo and DMARC compliance.

Verified Mark Certificates

Does the logo have to be a registered trademark?

Yes, a registered trademark is one of the requirements for a VMC to be issued.

What is the difference between BIMI and a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)?

BIMI is the protocol that enables organizations to display a registered logo alongside email messages. A VMC verifies that the logo belongs to that company and that it is a legitimate company. A VMC ties into the BIMI record as a tamper-proof security measure.

BIMI can convey an image via an SVG file or a VMC. At present, Yahoo only supports SVG display while Google and Apple only support VMCs.

To have a registered trademark logo, does our company name also need to be registered?

No, only the registered logo that will be used for BIMI needs to be registered.

What trademark registration offices are accepted for Verified Mark Certificates?

Here is the current list of countries and regions that are supported. Additional countries and regions will be added in the future, and we will update this list from time to time.

What is an email domain and email subdomain?

In the context of Verified Mark Certificates an email domain represents the domain that is to the right of the @ sign when sending an email.

For example, if you have email IDs like: [email protected] and [email protected], the email domain is @example.com.

Email subdomain: @marketing.example.com and @ops.example.com will be the email subdomains for @example.com.

How many licenses will I need?

You need a license for every email domain as per Entrust's licensing policy. Each VMC supports one logo. You can add up to 250 email domains to a VMC license (additional fee per email domain is applicable).

What happens with email subdomains under BIMI?

Entrust VMCs support email sub-domains under the base email domain that is licensed to the certificate, at no additional cost.

How many logos can I add in one license?

You can have one logo per VMC license as per Entrust's licensing policy.

My registered trademark logo is slightly different (position or color) than what is trademarked. Is that OK?

If the submitted mark is substantially identical to the registered mark but has some minor variations (size/aspect ratio, background color, etc.) the Entrust verification team will request a signed letter from the applicant indicating that the submitted mark is within the scope of the trademark registration.

Are wordmarks allowed for companies that do not have a registered design mark or logo?

Yes, registered wordmarks are allowed.

Are service marks allowed for companies that do not have a trademarked logo?

Yes, registered service marks are allowed.

Government Mark Certificates

What jurisdictions are accepted for Government Mark Certificates?

Government Mark Certificates (GMCs) are available in the following jurisdictions:

  • All European countries
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • India
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

How many licenses will I need for GMCs?

The licensing policy of GMCs is the same as that of Entrust VMCs.

Which email service providers support GMCs?

Currently, Gmail is supporting Government Mark Certificates.

DMARC

At what stage of the DMARC journey do you need to be at to start implementing BIMI?

To meet the BIMI requirements email domains and organizational domains need to be at least in p=quarantine at 100% or at any percentage in p=reject.

Will the DMARC implementation hold back the formal VMC verification?

No, the VMC verification is done parallel to and separate from the DMARC implementation.

Can Entrust help me with DMARC implementation?

Yes, Entrust has a partnership with Red Sift's OnDMARC for BIMI compliance.

Contact us :+1-888-690-2424 or click on the chat icon and choose chat with sales --> VMC for more details.

Email Service Providers

Which major email service providers support BIMI besides Google?

Gmail, Yahoo, Fastmail are supporting BIMI since 2021. Apple has announced support for BIMI in macOS/iOS16 from Fall 2022 while La Poste announced its support on August 29th, 2022. Additionally, Gmail , Apple and La Poste support only VMCs along with BIMI.

You can view the full list of email service providers currently supporting BIMI.

Gmail

Some Gmail users already have their photo or logo appear in the circle to the left of the sender's name. Is this the same thing as BIMI?

Gmail users can set up a personal Google account using their email address and upload a profile picture to their personal profile. The image appears alongside personal email communications.

This is different from BIMI, which verifies logos having a registered trademark and is tied to a confirmed email domain used for bulk business email communications.

Is there an option for the hobbyist or small business owner, who might not have the resources to get a registered trademark logo?

In order to meet BIMI requirements, a registered trademark is required.

Apple

Which Apple domains will be BIMI enabled?

In its first iteration, Apple will only support BIMI with VMCs for Apple-owned domains in iOS 16. iPad OS and Mac OS will be released in fall 2022 and are expected to support BIMI.

What does it mean to be "Digitally Certified" with Apple?

In addition to displaying the registered trademark logo, Apple is adding text that will show the email is "Digitally Certified," which explains that the email was verified as coming from the owner of the logo and sending email domain.

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