AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog

Managing Your Amazon SES Quota


When sending with SES, each sender has a daily quota.  There are a few tricks to managing this quota.

First of all, simply be aware of your quota.  You should never be surprised by hitting a quota limit.  You should know what your quota is, and work within that limit.  Your quota is easily obtained from the AWS Console or through our API.  Instructions are here.

Second, be aware of how the quota works.  We are sometimes asked when the quota “resets” for the day.  The answer is it does not reset in that way.  It is not a counter that resets every night at midnight.  Rather, it always refers to the previous 24 hours.  When you submit a request to send a new email, the system will check how many you have sent in the 24 hours previous to that moment.  If you have already sent the full amount allowed by your quota, then you will receive a quota error on the new request to send.  If you still have headroom, the message will be sent.  So if you send a big burst one afternoon that uses your full quota, it will not “age out” allowing you to send more until 24 hours after the initial sending.

OK, fine, but what if your quota is too low?  What if you know you will need more?

Normally, if your usage is slowly growing over time, SES will actually automatically detect you are regularly utilizing a good portion of your existing quota.  Assuming you are sending high quality mail and your account is in good standing, we’ll frequently raise your quota to a higher level before you actually need it.  For many users, this will just happen and no additional action is required.  

There are however some sending patterns that might keep our system from automatically detecting that you will need more quota.  And perhaps even more to the point, there are often cases where you need a sudden jump in your quota that is not simply slow growth from previous sending levels.  Perhaps you are launching a brand new product with new sending patterns.  Perhaps your past sending was purely transactional, but now you need to send a notice to your entire customer base all at once.  Perhaps you know you’re about to be featured in a major news story and expect a surge in interest.  Etc.  There are many reasons this might happen.

In these cases, please submit an Extended Access Request.  In the request, explain in as much detail as possible your use case, your expected volume needs, and as much other detail about your situation as you can.  You are asking us to trust you with a potentially significantly higher daily quota, without necessarily having a long sending history that would let us evaluate the quality of the new sending.  So the more information you can provide to make us comfortable that your new sending will be high quality, the more likely your request will be approved.  The higher the jump from your existing quota, the more detail we’d like to see to make us willing to approve the increase.

Please also note that “natural” quota ramping stops at one million emails per day.  If you expect to need more than that volume, you always need to make an extended access request.

Finally, we try to process extended access requests quickly, but our response time can be up to one business day.  So plan ahead.  If you know you will be needing a higher quota than you currently have, don’t wait until it is a critical issue.  Do not wait until you are actually hitting your quota limits.  Do not wait until the day you expect to have the need.  Plan ahead, send us an extended access request well in advance, and we’ll help you out.