Email phishing and spoofing are serious threats facing businesses today. According to the FTC, these attacks resulted in losses of over $667 million in 2021 alone.
Adding a verified logo to your outgoing emails is an effective way to establish trust and reassure customers that your messages are genuine. The visual indicator helps combat sophisticated phishing attempts using your company‘s branding.
This in-depth guide will walk you through the entire process of enabling brand indicators for your business emails. Follow these steps to have your logo appear prominently across inboxes and reinforce your brand identity.
- Why You Should Add a Verified Logo
- Step 1: Obtain a Professional Business Email Address
- Step 2: Authenticate Outgoing Emails
- Step 3: Create and Register a Business Logo
- Step 4: Obtain a Verified Mark Certificate
- Step 5: Upload Logo and VMC to Your Website
- Step 6: Add a BIMI DNS Record
- Enable Trust Indicators on Your Emails
Why You Should Add a Verified Logo
Here are some key reasons to add a verified logo to your business emails:
Prevents phishing: Over 90% of cyber attacks start with phishing emails. Visible logos make it easy for customers to identify legit emails.
Builds trust: People are more likely to open and click on emails with verified sender indicators. Improves inbox placement too.
Boosts brand awareness: Seeing your logo repeatedly reinforces your brand in customer minds. Improves recognition and recall.
Gains preferential treatment: Gmail, Outlook and other clients prioritize verified emails. Less likely to be marked as spam.
Looks professional: Customers perceive logos as signs of legitimacy and credibility. Denotes business authenticity.
In summary, verified logos provide tangible indicators that build customer trust in your communications. They help combat phishing and spoofing while also strengthening your brand‘s presence.
Step 1: Obtain a Professional Business Email Address
To enable a verified logo, you first need an email address that matches your company domain. Generic addresses like [email protected] will not work here.
Your email address should follow the format [email protected], using the same domain as your website.
For example, if your site is on example.com, your email should be [email protected] or [email protected]
Here are two ways to go about getting a professional business email address:
Use Your Domain Registrar‘s Email Forwarding
The easiest option is to use your domain registrar‘s free email forwarding if available. Popular registrars like GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Bluehost provide this.
To set up email forwarding:
- Log in to your domain registrar account and go to the email settings.
- Click to add a new custom email address like [email protected]
- Enter the external email you want messages forwarded to.
- Save the new forwarding address.
Once configured, any emails sent to that custom address will be automatically forwarded to your main inbox.
Sign Up for a Dedicated Business Email Service
If email forwarding is unavailable or lacks key features, you can subscribe to a dedicated business email service like G Suite or Office 365.
These paid services let you send and receive emails using your own domain name by integrating with your DNS records.
Some benefits over basic forwarding include:
- Fully featured webmail interface
- Calendar, contacts and docs integration
- Custom email aliases
- Collaboration tools
While pricier, these services provide a professional branded email experience.
Step 2: Authenticate Outgoing Emails
Before you can activate verified logos, email providers must confirm the messages truly originate from your domain. This prevents spoofing and forgery.
SPF and DKIM are the two main protocols used to authenticate your outgoing emails:
Configure SPF Records
SPF verifies that mail servers sending emails from your domain are authorized to do so.
To set up SPF:
Get your current SPF record from your domain registrar or DNS provider.
Update the record to include the IP addresses of all servers that will send your email.
include:spf.efwd.registrar-servers.comto cover your registrar‘s mail servers.
Save the updated TXT record in your DNS configuration.
Generate DKIM Keys
DKIM uses public-private key cryptography to confirm emails were really sent by you.
Here‘s how to enable DKIM:
Generate a public and private DKIM key pair in your email server admin console.
Add a TXT record with your public key to your domain‘s DNS records.
Ensure your email server signs outgoing messages with your private key.
With SPF and DKIM set up properly, recipient servers can authenticate that emails came from your authorized domain and servers.
Step 3: Create and Register a Business Logo
To activate brand indicators, your logo must be a registered trademark. Here‘s how to create and protect a unique logo for your business:
Hire a Designer
Work with a professional graphic designer to create a logo that captures your brand identity and values.
Provide brand guidelines and keywords that describe your business. Request vector files like SVG that look sharp at any size.
Register a Trademark
File an application with your country‘s intellectual property office to register a trademark for your logo. This gives you exclusive rights to the mark.
For example, the US Patent and Trademark Office for American businesses or the EU Intellectual Property Office.
Establish Logo Usage
Upload high-resolution versions of your logo to your website, social profiles, marketing materials, and other assets.
Using the trademark registration symbol ® helps notify others of your protected status.
Make sure you fully own the logo artwork and can legally display it as your brand‘s exclusive identity.
Step 4: Obtain a Verified Mark Certificate
A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) proves your registered ownership of the logo trademark.
To get a VMC:
Submit an application to an approved VMC issuer like DigiCert or Entrust.
Provide your logo SVG, trademark registration details, and business documentation.
The issuer will verify your trademark ownership.
You‘ll receive a signed
vmc.pemcertificate file to use in enabling email logos.
Save this certificate file to upload to your website in the next step.
Step 5: Upload Logo and VMC to Your Website
Your logo image and VMC certificate must be hosted on your public business website:
Use FTP to Upload
Upload both the logo SVG file and vmc.pem certificate to your web server‘s file directory using FTP.
Right-click each file and copy its URL to retrieve later. The URLs must start with HTTPS.
Use WordPress Media Library
If your site runs on WordPress, install a plugin like WPCode to allow SVG uploads.
Upload files through the media library and copy the URLs it generates for each one.
Place Files Appropriately
Make sure any access restrictions won‘t block external services from retrieving the files. For example, hotlink protection policies or password protections.
Now you have the logo and VMC file URLs needed to enable brand indicators.
Step 6: Add a BIMI DNS Record
The final step is adding a BIMI TXT record to your domain‘s DNS configuration.
Use this format, replacing the URLs:
v=BIMI1; l=https://example.com/logo.svg; a=https://example.com/vmc.pem
This points verification services to your hosted logo and certificate.
To add the record:
- Log in to your domain registrar or DNS manager.
- Navigate to DNS record settings.
- Add a new TXT record with host
- Paste the BIMI value containing your URLs as the text value.
- Save the record.
After propagation, email receivers can fetch your logo and validate it against your VMC. Verified logos will start appearing in supported inboxes.
Use BIMI Inspector to confirm everything is working correctly.
Enable Trust Indicators on Your Emails
Adding a verified logo provides tangible trust indicators to email recipients and helps prevent phishing. Follow the steps outlined here to have your logo appear prominently across inboxes.
If you need assistance getting set up, don‘t hesitate to consult an experienced IT specialist. They can help streamline the technical steps and ensure proper configuration.