BIMI support is coming to Apple Mail

If you’re using Apple’s desktop or mobile email clients, you can expect your inbox to become more colorful soon: support for BIMI, the email specification that allows brands to display their logo next to email messages, is coming to Apple Mail on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.

Apple is the latest inbox provider to add BIMI support, a move that will likely encourage more brands to implement BIMI as well. Here’s what you should know about this update. 


A quick recap: What is BIMI? #

BIMI, short for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, is an email specification that rewards brands who properly authenticate their emails with the option to display brand logos in the customer’s inbox.

Bimi is coming to Apple Mail
The BIMI before-and-after: no logo (left), brand logo (right)

BIMI builds on top of DMARC, a powerful authentication standard that prevents spammers from using your domain to send email without your permission.

Only when DMARC is properly set up can brands move on to implementing BIMI
. It’s a clever setup that provides benefits to both senders and recipients:

  • Senders who take email authentication seriously and protect their brand from spoofing attempts get the opportunity to place their brands more prominently in the inbox—and that’s proven to lead to increased email engagement. (But read on to find out why this won't necessarily be true for Apple Mail's BIMI implementation.)
  • At the same time, recipients can be certain that whenever they see a brand logo in their inbox, that email was actually sent from that brand, making it much easier to tell legitimate messages from spam.

Coming soon: BIMI support for Apple Mail #

Last week (June 13-17), eagle-eyed email geeks spotted this addition to the BIMI group’s support chart, starting rumors of BIMI support coming to Apple inboxes.

the BIMI group support chart now includes Apple's logo

Now, with the iOS 16 beta 2 out in the world, and folks testing the Mail app in Apple’s newest operating system, we’ve got confirmation that brands who set up BIMI will see their logos displayed in Apple Mail’s inboxes.

How BIMI will change the email experience for Apple Mail users #

Most other inbox providers that support BIMI, including Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, display brand logos in the inbox. So when brands implement BIMI, they'll get to display their brand's logos in the inbox alongside their sender name and subject line. It doesn't look like Apple is following the same approach. In our testing of BIMI support in the current beta version of iOS 16, the inbox view remained text-only. For marketers who were hoping to display their logo in the inbox to encourage recipients to open their messages, that's bad news—Apple Mail just won't provide this major benefit of implementing BIMI.  

This screenshot from an iPad shows BIMI support in the message view (see the Amazon's logo on the top left corner of the email.) The inbox and search view on the left though doesn't support logos.

Only after a recipient opens an email that is verified with BIMI, the logo will appear in the header section of the message. Plus, once you click on the logo and expand the additional information, recipients will see a note from Apple explaining that the email is a digitally certified message and was verified to come from the indicated sender.

BIMI visualization in Apple Mail
Source: Jesse Hollington, iDROP NEWS

Ready to implement BIMI? #

If you had the implementation of BIMI on your backlog but it never made it to the top of your priorities, the addition of Apple Mail support might be a reason to bounce it up your to-do list. Do you need some help getting started? We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to BIMI and what it takes to implement it.

Bettina Specht

Bettina Specht

Marketer. #emailgeek. Likes squirrels. 🐿