In May 2023, Google announced that they will continue building out security features in Gmail with the release of a blue checkmark icon next to verified senders. Here’s a full rundown of what it means and why email marketers should pay attention.
What do the checkmarks mean?
Similar to the blue checkmarks associated with users on Instagram and Twitter, these symbols next to emails in Gmail signify the sender has been vetted and verified by Google. Specifically, the sender has demonstrated that they own the email address and brand logo they are using to contact you. Any emails where a sender has a blue checkmark next to their name/logo in your Gmail inbox is considered “authentic” by Google.
This is one of the latest measures Google specifically has taken to increase security and protections for users in Gmail. In particular, this will help protect users from spam messages. Applying this verification process to emails is a key way Google is supporting Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), a growing movement backed by many other email providers that aims for all of us to be more confident that emails are coming from legitimate senders.
What is BIMI?
BIMI is also the reason why you now see brand or company logos next to corresponding emails in your Gmail. In order for that logo to show up, the organization must pass a series of authentication checks proving someone else isn’t impersonating that sender.
What else is involved in getting verified by Gmail?
Obtain your Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)
Brand logos and the ownership of those logos are also verified to confirm the sender is who they say they are. Once a brand’s logos and corresponding ownership is confirmed by Google, that organization receives a Verified Mark Certificate as proof.
Set up Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)
Finally, BIMI uses DMARC, a standard email authentication technique, to protect email users from spoofing, phishing, and spam. DMARC acts as a fail-safe when someone else impersonates your domain or organization and doesn’t pass an email client’s authentication checks.
All three of these measures (BIMI, VMC, and DMARC) are required to authenticate a message in Gmail before a sender can receive a blue checkmark.
Three reasons why you should get verified in Gmail
Emphasizes trust and credibility with your email recipients
At the time of writing this blog, Gmail’s blue checkmarks have been around for less than two weeks. That means this initiative is still new and not everyone has gone through the steps of getting verified in Gmail. By taking the time to obtain your blue checkmark, your organization is signaling to your readers that you are committed to protecting them from spam and spoofing. Plus, if you’re one of the first in your industry to make this move, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Reinforces brand recognition
Getting verified with Gmail also allows you to show your brand logo in someone’s inbox. This is a subtle, but noticeable touchpoint you can have with your email recipients.
Protects your brand image
No organization or person wants their content to be marked as spam, or impersonated by another actor. By taking preventative measures and getting verified in Gmail, you’re taking the most active approach possible to protect your brand.
How Response Labs can help
As CRM-experts certified in multiple platforms, we make it a point to educate ourselves and our clients on the latest developments in digital marketing. We strive to be on the cutting edge of everything there is to know about digital marketing, and that specially includes security and privacy concerns. Our team acts as the stewards for many of our client’s CRM technologies and strategies, including email. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we help our clients stay ahead of the latest changes and developments in digital marketing.
Response Labs is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.