Google has announced that Gmail has introduced blue checkmarks next to select senders’ names to help users identify messages from legitimate senders.
Will Work If You’ve Adopted ‘BIMI’
The new checkmark verification symbols work in accounts where users have adopted Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). The BIMI system, introduced in 2021, allows users to display logos in their emails that recipients can see to authenticate the email.
How Does BIMI Work?
For a brand’s logo to be displayed, the email must pass DMARC authentication checks, and the sender publishes a standardised DNS record which contains a URL to a logo that may require proof that the logo has been validated with a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). An organisation publishes a BIMI record containing these URLs and a supporting mailbox provider (MBP) checks the sending domain’s DMARC policy to verify that it is included in the BIMI validation in order for the logo to be used and displayed.
Why The Blue Checks?
Google says that the use of blue checks enables “Strong email authentication” which “helps users and email security systems identify and stop spam, and also enables senders to leverage their brand trust.”
Google says that this “increases confidence in email sources and gives readers an immersive experience, creating a better email ecosystem for everyone.”
When And Who?
The rollout for blue ticks was scheduled for 1–3 days and started on May 3, so should already be visible. Google says that the blue tick feature is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and to users with personal Google Accounts.
Will It Be Like Twitter’s Blue Ticks?
It’s difficult not to make the comparison between this and Twitter’s ill-fated blue tick/blue check system (and which resulted in some derision and confusion) where checkmarks now simply seem to indicate paying customers, rather than authenticated users. Unlike Twitter’s system, however, there’s no fee for setting up BIMI and Google’s blue ticks, plus it doesn’t come with the controversy of the takeover that put Elon Musk in the news in a less-than-positive light. Instagram also has a blue tick system.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Last year Google was making the news over the amount of spam emails in Gmail and back in November, it was keen to point out that its systems were blocking huge amounts of bogus and spam emails – 15 billion in a day! Given that phishing emails and email-borne malware are prevalent and major email threats and that social media companies have acted to try and stop impersonators, it makes sense that Google would follow suit. Using an already recognised symbol that’s now widely associated with trust, a blue tick, also makes sense, and if the system (in association with BIMI) enables businesses to quickly and easily show customers that their emails can be trusted, it could help senders to leverage their brand trust, maintain and grow their marketing relationships with customers, and stand out from the crowd.