Building a large-scale email solution can be a complex and costly challenge for a business: you have to build your infrastructure, configure your network, warm up your IP addresses and protect your sender reputation. Many third-party email solutions require contract negotiations and significant up-front costs.
Amazon SES eliminates these challenges, allowing you to start sending email in minutes. You benefit from the years of experience and the sophisticated email infrastructure Amazon.com built to serve its own large-scale customer base.
Sender Configuration Options
Amazon SES offers several methods of sending email, including the Amazon SES console, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) interface, and the Amazon SES API. You can access the API using the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or by using an AWS Software Development Kit (SDK).
To get started sending email, see Sending Email in the Amazon SES Developer Guide.
Deliverability, or ensuring emails reach inboxes instead of spam or junk, is a core element of a successful email strategy. Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) offers deliverability features through Virtual Deliverability Manager (VDM) that make it easier and more automated to improve inbox placement.
SES provides insights into the performance of senders’ emails, makes recommendations on how to improve deliverability, and can even automatically implement email deliverability improvements for senders. SES features three core deliverability components: insights, recommended changes, and automatic implementation
SES’s deliverability insights help email senders understand their deliverability performance. View at-a-glance reports on sending and delivery data in a single interface in the SES console, such as bounce rate, opens, clicks and deliverability at ISP and configuration levels.
SES can notify senders of deliverability issues and provide actionable recommendations to help improve email deliverability, like reviewing email authentication configuration such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Senders have ongoing visibility if a downgrade in email reputation or improvement opportunity is identified.
Senders have the option to allow SES to automatically implement deliverability updates, like optimizing email delivery patterns. Once SES detects an opportunity for improvement, the system will implement the change without the need for monitoring or manual adjustment.
Flexible Deployment Options
Shared IP Addresses
By default, Amazon SES sends email from IP addresses that are shared with other Amazon SES customers. Shared addresses are a great option for many customers who want to start sending immediately with established IPs. They are included in the base Amazon SES pricing, and their reputations are carefully monitored to ensure high deliverability.
Dedicated IP Addresses
Customers can manage their own IP reputations by leasing dedicated IP addresses for use with their Amazon SES account. Customers can use the dedicated IP pools feature in SES console to create pools of those IP addresses, and either send all traffic from these dedicated IPs or use configuration sets to align specific use cases to specific IPs. Tailored for different customer use cases and sending patterns, SES offers two different ways to implement and manage dedicated IP addresses:
- Standard - dedicated IP addresses that customers manually setup and manage. SES provides known IP addresses for leases that never change. This standard option is good for customers with continuous, predictable sending patterns.
- Managed - dedicated IP address that are automatically set up and managed by SES on your behalf to help optimize customers’ cost and usage. The managed dedicated IPs reduces the burden of manual monitoring or scaling of dedicated IP pools. Dedicated IPs (managed) are suitable for customers with a less predictable or non-continuous sending pattern.
Owned IP Addresses
Amazon SES also supports Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP). This feature lets you use a range of IP addresses that you already own to send email with Amazon SES. This makes leveraging current investments and migrating from other email service providers easy.
Sender Identity Management and Security
Amazon SES supports all industry-standard authentication mechanisms, including Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). When an internet service provider (ISP) receives an email, they check to see if it is authenticated before attempting to deliver it to the recipient. Authentication demonstrates to the ISP that you own the email address you are sending from.
Amazon SES also enables customers to connect an Amazon SES SMTP endpoint to a virtual private cloud (VPC) through a VPC endpoint powered by AWS PrivateLink. With this feature, customers can access the Amazon SES SMTP endpoint securely without requiring an Internet Gateway in a VPC.
Amazon SES provides a few methods for monitoring your email sending activity, helping you fine-tune your email sending strategy. Amazon SES can capture information about the entire email response funnel, including the numbers of sends, deliveries, opens, clicks, bounces, complaints, and rejections. This data is shared by default in the Sending Statistics report in the Amazon SES console. Use the Global suppression list to remove bounced emails from your sending list, or configure your own account-level suppression list. Sending data can be stored in an Amazon S3 bucket or an Amazon Redshift database, sent to Amazon SNS for real-time notifications, or analyzed using Amazon Kinesis Analytics.
The Amazon SES console includes a reputation dashboard that you can use to track issues that could impact the delivery of your emails. This dashboard tracks the overall bounce and feedback loops for your account, and can inform you when other deliverability-impacting events occur, such as spamtrap hits, references to blocked domains in your emails, and reports from reputable anti-spam organizations.
Amazon SES automatically publishes the bounce and complaint metrics from this dashboard to Amazon CloudWatch. You can use CloudWatch to create alarms that notify you when your bounce or complaint rates reach certain thresholds. With this information, you can take immediate action on issues that could impact your sender reputation.
When you use Amazon SES to receive incoming emails, you have complete control over which emails you accept, and what to do with them after you receive them. You can accept or reject mail based on the email address, IP address, or domain of the sender. Once Amazon SES has accepted the email, you can store it in an Amazon S3 bucket, execute custom code using an AWS Lambda function, or publish notifications to Amazon SNS.
The Amazon SES mailbox simulator makes it easy to test how your application handles certain scenarios, such as bounces or complaints, without impacting your sender reputation. Using the mailbox simulator is as easy as sending a test email to a specific address. You can use the mailbox simulator to simulate successful deliveries, hard bounces, out-of-office responses or feedback.