Recently, Google announced it would be adding Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) authentication to Gmail. This probably represents the tipping point in a trend toward verifiable email sending, and should have enormous impacts for marketers over the next year or two.
In general, BIMI works like this: a business uploads a specially formatted version of its trademarked registered logo online. Then, that information gets tied to a certain email address. As a result, only that address can send emails that display a trusted logo.
This is an elegant solution to a growing problem. It is estimated that more than 3 billion spoofing emails go out every day—that is, messages where a scammer is pretending to represent a bank, an insurance company, or some other well-known institution. With BIMI it should be virtually impossible to fool consumers in this way.
If that seems like a good thing for buyers, then realize it’s even bigger news for marketers. Email response rates have been dropping for years, in part because subscribers are so overwhelmed with junk messages. Now, verified companies are going to be able to reach their most important buyers with quick and targeted messages again. As with all things, however, there is one small catch…
You Must Have a Trademarked Logo to Use BIMI
In order for a business to take advantage of authenticated email messaging, it needs to use a trademarked logo. That’s going to be an issue for a lot of entrepreneurs, and even the owners of established small and medium-sized businesses.
Why should the trademark necessity hold marketers back? There are really two issues at play, both of them relating to budgets and mindsets.
The first is that many business owners have never taken the time to trademark their own logos. The process is fairly quick and inexpensive (call us if you need a referral to an attorney who can help) but it does require awareness and intent. To put it another way, there are going to be some entrepreneurs who simply refuse to spend the money, even though it could make a huge difference in their long-term revenues.
The second and more serious problem is that many of the same business owners acquired their logos in the cheapest possible ways. That meant hiring people on services like Fiverr. Because these vendors have to churn out dozens of logos per week to earn a living, many of them reuse designs again and again or simply duplicate what they have seen in portfolios like ours. Because they don’t represent original work, they aren’t eligible to be trademarked.
We feel safe predicting that these two issues are going to cause a great deal of anger and annoyance within the online marketing community over the next few years. Meanwhile, the companies that have done things the right way are going to make huge gains. After all, they are going to be able to reach customers at a time when their competitors can’t.
This Is Your Chance to Get Ahead with BIMI
Verified commercial emails are something our industry has needed for a long time. Now we are finally getting them. Is your business going to be one of those that benefits from the change, or are you going to be left behind and wondering why email isn’t working for you?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, then it’s the perfect time to schedule a free consultation with our creative team. We can walk you through the ins and outs of BIMI. More importantly, we can ensure you’re ready for all the online marketing challenges businesses are facing in 2022 and beyond!