How to Elevate Your Email Game with a Blue Checkmark for Gmail
In today’s age, email remains a cornerstone of communication, both for personal and professional use. Whether you’re sending marketing newsletters, business proposals, or important updates, making your emails stand out in crowded inboxes can be a game-changer and a blue checkmark from Gmail is a great way.
You instantly boost trust and recognition for your organization’s emails by obtaining a blue checkmark. Google announced its support for BIMI for Google Workspaces a few years back, but many people haven’t taken advantage of it yet. One of the benefits of getting a checkmark is greater open rates, conversions, and trust. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the process of securing that coveted blue checkmark for your email addresses.
The Power of Trademarks
The journey towards getting a blue check for your organization’s emails begins with a fundamental step: obtaining a trademark. This might sound daunting, but it’s more accessible than you might think. Trademarks are crucial for protecting your brand identity, and they play a pivotal role in the BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) process. Your trademark should cover your business’s logo or icon, the very symbol that will be displayed alongside your emails. If you’ve been thinking of a brand refresh with a new logo, icon, or logomark, it might be a good time for you to get this process started. (Note: I cover brand identity in my book ‘Transform Your Marketing,’ which is a great read before any refresh). With trademark registration having a cost, make sure you’re happy with your existing brand.
To get started with the process, you’ll need to file a trademark application, which can be facilitated by legal services like Rocket Lawyer or through a local provider. Ensure that the trademark application is specifically for your logo or icon, not just your business name.
Crafting the Perfect Icon File Type
With your trademark application in progress, it’s time to focus on the visual representation of your brand. Your logo or icon is at the heart of your organization’s identity and will be the emblem that recipients see alongside your emails. Therefore, it’s essential to have a high-quality, scalable version of it.
Ideally, your logo should be in a vector format which allows for easy scalability without losing image quality. If your logo isn’t already in vector format, hire a graphic designer who can convert it for you. Investing in this step is crucial as it will determine the clarity and professionalism of your email branding. More importantly, the vector file type you’ll need for the BIMI group is special. BIMI exclusively utilizes the Scalable Vector Graphic Tiny Portable/Secure 1.2 format (SVG Tiny-PS 1.2). This particular SVG format was selected by the BIMI Working Group due to its robust security features, significantly reducing the risk of potential malware or tracking vulnerabilities. Getting this type of SVG can be a little trickly for the uninitiated but most professionals can handle it with a little research.
Acquiring a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)
Now that your logo or icon is ready, it’s time to secure a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). A VMC is essentially your ticket to the blue checkmark club. Two primary companies provide VMCs: DigiCert and Entrust. While both offer reputable services, consider factors such as cost, compatibility, and recommendations when choosing between them.
The VMC is the verification mechanism that vouches for your organization’s authenticity. It plays a vital role in ensuring that recipients can trust the blue checkmark next to your emails. Obtaining a VMC comes at a cost, but for organizations looking to make a significant impact with email marketing, it’s an investment worth considering.
Configuration and Implementation
With your VMC secured, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get technical. This step involves configuring your DNS (Domain Name System) records with your domain name provider to align with BIMI standards. Don’t worry if this sounds intimidating; I’ll break it down for you.
Start by adding a TXT (text) record named “default._bimi” to your DNS records. The content of this record should be provided by your VMC provider. It essentially serves as a digital stamp of approval, telling email clients that your organization is verified and trusted.
Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that your DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) policy is set to “quarantine” or “reject.” This step is crucial because it ensures compatibility between your BIMI record and your domain.
Expectations and Benefits of Your Blue Checkmark for Gmail
After successfully completing these steps, you can expect your organization’s emails to feature that coveted blue checkmark, signifying trust and authenticity. However, it’s important to note that this blue checkmark won’t be visible to those sending the emails; rather, it’s a reassuring symbol for recipients.
The benefits of obtaining a blue checkmark are substantial. It enhances trust, authority, and open rates for your emails. It sets your emails apart from the crowd and gives your organization a professional edge. It’s worth noting that while BIMI is compatible with Gmail, it may not be fully supported by all email clients, particularly Outlook.
In a digital landscape where trust and authenticity matter more than ever, securing a blue check for your organization’s emails is a strategic move. It’s a visual indicator of your commitment to professionalism and trustworthiness in your email communications. While the process involves a few technical steps and investments, the benefits far outweigh the effort.
If you’re considering this endeavor but prefer to focus on your core business activities, consider consulting marketing advisors who can handle the technical aspects for you. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of the blue checkmark without getting lost in the intricacies of DNS records, VMCs, and more. In the world of email, where first impressions matter, a blue checkmark can be your organization’s secret weapon, setting you apart from the competition and instilling confidence in your recipients.