Monthly Archives: September 2020

The Awesomeness of Plus Addressing

Microsoft recently announced their plan to support plus addressing in Office365 accounts, so we thought we would discuss how useful this technology is. Hotmail and Gmail have had this feature for several years, but with the addition to Office365, the majority of business inbox providers now support it.

What is Plus Addressing?

Plus addressing is a way to leverage your existing email inbox to create multiple email addresses that point back to your email box. For example, if your email is “me@example.com”, then email to “me+a@example.com” or “me+b@example.com” will also go to your inbox. “a” or “b” are considered a +tag.

How can I use it?

Plus tag addressing is highly useful, especially to those of us in highly technical environments. A few things you can do with it:

  • Create a +tag for your test accounts and segregate each days testing by the date
  • Create a +tag for different newsletters and filter based on the tag
  • Create a +tag for registrations and follow the distribution/sale of this tag to different “associated” websites

The permutations of +tags are truly infinite, allowing you greater control over your inbox and emails you receive.

Follow our Blog for more useful email delivery tips.

Problems with MxToolbox? Clear your Cookies

Every day, MxToolbox adds new functionality to the website. Sometimes, this puts our users and customers in strange states with their sessions and cookies.

Why Cookies?

Everyone loves cookies, tasty little crumbs of information that hang around in your browser (and sometimes your keyboard). Okay, not everyone loves cookies, but they serve a development purpose and MxToolbox uses them as part of both our Free and Paid accounts.

If our new features get in weird cookie states, we recommend that our users delete their cache and cookies and re-login to the website.

Deleting Cookies

Different browsers have different methods for clearing cache and cookies. Here are a few common examples:

MxToolbox Experts and Tools are here to help with your email delivery. Occasionally deleting cookies and clearing cache will help you access the most recent tools we have.

Google Joins BIMI Pilot

Google recently announced that it will begin pilot support for BIMI, the protocol that allows companies to declare an image to display in the inbox alongside the company’s verified emails. Google had previously joined the BIMI Working Group to help define the BIMI standard.

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What does this mean?

With Google piloting BIMI logo display in their inboxes, it should not take long for them to fully adopt BIMI in the inbox. When Google fully implements BIMI in their inboxes, anyone who has adopted BIMI as part of their email delivery will suddenly have their logo displayed in the largest inbox provider in the world.

When is this rolling out?

Google is currently piloting BIMI logos that have been certified by two Mark Verifying Authorities, Entrust Datacard and DigiCert. The exact duration of the pilot and the adoption of new MVA’s is to be determined.

What can you do?

To take advantage of the pilot you must adopt BIMI. Adopting BIMI requires a few additional steps:

  1. Setup SPF, DKIM and DMARC.
  2. Manage your DMARC compliance for legitimate senders. MxToolbox Delivery Center helps businesses like yours adopt DMARC to improve email deliverability.
  3. Gradually move to 100% reject DMARC policy.
  4. Create a BIMI logo and get it certified with an MVA.
  5. Configure your BIMI record.
  6. See your logo in the inbox!

MxToolbox is here to help!

Delivery Center provides best-in-class insight into your email deliverability, email configuration and email senders, including BIMI.

Managed Services gives you access to our team of email delivery experts to minimize your timeline to maximum email deliverability and simplify your adoption of important email delivery standards.

Authenticating BIMI – Mark Verifying Authorities

As we have discussed before, adopting BIMI will significantly improve the deliverability and visibility of your email in your customers’ inboxes. Since BIMI requires a strong Reject DMARC policy to display a logo, your email delivery will be already close to the best possible. The BIMI logo, especially in the short-term, will give you a branding advantage over your competitors and heighten visibility with your potential customers. However, the question is –

How can you prevent a fraudster from using your BIMI Logo?

If anyone could publish any BIMI logo they liked, then fraudulent email could be sent, with some difficulty, that mimics your real email. For example, feclex.com is an open domain that looks similar to a popular parcel delivery company in the US with the right font. Setting up strict DMARC policies and BIMI on this domain takes time, skill and resources, but fraudsters tend to be adept at mimicry like this. If there were no way to verify the use of a corporate logo, fraudsters could setup fake domains that leverage well-known brands and domains. Enter Mark Verifying Authorities.

What is a Mark Verifying Authority (MVA)?

An MVA is similar to an SSL Certificate Authority, a trusted 3rd party that issues a certification of ownership of a BIMI logo. Known as a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), the certificate is proof that a domain owner holds the rights to the logo image being used.

How do MVAs Verify Ownership?

MVA standards and practices are still in flux as the exact details of a VMC have yet to be ratified. However, the general requirements are:

  • Ownership or license to a registered trademark
  • Registered trademark must be registered in a competent jurisdiction
  • Proposed mark or logo must match the registered trademark
  • Owner or licensor of the trademark must also be the registrant (or licensee) of the associated domain name

How do I Implement a VMC?

VMC’s are not yet a requirement as BIMI is still in the roll-out stages, however, there are some things you can do to get ahead:

  1. If you have not already, now is the time to implement SPF, DKIM and DMARC and move to a strict Reject policy for non-compliant email. MxToolbox Delivery Center is designed to help you manage your email delivery.
  2. Research the Mark Verifying Authorities available and select one that works well with your business and begin the process of verifying your logo for BIMI.
  3. Add your VMC to the “a” tag of your BIMI record. This tag has been reserved for the signing authority.

MxToolbox is dedicated to helping our customers improve their email delivery. Continue to leverage our free BIMI Lookup tool as we add features relevant to VMCs and MVAs.

Delivery Center provides the best insight into your email delivery posture and MxToolbox Managed Services gives you direct access to our email experts to help you get started quickly.