AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog

Increase email sending success rates with Amazon Simple Email Services (SES) new Virtual Deliverability Manager

Email is a ubiquitous channel for businesses to communicate with their customers. Businesses rely on email to market products and services, communicate transactional information, and keep customers in-the-know about product changes and events. To realize the full value of this rich and established communication channel, businesses need tools to monitor and optimize their email delivery success rates to make every email count.

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable email service that enables customers to send mail from within any application. SES now offers a new feature, Virtual Deliverability Manager, which helps customers optimize their sending strategies to increase delivery success rates and email campaign return on investment. Virtual Deliverability Manager offers three components to help customers increase their email deliverability rates: deliverability insights, optimization recommendations, and automatic implementation.

Virtual Deliverability Manager’s dashboard gives customers deeper insights into deliverability metrics such as bounce, complaint, open, click-through, and successful delivery rates in their accounts at multiple levels such as by sending email address, by email provider, or by SES configuration set. This makes it easy to quickly check the status and trend of sending health.

Virtual Deliverability Manager analyzes sending configurations and provides automatic recommendations about how to increase sending success. This helps customers make changes such as DKIM configuration (Domain Keys Identified Mail) to increase the likelihood of successful delivery.

Virtual Deliverability Manager can automatically adjust email sending in real time, to reduce the chances that emails are marked as spam. This helps protect against transient changes in email provider spam management, greatly reducing the impact of sudden increases in provider rejection rates.

It’s easy to get started with SES VDM, just log on the AWS Console and load the configuration section of the SES Console. Select “Configuration”, and click “Get started with Virtual deliverability manager”.

You will be prompted to make several configuration choices when enabling Virtual Deliverability Manager. First, you can choose whether you want to be able to see when HTML emails you send through SES are opened, or when customers click on links within those emails. You will be able to see open and click rates in Virtual Deliverability Manager, grouped at the account, mailbox provider (e.g Gmail), sending email address (sender identity), and configuration set level. SES monitors open rates by inserting an image pixel in the HTML message body, which sends a notification to SES when email clients download the image while processing the message. SES monitors clicks on hyperlinks in messages, by wrapping links embedded in HTML messages with a link the SES service. When clicked, SES counts the click, and sends the request to the original destination. To see these metrics, turn on engagement tracking in Step 1.

Next you can choose whether you want Virtual Deliverability Manager to dynamically select the best IP addresses available for sending your emails. If you are using shared IP addresses, this makes sure that your outbound emails are sent over the highest reputation shared IP addresses available in SES. This increases the likelihood that your messages will be delivered to your customers’ inboxes. When using dedicated IP addresses, this ensures that outbound traffic spilling over to shared IP addresses while dedicated IP addresses are warming up use the highest reputation addresses available. This makes it less likely that your messages will be marked as spam while dedicated IP addresses warm up, and it works for both managed and unmanaged dedicated IP addresses.

Follow the prompts on the next screen to enable Virtual Deliverability Manager, and you can change your choices for these two configuration options at any time. Virtual Deliverability Manager is available in all regions supported by SES, visit the Amazon SES documentation for more information.