Why am I unable to receive emails from Amazon SES?

Last updated: 2020-05-07

I sent an email using Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) but I can't find the message in my inbox. Or, I tried sending an email using Amazon SES, but I got an error.


Check for errors with sending the email

Check the recipient's spam folder

Check the recipient's spam folder for the email that you sent using Amazon SES. Several factors can lead to a recipient's mail server flagging an email as spam, such as content filters or the lack of email authentication. For more information, see Why are the emails that I send using Amazon SES getting marked as spam?

Review bounce or delivery notifications for issues on the recipient end

If you don't have any problems sending the email, and the email isn't landing in the spam folder, then there might be an issue on the recipient's end. To confirm this, you can set up bounce and email delivery notifications using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS). Then, review the notifications for the following:

  • If you get a bounce notification, review the bounceType and bounceSubType fields to get more information about what caused the bounce. Your emails might bounce because of various issues on the recipient end, such as if the recipient mailbox is full or unavailable (undeliverable mail).
  • Check the bounce notification for an SMTP response with the status code 554 and a message that says the sending IP address is part of an IP blacklist. This means that your email was rejected because the sender IP address is part of an IP blacklist that the recipient email provider uses. For more information on the policies for removing Amazon SES IP addresses from IP blacklists, see Amazon SES IP Blacklist FAQs.
    Note: To avoid using a sending IP address that's on an IP blacklist, consider using dedicated IP addresses so that you have control over the sender reputation.
  • If you get an email delivery notification, then check the notification for "smtpResponse":"250 ok". This response means that the recipient mail server accepted the email, so the issue occurred after this step in the email-sending process. In this case, you must contact the system administrator of the recipient domain to troubleshoot the issue.

Important: Bounces from issues on the recipient end can still impact your sending account's deliverability rate. As the sender, it's important that you monitor your bounce rate and prevent further bounces. If your account's bounce rate is 5% or greater, then Amazon SES can place your account under review. If your bounce rate is 10% or greater, then Amazon SES might pause your account's ability to send emails.

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