The dreaded spam folder is where, sadly, a lot of real estate agents’ emails end up.
It happens for many reasons… bad sender reputation, dirty email list (high bounce rate), poor domain name configuration, and many others.
In an ongoing effort to enhance user trust and security, Google has introduced an innovative feature in Gmail that proves particularly beneficial for real estate agents who want to reach the inbox instead of the spam folder for all of their marketing emails as well as private/confidential emails i.e. contracts, offer submissions etc.
While there are some technical steps to jump through, this new feature will help you avoid the dreaded spam folder and significantly improve your email security, as well as help prevent phishing scams.
Understanding the Blue Tick Feature
This feature presents a blue tick next to the names of specific senders, certifying their authenticity. This indication is automatically given to businesses that have effectively utilised Gmail’s Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) functionality.
Initially introduced in 2021, the BIMI feature requires senders to authenticate their emails and validate their brand logo, which subsequently appears as an avatar in their emails – which can really stand out on a mobile device among all other senders.
Improving open/click rates
Agents will notice a tick symbol adjacent to the name of senders who’ve successfully implemented the BIMI feature. This enhancement aids recipients in distinguishing between bona fide and fraudulent emails, proving particularly valuable in an industry where trust and authenticity are crucial.
BIMI: Building Trust and Confidence
BIMI aims to streamline the process for clients in identifying trustworthy email senders, instilling confidence in the content they receive in their inboxes. The trust-building aspect of BIMI is often more impactful than the potential brand awareness benefits it may offer.
BIMI and Email Deliverability
BIMI improves email deliverability. As modern email deliverability leans heavily on authentication and sender reputation rather than just the content, BIMI provides an additional tool to improve the chances of your emails landing in the inbox.
Logo Trademark Requirements
Before implementing BIMI, you will need to ensure that your logo is trademarked. You cannot implement BIMI without this.
Steps for implementing BIMI (assuming your logo is trademarked)
We recommend seeking the assistance of your IT provider, email service provider or website provider to implement the following steps. While they won’t be able to complete the verification process for you (this must be done by a certified employee or business owner of your business), they can assist with the technical domain name and email setup required. See this helpful guide from Digicert for more information.
- Prepare an SVG Tiny PS version of your logo. Make sure it’s square, with a solid background colour, and has a centred image that’s under 32 kilobytes. Here are the recommended steps to follow for formatting your logo (we’d recommend seeking help from your graphic designer for this step).
- Purchase a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC) from a reputable certificate provider (we recommend Digicert).
- Upload your logo along with the other supporting documents required for your VMC application.
- Once your VMC is approved, publish a BIMI record in your domain’s DNS using the information given by your VMC provider.
After all of these steps have been completed, use this BIMI Inspector tool to verify that everything is correctly set up.
This ensures your agency is poised to take full advantage of Gmail’s blue tick feature, maximising the reach and impact of your email marketing efforts.