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Google rolls out blue ticks to help you spot genuine senders from impersonators

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It’s estimated that around 85% of sent emails are spam.

This is a problem not only for recipients but also for any business sending emails—including ecommerce brands using email marketing.

In a constant bid to keep people safe, mail providers work hard to filter spam to a dedicated folder, leaving only genuine messages in the inbox. This works very well, but the spam filters can also identify some of those genuine emails as spam. That’s why a strong sender reputation to improve deliverability is important.

But in a new attempt to protect inboxes, Google is implementing a verification method that you may be familiar with from social media platforms: the blue tick.

What’s happening

Google is building on its Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) feature that it introduced in 2021. BIMI enabled senders to use strong authentication to display their brand logo as an avatar in their emails. This helps recipients to immediately recognize the logo and trust the email as legitimate.

Earlier this week, Google announced the next step: a blue checkmark that appears next to the sender name, helping you to identify the real company from impersonators. When an email arrives in your Gmail inbox with a blue tick, it reassures you that the sender has adopted BIMI.

Here’s how it looks:

Why Google is introducing blue ticks

Verification is an important part of safety and can be applied in different ways—from using your passport to enter a different country, to proving you own a website in order to use Google Analytics for it.

But the inbox has proven a more difficult space to protect—anyone able to create an email address and start sending.

A prominent visual icon in the inbox is a way to immediately identify genuine senders, and Google says this is important because it “increases confidence in email sources and gives readers an immersive experience, creating a better email ecosystem for everyone.” 

Google is rolling this out immediately and all users of Gmail will see the blue tick, including free personal accounts. 

Do you need to set up BIMI?

Currently, it’s not strictly necessary to set up BIMI. You’ll still be able to send emails and can still appear in the inbox if you follow best deliverability practices.

But it’s safe to assume that Google may give priority to senders that have verified. By proving you are who you say you are, you can be sure of hitting the inbox (or at least, more sure).

It can also help increase trust with your audience. If they regularly receive a lot of spam, they may avoid opening your email “just in case.” By seeing a blue tick in the inbox, they’ll know you’re who you say you are and should feel more comfortable.

Greg Zakowicz, Omnisend’s Senior Ecommerce Expert, says:

“Greater security, inbox placement, and consumer confidence are always welcome, and this addition is a good step in that direction. That being said, I don’t think it’s something that should send most ecommerce brands scrambling. The reality is that most ecommerce brands are not at a high risk of being targeted by bad actors. Because of this, securing a verified checkmark is something I would absolutely recommend adding to the to-do list, but would not drop everything to get it done. Plan accordingly, and secure the checkmark for your brand when time allows.”

You can add your brand logo using BIMI by following Google’s instructions.

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Richard White
Article by
Richard White

Richard is a Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend. An avid writer, he's said to have been born holding a pencil. Fascinated by all things handmade, if he's not reading or writing he can often be found practicing leathercraft.