Now that you have obtained a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) to enable BIMI logo display within major mailbox providers (e.g. Gmail and Fastmail), you may be wondering why your logo isn’t automatically being displayed in their email clients. After all, you’ve done your job in fully authenticating your email using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC… plus, you’ve gone through the hassle (and expense) of obtaining a VMC that confirms email from your domain can display the verified logo. So, why isn’t your logo showing up?
The answer is pretty simple (if not entirely satisfying)… even though you have a VMC, the final decision to display a logo is ultimately made by the mailbox provider. Similar to how DMARC allows for local policies to override the published policy, it’s up to the receiver to decide how to handle the email on behalf of its users. So, even if you have a VMC, the mailbox provider may take other signals into account when deciding whether (or not) to display the logo for email from a domain.
If you want a TL;DR summary, you’ll do well to remember that the BIMI logo is more likely to be displayed when you have a good sending reputation and send enough email to have a reputation calculated by a receiver.
The specifics differ between mailbox providers, and none of them are sharing the details of their secret reputational sauce. Similar to typical reputational metrics, here are some likely signals that might be used to determine whether or not to display BIMI logos (even in the presence of a VMC):
- When did you publish your fully-compliant BIMI record? (i.e. it may take time to propagate and be recognized by receivers.)
- From what domains do you typically send email? (e.g. “company.com”, “service.company.com”, “marketing.company.com”, etc.)
- What email service providers (ESPs) do you use to send email on behalf of your domain (and how’s their reputation)?
- Do you send primarily from dedicated IPs, or are they shared with other ESP customers? (e.g. you may be inheriting a poor IP reputation from their other customer.)
- What’s the volume of email you typically send to your customers each day?
- How long have you been sending this volume profile from your domain?
- What’s the rough breakdown in type between marketing, conversational, and transactional email?
- How do users tend to interact with email sent from your domain (e.g. open, respond, forward, delete, etc.)?
- When did you first publish a DMARC “reject” policy for the Organizational Domain?
- Do you rely primarily on SPF over DKIM for DMARC alignment?
- When reviewing your DMARC reports, what is the average percentage of failing (e.g. likely suspicious/impersonated) messages per day over the past 3 months?
While there isn’t a lot of specific information, you can also consider checking out the pages about BIMI published by Yahoo and Gmail. They have some general tips that might help if you’re curious why your logo isn’t being displayed.
Basically, there are a lot of variables that you’ll want to consider in managing your sending reputation in general, and they also apply to BIMI. Further, each mailbox provider weighs the various signals differently in their determination of whether or not to display BIMI logos. In the absence of a strict set of rules to follow, your best bet is to continue ensuring that you are sending authenticated, non-spammy email across all of your mail flows.
In short, VMCs aren’t a golden ticket guaranteeing the display of your logo. It’s just one more signal in a long list of signals that mix with your domain’s overall email reputation score.