How to Setup Amazon Simple Email Service

amazon simple email service ses

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is an email platform that provides an easy, cost-effective way for you to send and receive email using your own email addresses and domains.

When you use Amazon SES to receive mail, you can develop software solutions such as email auto responders, email unsubscribe systems, and applications that generate customer support tickets from incoming emails.


How email sending works in Amazon Simple Email Service

The following figure is a high-level overview of the sending process:


Amazon Simple Email Service architecture

  1. A client application, acting as an email sender, makes a request to Amazon SES to send email to one or more recipients.
  2. If the request is valid, Amazon SES accepts the email.
  3. Amazon SES sends the message over the Internet to the recipient’s receiver. Once the message is passed to Amazon SES, it is usually sent immediately, with the first delivery attempt normally occurring within milliseconds.
  4. At this point, there are different possibilities. For example:
    1. The ISP successfully delivers the message to the recipient’s inbox.
    2. The recipient’s email address does not exist, so the ISP sends a bounce notification to Amazon SES. Amazon SES then forwards the notification to the sender.
    3. The recipient receives the message but considers it to be spam and registers a complaint with the ISP. The ISP, which has a feedback loop set up with Amazon SES, sends the complaint to Amazon SES, which then forwards it to the sender.

Setup Amazon Simple Email Service

Now we will walk through how to verify that you own the email address, and then send an email using the Amazon SES console. The steps are very simple and easy to understand, as well as follow.

Step 1: Enter the Amazon SES Console

  • Go to AWS Management Console.   To open the Amazon SES console, look under Application Services and select SES.

AWS console

Step 2: Verify an Email Address

  • Before you can send an email using Amazon SES, you must prove that you own the sender’s email address by verifying the address (or the domain of the address) with Amazon SES.
  • If you are a new user of Amazon SES, you must also verify the recipient’s address, because your account is in a test environment called the Amazon SES sandbox. You can later apply to move out of the sandbox and lift the recipient address limitation.
  • In the left navigation pane of the Amazon SES console, under Identity Management, select Email Addresses.Amazon Simple Email Service
  • Select Verify a New Email Address.

Amazon Simple Email Service Verify new email

  • Enter your email address, and then select Verify This Email Address.Amazon SES will now send a verification email to that address.

Amazon Simple Email Service aws_verify_email

  • Sign in to the email client you use to receive email for the email address you entered in the last step. In your email client, open the message from Amazon Web Services asking you to confirm that you own the email address. Click the link in the message.

Amazon Simple Email Service aws_confirm_email

  • Go back to the Amazon SES console, and refresh the identity list by using the refresh button near the top right of the console. Confirm that the status of the email address in the Amazon SES console is verified.

Amazon Simple Email Service aws_email_verified

Step 3: Send an Email

Now that you have verified an email address, you can send an email.

  • In the Amazon SES console, select the button to the left of the email address you just verified, and then select Send a Test Email.

Amazon Simple Email Service aws_test_email

  • In the Send Test Email dialog box, use the following values, and then select Send Test Email.
    • Email Format – Choose Raw.
    • To – Enter the email address you verified.
    • Message – Copy and paste the following text, exactly as shown, into the box.

    Important: After you paste the message text into the box, delete any blank lines before the “Subject” line, so that the received message is formatted correctly.


  • Sign in to the email client of the address you sent the email to. You will find the message that you sent. If you cannot find it, check the spam folder.


Congratulations!   You have sent your first email using Amazon SES.


Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a pay-as-you-go service based on the volume of emails sent and received. There are no subscriptions, no contract negotiations, and no minimum charges.

AWS Free Usage Tier

When you call Amazon SES from an application hosted in Amazon EC2 or via AWS Lambda, you can send 62,000 messages per month at no charge. This Free Usage Tier benefit does not expire.

Note: You pay for outgoing mail data, incoming mail chunks, and EC2 data transfer fees, even if your usage of Amazon SES qualifies for the AWS Free Usage Tier.

Amazon Simple Email Service Sandbox

AWS places all new accounts in the Amazon SES sandbox. While the account is in the sandbox, you can use all of the features of Amazon SES. However, when the account is in the sandbox, AWS applies the following restrictions to the account:

  • You can only send mail to verified email addresses and domains, or to the Amazon SES mailbox simulator.
  • You can only send mail from verified email addresses and domains.

    Note: – This restriction applies even when your account isn’t in the sandbox.

  • You can send a maximum of 200 messages per 24-hour period.
  • You can send a maximum of 1 message per second.

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