- Blue checkmarks. Gmail introduces blue checkmark verification for legitimate senders.
- Trust reestablished. Marketers benefit from increased trust and campaign performance.
- BIMI adoption. Google Workspace admins must set up BIMI for checkmark verification.
First we had Elon Musk doing away with Twitter’s legacy blue checkmark system to verify the account authenticity of a person of public interest — like a celebrity, politician or journalist. Today, anyone can snag a blue check on Twitter for $8 per month.
Now we have Google rolling up to the blue checkmark game with announcements of a new Gmail feature to verify senders.
What are Google’s new blue checkmarks, how can you get one and what will it mean for marketers?
Gmail’s New Blue Checkmark System
In 2021, Google announced general support for BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) in Google Workspace.
BIMI is an industrywide movement — backed by Yahoo, MailChimp, Twilio SendGrid and more — to improve email security by allowing brand-controlled logos within email clients.
Now, Gmail is taking verification a step further by adding blue checkmarks to emails from senders that have adopted BIMI. Google began rolling out the checkmarks on May 3, full feature visibility was expected by May 6.
The new checkmarks, which appear next to senders’ names, “will help users identify messages from legitimate senders versus impersonators,” according to the tech giant.
“Strong email authentication helps users and email security systems identify and stop spam, and also enables senders to leverage their brand trust,” Google said in its announcement. “This increases confidence in email sources and gives readers an immersive experience, creating a better email ecosystem for everyone.”
The new blue checkmark system is available to all users with a personal Google account, Google Workspace customers and legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.
Related Article: LinkedIn Verification How-To: Guide for Brands, Influencers and Marketers
What Gmail’s New Blue Checkmarks Mean for Marketers
According to a 2022 Adobe report, 75% of global business leaders are facing even more challenges in earning customer trust than before the pandemic.
Think about the average email experience. You get dozens (maybe hundreds) of messages each day from all sorts of senders — both legitimate and illegitimate. And as a result, you’re skeptical of any email that looks suspicious or unfamiliar.
This lack of trust is a major problem for marketers. It makes it harder to reach their target audience, generate new leads and cultivate loyalty. Gmail’s new checkmark verification feature could hold the answer.
Gmail’s blue checkmark verification will provide a clear and visible signal to customers that an email is from a legitimate sender. It will allow marketers to reestablish trust with their audience with the hopes of ultimately boosting campaign performance.
In the end, it doesn’t take long to apply for Gmail’s blue checkmark verification, and it could lead to countless benefits.
Related Article: Twitter's New Ad Policy: Verified Checkmark or Subscription Required to Continue Advertising
How to Get Gmail’s Blue Checkmark Verification
Google Workspace admins who want to get the blue verification checkmark for their organization (and/or add a brand logo), will need to set up BIMI.
Step 1: Turn on BIMI at Your Domain Provider
You must turn on BIMI at your domain provider, not through the Google admin console. Once you’ve logged into your domain provider’s website, you can set up BIMI by adding a DNS text (TXT) record to the management console.
Step 2: Set up DMARC for BIMI
BIMI also requires messages to be authenticated by DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance), which checks to ensure an organization’s domain has not been impersonated.
Google outlines everything admins need to know about how to define your DMARC policy to obtain email verification.
Step 3: Upload Your Brand Logo
If you want to use a brand logo, BIMI currently requires that it is a registered trademark — though updates are in the works to include non-trademarked images.
Step 4: Get Your Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)
If you’re not planning to upload a trademarked logo, you can skip this step. Otherwise, it’s time to apply for a verified mark certificate (VMC). This is a digital certificate that verifies logo ownership.
You will need this certificate if you want your logo to appear in Gmail inboxes.
Step 5: Verify BIMI Is Set up Correctly
Having issues with your logo or blue checkmark not showing up in recipients’ inboxes? Google outlines a step-by-step troubleshooting process that includes reviewing your BIMI setup, verifying the status of your VMC and walking through potential image file issues.
Gmail Blue Check Verification Signals New Era of Authentication
Identity verification — whether for the individual or organization — is gaining steam as a way for brands to build and maintain consumer trust.
Ultimately, Gmail’s new blue checkmark verification feature is another valuable tool for marketers who want to establish trust with their audience and improve the impact of their campaigns.