The Complete Guide to Setting Up BIMI in 2023

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is an authentication protocol that allows companies to display their logo in the Gmail inbox next to authenticated emails. Setting up BIMI can significantly improve email deliverability, open rates, and click through rates by building trust and brand recognition. This comprehensive guide will walk through everything you need to know to get BIMI up and running for your Gmail emails.

We’ll cover the benefits of BIMI, steps for initial setup, a detailed implementation guide, troubleshooting tips, and best practices to optimize your use of BIMI as an email marketer. Follow along to learn how to configure BIMI the right way and take your Gmail deliverability to the next level.

Getting Started with BIMI #

To begin using BIMI, there are a few prerequisites you need to have in place:

  • Verify domain ownership with DMARC policy - DMARC confirms your ownership of an email domain. Gmail requires a valid DMARC record to enable BIMI.
  • Create DNS records for BIMI - You need to add TXT and MX DNS records that point to your authorized BIMI logo image.
  • Upload branded image - Your logo image needs to be hosted on a public content delivery network (CDN) and meet Gmail’s specifications.
  • Test BIMI configuration - Send test emails to confirm your logo displays properly before launching.

With these basics set up, you’ll be ready to dive into the BIMI implementation details.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up BIMI #

Let’s go through the BIMI setup process step-by-step:

Configure DMARC Policy #

DMARC authentication tells Gmail your emails are really coming from your domain. To enable BIMI, you first need a valid DMARC record with a “reject” policy. Here are the key steps:

  • Choose a DMARC record format, such as “”.
  • Set the DMARC policy to “reject” unwanted emails.
  • Publish a TXT DNS record with your DMARC details.
  • Wait 48 hours for DMARC record to propagate.
  • Verify your DMARC record using a DMARC analyzer tool.

With DMARC set up, you can move on to configuring your BIMI DNS records.

Add BIMI DNS Records #

The BIMI DNS records associate your domain with your authorized brand logo image. You need to add two records:

  • BIMI TXT record - This specifies the CDN URL of your brand image.
  • BIMI MX record - This links the TXT to your domain.

Publish these records through your DNS provider. Allow 48 hours for propagation. Use a DNS lookup tool to verify they are configured correctly.

Upload and Optimize Brand Image #

Your logo image needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Host image on public CDN.
  • JPG or PNG format preferred.
  • Square 1:1 aspect ratio.
  • At least 144x144 pixels.
  • Limit text and complexity.
  • Optimize and compress image.

With your image hosted, double check the TXT record URL points to the CDN logo location.

Test BIMI Configuration #

The final step is to test that your BIMI configuration works properly:

  • Send a test email from your domain to a Gmail account.
  • Check that your logo appears automatically.
  • Confirm logo looks crisp and displays well.
  • Adjust configurations if issues appear.
  • Retest until functioning properly.

Once working, do a final retest on multiple devices and email clients. Then launch for all of your emails!

Troubleshooting Common BIMI Issues #

If BIMI isn’t working properly during setup or stops displaying properly later, there are a few common issues to debug:

Fixing Image Display Problems #

  • Check logo meets Gmail’s recommended specifications.
  • Verify TXT record URL points to current image location.
  • Recompress image to optimize size and quality.
  • Retry with simplified logo design if needed.

Debugging DMARC Configuration #

  • Validate DMARC record format is correct.
  • Check DMARC policy level is set to “reject”.
  • Confirm DMARC record propagates across DNS.
  • Use DMARC analyzer to check for issues.

Verifying DNS Propagation #

  • Allow 48 hours for new DNS records to propagate.
  • Check DNS tools to confirm records are visible.
  • Work with your DNS provider if propagation fails.

Retest BIMI After Troubleshooting #

  • Send new test emails after making fixes.
  • Continue optimizing until BIMI displays consistently.
  • Monitor BIMI closely after launch.

With systematic troubleshooting, you can get tricky BIMI issues resolved.

BIMI Best Practices for Marketers #

Once BIMI is set up, there are some key best practices to follow:

Optimize Brand Image Design #

  • A/B test different image variations.
  • Prioritize recognizable logos.
  • Use illustrations if logo unclear.
  • Evaluate on most common email devices.

Integrate With Other Email Authentication #

  • Combine BIMI with SPF, DKIM etc.
  • Ensure consistent branding across methods.
  • Provide layered authentication signals.

Regularly Test and Monitor BIMI #

  • Send periodic test emails to confirm functionality.
  • Check BIMI logs for issues or disablement.
  • Stay on top of Google BIMI updates.

Boost Campaign Performance With BIMI #

  • Inform subscribers BIMI increases security.
  • A/B test emails with and without BIMI.
  • Highlight BIMI in email copy where relevant.
  • Craft branded campaigns that complement logo.

Conclusion #

Configuring BIMI the right way takes research, precision, and testing. But it’s worth the effort. Activating BIMI supercharges your email authentication, boosts open rates, and drives more traffic to your site.

With this comprehensive guide, you have everything you need to successfully set up BIMI. Just follow the step-by-step process to get your logo displaying prominently in Gmail inboxes. Take the time to optimize your image, troubleshoot issues, and integrate BIMI into your email strategy.

Before long, your subscribers will start recognizing and trusting your emails. So get ready to reap the benefits with improved deliverability, higher response rates, and greater success for every campaign!


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