Amazon Simple Email Service
Developer Guide (API Version 2010-12-01)

Obtaining and Maintaining Your Recipient List

Ultimately, you want to make sure that the recipient addresses on your mailing list are valid and that your recipients want and expect your mail. Emails to invalid recipient addresses will bounce, and if valid recipients do not want your mail, they may mark your email as spam in their email client. High bounce and complaint rates put your account at risk of being shut down.

The following list includes, but is not limited to, ways that will help you keep your recipient list clean. For more detailed information, see the Amazon Simple Email Service Email Sending Best Practices whitepaper.

  • Set up a process to monitor bounces and complaints, and when a recipient address bounces or complains, remove it from your mailing list. For more information, see Processing Bounces and Complaints.

  • Do not buy email lists.

  • Only send emails to recipients who have interacted with your site recently (for example, within the last 180 days).

  • When a recipient signs up for your list, make it clear what type of mail they are signing up for, and do not send them other types of mail. For example, recipients who sign up to receive notifications about particular events might not appreciate your marketing mail.

  • You can use double opt-in to ensure that you don't repeatedly send email to a bad address. With double opt-in, a subscriber must first request to be subscribed to your list. Then, the subscriber receives a verification email. They must click on the link in the email to confirm that they want to be subscribed.

  • One way to prevent bots from signing up for your mailing list is to use CAPTCHA during your sign-up process. CAPTCHA is an automated challenge-response test that is designed to verify that a human, rather than a computer, is entering the information. For more information, see

  • Do not use Amazon SES as a way to clean your recipient list.