Definition

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: An insider's look at AWS re:Invent 2014

Amazon Simple Email Service is a pay-per-use service that allows you to build in email functionality into an application that you are running on AWS.

Using SMTP or a simple API call, this service offers high rate of email deliverability and easy, immediate access to your email-sending statistics. It also provides built-in notifications for successful and unsuccessful email deliveries and complaints. Amazon SES can send bounce-back and complaint messages by email or through Amazon Simple Notification Service.

Amazon SES offers a mailbox simulator that tests how your application will handle different possible email-sending situations, like a hard bounce, an out-of-office auto response, a complaint or a successful email acceptance. Because these test messages are received by Amazon SES and not actual email recipients, bounce and complaint rates aren’t affected. Another use for the simulator is to find out your system’s maximum throughput without using up your daily sending quota.

You can use Amazon SES if you’re an Amazon EC2 user who requires an email-sending service. Email capabilities can be added to any application running on an EC2 instance and users are eligible for the Free Usage Tier if they send emails directly from an Amazon EC2 instance or through AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Notifications can be configured using the AWS Management Console or through the Amazon SES APIs for individual verified email addresses and Web domains. For security protection, Amazon IAM allows you to create policies to indicate which API actions a user can perform, like allowing specific users the ability to send email but not perform administrative duties.

Amazon SES can be used for automated messages to customers about product order status, sending invitations or announcements, error alerts, or you can tie it into your existing business email server to handle outbound company emails. You can use Elastic Beanstalk for email marketing by writing an application that accesses client email addresses to send marketing incentives or limited-time only deals. And by using AWS SDK for Java all of your AWS Elastic Beanstalk applications can send email with a simple API call.

The Free Usage Tier gives users one year of access and AWS Basic Support features like around the clock customer service and support forums.

One message sent to a single email address is charged at $0.10 per thousand. With Amazon SES you only pay for what you use.

This was last updated in October 2014

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