2.24.18. Setting an avatar in email services


Avatars that should be displayed to recipients in various mail services are not configured on the hosting side, but on the side of the recipient's mail services themselves.

This article provides an example of setting up avatars for recipients using the Gmail mail service. Avatar display methods in other mail services should be specified directly in the support of these mail services.

For example, if you create a domain mail in the Google mail service, set an avatar in its settings and send a letter to a box in another mail service, it will not be displayed, since the necessary settings have not been made on the side of the recipient's service.

V WebMail.Online avatar is taken from the service Gravatar or Clearbit. If the avatar is not found in any of the services, the favicon of the domain is taken via the Google API.

  1. Open the Gmail registration page located at accounts.google.com/signupwithoutgmail.
  2. Fill out the registration form and click "Further":
    • "Name" and "Surname" - specify the required data (they will be displayed to the recipients).
    • "Email address" - specify mailbox, created on the hosting, for which you want to install an avatar.
    • "Password" and "Confirm" - set a password for your Gmail account.
  3. Confirm that you have access to your mailbox:
    1. Open the specified mailbox in WebMail or any other mail client.
    2. Find the email sent by Gmail.
    3. Copy the verification code, paste it into the field "Enter code" and press "Confirm".
  4. Confirm your phone number:
    1. Enter your phone number and click "Further".
    2. Enter the code sent by Google via SMS and click "Confirm".
  5. Enter your date of birth, select your gender and click "Further".
  6. Add a phone number or click "Skip".
  7. Read the terms of use and privacy policy, then click "Iaccept".
  8. On the account management page, click on the avatar and upload the desired image.
  9. Check your avatar display by sending an email from a hosted mailbox to any Gmail mailbox.

If there are several mailboxes, the operation must be repeated for each of them.

Paid VMC certificate required

VMC (Verified Mark Certificate) is a digital certificate that confirms the authenticity of the logo used by the sending domain. You can get it from one of the trademark verification organizations (Mark Verifying Authority, MVA), for example here. Certificates are paid, the cost of a certificate for one logo is about 1000 $ in year.

In 2020, a new standard appeared — BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification). It allows you to customize the display of your own logo in different email services for emails sent from your domain. Currently, BIMI already supports Gmail, Fastmail, Yahoo!, proofpoint, Mailchimp, SendGrid, Valimail and Validity, others are considering implementation.

General setup procedure:

  1. Configure SPF, DKIM and DMARC (necessarily strict policy).
  2. Prepare a logo in SVG format and place it on a public address accessible via HTTPS.
  3. Get a VMC — digital certificate of authenticity of the logo (see note above) — and place it on a public address accessible via HTTPS.
  4. V domain settings add a special TXT record:
    v=BIMI1; l=https://example.com/logo.svg; a=https://example.com/vmc.pem

    In recording:

    • https://example.com/logo.svg — the address of the file with the logo.
    • https://example.com/vmc.pem — address of the file with the certificate.
The display of the logo is also affected by the reputation of the domain, the volume and regularity of mailings, the recipient's mail service, and other factors.