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

Using Dedicated IP Addresses with Amazon SES

By default, Amazon SES sends your email from IP addresses (IPs) that you share with other Amazon SES customers. For an extra cost, you can reserve dedicated IPs for your exclusive use. This topic describes use cases for dedicated IPs, trade-offs to consider when you choose between shared IPs and dedicated IPs, how to request dedicated IPs, and how to prepare dedicated IPs before you use them to their full capacity.

This topic contains the following sections:

Dedicated IP Use Cases

Dedicated IPs provide a set of known, unchanging IP addresses for which you control the mail. Dedicated IPs are a good choice for the following use cases.

  • You want to isolate the reputation of your transactional mail, such as order confirmations and password resets, from your marketing mail.

  • You want to isolate the reputation of mail streams for separate customers, programs, or engagement metrics.

  • You need to know your specific IP addresses for certification purposes or security reasons. For example, you might want to send diagnostic or operational email from a certain set of IPs, and reject all other mail.

Trade-offs Between Dedicated IPs and Shared IPs

When you choose whether to use dedicated IPs, shared IPs, or a mix, consider the following trade-offs.

Cost

Shared IPs are included with Amazon SES. Dedicated IPs incur an extra cost. For pricing information, see the Amazon SES pricing page.

Email Volume

With shared IPs, you can send as little email as you like. To be a good candidate for dedicated IPs, we typically require you to have a daily sending quota of at least 150,000 emails per day. If your existing daily sending quota is less than 150,000 emails per day, please describe your use case in detail in your dedicated IP request and we will evaluate a sending quota increase within the same case. If you are granted dedicated IPs, you must consistently send at least 50,000 emails per dedicated IP per day after you warm up the dedicated IPs. This is to maintain the reputational health of the IPs.

We sometimes grant exceptions to the sending quota requirement to senders who only send mail to a small, well-defined list of recipients who decide whether to accept or reject mail based on the IP address that sent the mail (rather than the reputation of the IP).

Sending Pattern

When you use dedicated IPs, we recommend that you gradually ramp up your sending as described in How to Warm up Dedicated IPs, and then maintain a sustained and consistent sending pattern. With shared IPs, you can scale your sending up or down at any time.

Reputation Isolation

Dedicated IPs enable you to isolate the reputation of your separate mail streams, and to separate the reputation of your email sending from the sending of other Amazon SES customers. However, this also means that you are primarily responsible for maintaining the reputation of your IPs because your IP reputation is largely driven by the email you send.

Regardless of the type of IPs you use, you must ensure that your email sending follows standard best practices. For best practices, see Obtaining and Maintaining Your Recipient List, Processing Bounces and Complaints, Improving Deliverability with Amazon SES, and the Amazon Simple Email Service Email Sending Best Practices whitepaper.

Knowledge of the IP Addresses

When you use dedicated IPs, you can find the values of the IPs that send your mail in the Dedicated IPs page of the Amazon SES console, and those addresses do not change. With shared IPs, you do not know the IP addresses that Amazon SES uses to send your mail, and those addresses can change at any time.

Engaging Amazon SES

Shared IPs are the default option, so you do not need to contact us to use them. To request or relinquish dedicated IPs, you must open an SES Sending Limits Increase case as described in How to Request and Relinquish Dedicated IPs.

How to Request and Relinquish Dedicated IPs

This section describes how to request and relinquish dedicated IPs. In this process, you submit an SES Sending Limits Increase case in Support Center. Depending on the outcome, you might need to perform some additional steps, as described in the relevant procedures.

Requesting Dedicated IPs

The following steps show how to request dedicated IPs for the first time, and how to request additional dedicated IPs. You will know that you need to request additional dedicated IPs when you start receiving Maximum sending rate exceeded errors when you send emails with Amazon SES.

To request dedicated IPs

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console with the account you use for dedicated IPs, and open an SES Sending Limits Increase case in Support Center. You can also reach this link using the Dedicated IPs page in the Amazon SES console.

  2. In the case submission form, choose the region, choose Desired Maximum Send Rate, and then enter the number of emails per second you expect to use across all of your dedicated IPs.

  3. For the Use Case Description, tell us that you are requesting additional dedicated IPs, explain why you need them, and include what you expect your daily sending volume will be across all of your dedicated IPs. If we determine that you need additional dedicated IPs, we will let you know the number of dedicated IPs that best fits your use case.

  4. After we evaluate your request, you will receive a reply within the case. This reply could be the outcome of your request, or a request for more information. If your current daily sending quota is less than the minimum requirement of 150,000 emails per day, we will evaluate a quota increase within the same case.

  5. If your request is granted, the reply will confirm that your dedicated IPs are now associated with your new account and they are ready to warm up. For more information, see How to Warm up Dedicated IPs.

Relinquish Dedicated IPs

To relinquish dedicated IPs, do the following steps.

To relinquish dedicated IPs

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console with the account you use for dedicated IPs, and open an SES Sending Limits Increase case in Support Center. You can also reach this link using the Dedicated IPs page in the Amazon SES console.

  2. In the case submission form, choose the region, choose Desired Maximum Send Rate, and then enter any number. (You will specify how many dedicated IPs you want to relinquish within the use case description.)

  3. For the Use Case Description, tell us that you want to relinquish dedicated IPs, and how many dedicated IPs you want to relinquish.

  4. After we evaluate your request, you will receive a reply within the case asking you to confirm that you want to release the number of dedicated IPs that you specified.

  5. You will receive a case reply confirming that your dedicated IPs have been released.

How to Warm up Dedicated IPs

When determining whether to accept or reject an email, ISPs consider the reputation of the IP that sent it. One of the factors that contributes to the reputation of an IP is whether the IP has a considerable history of sending high-quality emails. ISPs that receive mail from a new IP that has no history tend to be more cautious about accepting mail from it. This manifests as throttling (soft, transient) bounces, but can also result in rejection (hard) bounces, as well as putting your mail in the junk folder until the IP establishes a good reputation by sending a steady stream of high-quality mail.

You should therefore gradually increase your sending through a new dedicated IP before you use it to its full capacity. This process is called warming up the IP. You warm up an IP by using the following three principles:

  1. Start small.

  2. Measure results.

  3. Make corrections.

Ideal IP warm-up times vary by ISP and recipient. It takes a minimum of 14 days to establish some level of positive reputation with some ISPs; it can take up to 6 weeks for many ISPs. When warming up a new IP, you should send emails to the users who engage with you the most to ensure that your complaint rate is low.

For best results, you should carefully examine your bounce messages and send less email if you receive a high number of IP blocking or throttling responses. For information about how to monitor your bounces, see Monitoring Your Amazon SES Sending Activity.

By default, Amazon SES automatically warms up your dedicated IPs based on a predefined warm-up plan.

Automatically Warm up Dedicated IPs

Amazon SES controls the amount of email that can be sent through an IP address. Amazon SES uses a predefined warm-up plan that indicates the maximum number of emails that can be sent daily through an IP address to ensure the traffic is increasing gradually over 45 days.

The automatic warm-up feature is enabled by default. When it is enabled, all new dedicated IPs you lease from that point will be automatically warmed up. The IPs you are currently leasing and using from your account can’t be warmed up automatically with this feature.

If you are a new or an existing customer and you request dedicated IPs for the first time, Amazon SES will automatically start to warm up your dedicated IPs. During this time, Amazon SES will initially send emails through both your dedicated IPs and shared IPs. The emails that you send beyond the daily pre-planned warm-up plan will be delivered using shared IPs. After your IPs are warmed up, Amazon SES will send emails only through your dedicated IPs, and the maximum number of emails you can send is dictated by your approved daily email quota. This process enables you to continue sending at your allocated daily quota.

If you are an existing customer and you request additional dedicated IPs, Amazon SES will automatically start to warm up your newly received dedicated IPs. Amazon SES will distribute the emails you are sending through both your already fully warmed up IPs and the newly received dedicated IPs, and will not send emails through shared IPs as you are using dedicated IPs to send your emails.

If you disable this feature, you must control the amount of email that can be sent through an IP address manually and will be responsible for gradually warming up the dedicated IPs.

After you successfully warm up your dedicated IPs (either by yourself or by using the Amazon SES automatic warm-up mechanism), you must send at least 50,000 emails per dedicated IP per day so that the IPs maintain a positive reputation with ISPs. To avoid throttling by the ISPs, avoid sending a high volume of emails soon after the completion of warm-up; we recommend gradually increasing the volume for better deliverability.