What is a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC)? Everything to Know About

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Verified Mark Certificate VMC

From Google to JP Morgan, every brand is now using a Verified Mark Certificate. With the other advancements and trends in the digital ecosystem, VMC is now becoming a new requirement for brands to establish their legitimacy.

But, still, some numerous organizations and professionals need clarification about what precisely a VMC is. Fret not, as here you will be getting all the required Verified Mark Certificate details.

A Brief Insight to VMC (Verified Mark Certificate)

Verified Mark Certificate is a kind of digital certificate that lets organizations render their logo along with the outbound emails. When the VMC is used, the mail receiver sees the brand’s logo in the avatar field or sender field. It helps the companies to ensure their customers that the firm is legitimate, authenticated, and aligns with Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) standards.

The VMC certificate works in collaboration with BIMI, which lets the enterprises display their logo with every mail sent. Nowadays, all mailbox service providers are enabling the use of verified mark certificates, as it helps customers and organizations prevent phishing attacks.

In addition, its use cases are quite extended, including the following:

  • For sending billing statements
  • For order confirmation and tracking
  • For sending emergency updates
  • For government updates
  • For health insurance updates
  • For service provider updates and similar

What is BIMI?

In the previous section, you must have read the BIMI. Let’s understand what exactly BIMI is.

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. It’s considered a solution for enabling the companies to show their brand logo along with their mail in the receiver’s inbox. To leverage this solution, a verified mark certificate is a requirement every firm must fulfill.

BIMI offers numerous benefits to a company, such as:

  • Helps to stand out from competition
  • Improves the brand impression
  • Supports in providing an exclusive experience
  • Aids in improving email engagement

In addition, BIMI also helps to increase digital security, as DMARC compliance is necessary for it. It helps protect the brand and customers from potential spoofing and phishing attacks.

Reasons to Use Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs)

Verified mark certificates are becoming highly popular, and you should also utilize them due to the following added leverages.

 1: Better Recognition  

VMC helps you display the brand logo for all the outbound emails during the average operations and email marketing campaigns. Due to this, people start to focus on your emails and open them quickly compared to emails with no logo. As a result, the audience-to-customer rate increases promptly.

2: More Email Engagement

According to email marketers and business owners, verified mark certificates and BIMI helped them to improve their email campaigns. They analyzed growth in their customer base, more engagement with the links, and products shared through the mail. In addition, customers received mail notifications displaying brand logos, leading them to remember and recognize the logo in public places.

Recommended: Elevate Email Security with Gmail Blue Checkmark as BIMI

3: Compliance to DMARC

When you avail yourself of a verified mark certificate, you need to comply with DMARC, and it becomes highly beneficial for you. It helps maintain business authenticity, as DMARC is a protocol that helps avoid spoofing and phishing attacks. In addition, it supports quick delivery issues troubleshooting for better deliverability.

Recommended: What is Email Spoofing? Definition, Example & Prevention

VMC is becoming a new-age trend for businesses that want to improve their authenticity market recognition and increase email engagement. You should also avail of a verified mark certificate to align with the trends and be an advanced organization in your respective industry.

5: Supports to Beat Competition

When your target audience or customers see an email with a logo, they prefer to open and engage with it. With the help of this added advantage, you can seamlessly move ahead of competitors and gain a high value of customers within a short period.

The Benefits and Necessity of VMC

By using a Verified Mark Certificate, you can leverage the following benefits.

1: Improved Security

A VMC certificate offers dual security for your customers as well as for your organization. To use a VMC, you should align to a DMARC protocol. When your customers know that your emails have the brand logo, they start recognizing phishing and spoofing emails. As a result, your digital ecosystem becomes more secure.

2: Elevated Business Reputation

When a certificate authority issues you a verified mark certificate, it assesses your government issues documents to verify legitimacy. Once you pass this validation process, everyone understands that your firm is registered and can be trusted. Thus, more people will start to avail of services or buy products from you.

3: Brand Protection

Besides preventing phishing attacks, availing of a VMC helps you protect the brand logo. Once your logo is registered under the name of your organization, no other person or company can utilize it. They will require your permission for any use, and if any unauthorized utilization is recognized, you can file a legal case against them.

4: Deliverability

Once you are VMC verified, your emails never see the receiver’s spam folder unless a firewall or custom policies are defined. All the mailboxes will treat your mail as legit and display it in the inbox section. Further, the receiver will easily recognize it with your logo and engage with it.

5: Better ROI

As you know, VMC improves email engagement and customer conversion. All such factors also contribute to the overall profit of the company. Regarding the stats of top analysts, when you use email with verified mark certificates, it builds a potential to earn $42 for every $1 spent.

How do BMI and VMC Work Together?

The VMC and BIMI work together as per the following procedure:

Step 1: When someone receives an email, the mail server authenticates and verifies whether it aligns with DKIM, DMARC, and SPF.

Step 2: If the email aligns with DMARC, the mail server will check whether a valid BIMI record is available.

Step 3: If a valid BIMI record is present, it will be validated.

Step 4: Further, for VMC, the mail server will use the URL defined in the “/tag.” The URL will be the location of the BIMI logo, trademarked by the company.

Step 5: If the “/tag” is valid, the server will navigate to the location of the VMC to check its validity and to confirm whether the certificate validates the logo.

Step 6: If the VMC verifies that the BIMI logo is correct, it’s displayed in the inbox of the receiver.

How to Get VMC for Your Business?

To get a VMC for your business, you don’t need to look any further. By following the below procedure, you can effortlessly fulfill the requirements and start emailing with your brand logo.

Step 1: Comply with DMARC

The significant requirement to get a verified mark certificate is to align with DMARC policies and protocols. To fulfill the criteria, you should have a DMARC record on your domain with the values either “p=quarantine” or “p=reject.”

You can do it manually or utilize any of the tools. But ensure that these two values are configured.

As you will be using your brand logo, it’s compulsory to trademark it. You can reach out to the nearest registered trademark office to do so. The trademark process can be different according to the region and government policies. So, you should consult and complete the procedure as soon as possible.

Step 3: Format Your Logo Per VMC

Once the logo is trademarked under your organization’s name, set its characteristics according to the VMC and BIMI standards. You need to ensure that the logo is a vector SVG Tiny 1.2 file and you have modified the following parameters using a text editor, such as Notepad++.

  • Basefile=”tiny-ps”
  • Delete overflow=”visible” and “x=” and “y=” parameters.
  • Put your company name at “<title>Title Here</title>”
  • End the lines with LF characters.

Step 4: Avail of a Verified Mark Certificate

Purchase the VMC certificate according to your requirements. Refer to the chart below to know how many VMCs you will need.

Number of Domains/Sub-DomainsNumber of LogosRequired VMC
SingleMultipleOne VMC for each Logo
Multiple Sub-domainsMultipleOne VMC for each Logo
Multiple  Sub-DomainsMultipleOne VMC for each Logo

After VMC validation completion, upload it on your public server and start utilizing it. You can also ask your host to configure your VMC if they provide such services. Once it gets uploaded, start your email campaigns for improved ROI, boost in user confidence, and better company reputation.

Command FAQs associated with VMC

Here are some of the most asked questions about BIMI and VMC. Undergoing them will help you clear up some additional VMC queries.

1: Do all Mailbox Service Providers allow BIMI and VMC usage?

Currently, the following mail service providers are supporting BIMI and VMC:

  • Gmail
  • Yahoo
  • Apple Mail
  • Fastmail
  • La Poste

2: Are BIMI and VMC defined Standards?

Currently, BIMI and VMC are not defined standards by any regulatory body. Their IETF registration is under review, and once it is completed, it will become an internet standard.

3: What does the BIMI Record refer to?

A BIMI record is configured under the DNS records as a TXT. You are required to add it on the DNS server of the domain associated with the verified mark certificate. Once you add the BIMI, it will help the servers locate the trademarked logo and VMC’s required details.

4: Does BIMI and VMC support only B2C or also B2B?

Your logo will be shown to all the users utilizing the mail services supporting the BIMI and VMC. Before sending any mail, you need to verify that your BIMI is enabled and that the VMC certificate is valid. Otherwise, the logo will not be shown even on compatible mailboxes.

5: What is the Prime Difference between BIMI and VMC?

The prime difference between BIMI and VMC is that BIMI is a set of rules that enables organizations to display logos with the mail. In addition, VMC is the certificate that ensures the mail server whose logo is associated with the company. A VMC is integrated with BIMI to work efficiently.

Concluding Up

Verified Mark Certificate is quite trending in the industry, as it is being used by Fortune 500 companies. It is used for displaying the company logos in the inbox of mail receivers to boost their confidence in the brand and increase email engagement.

 In addition, VMC helps in protecting from phishing and email spoofing attacks, as a company needs to be DMARC compliant to avail of a VMC certificate. Configure a verified mark certificate if you also want to leverage all such advantages and improve your brand reputation.

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a passionate Cyber-Security Enthusiast who keenly monitors the latest developments in the Web/Cyber Security industry. She puts her knowledge into practice and helps web users by arming them with the necessary security measures to stay safe in the digital world.