Amazon Simple Email Service
Developer Guide

Amazon SES Complaint FAQ

Q1. What is a complaint?

A complaint occurs when a recipient reports that they do not want to receive an email. They might have clicked the "This is spam" button in their email client, complained to their email provider, notified Amazon SES directly, or through some other method. This topic includes general information about complaints. If your notification contains specific information about the source of the complaints, also read the relevant topic: Amazon SES Complaints Through ISP Feedback Loops FAQ, Amazon SES Complaints Directly from Recipients FAQ, or Amazon SES Complaints Through Email Providers FAQ.

Q2. Why do you care about my complaints?

High complaint rates are often used by entities such as ISPs, email providers, and anti-spam organizations as indicators that a sender is sending to recipients who did not specifically sign up to receive emails, or that the sender is sending content that is different from the type that recipients signed up for.

Q3. What should I do if I receive a probation or suspension notice for my complaint rate?

Review your list acquisition process and the content of your emails to try to understand why your recipients might not appreciate your email. Once you have determined the cause, fix the underlying problem and appeal to get your case reevaluated. For information about the appeal process, see the FAQs on probation and suspension.

Q4. What can I do to minimize complaints?

First, be sure that you monitor the complaints that Amazon SES can notify you about, which are complaints that Amazon SES receives through ISP feedback loops (see the Amazon SES Complaints Through ISP Feedback Loops FAQ). Then follow these guidelines:

  • Do not buy, rent, or share email addresses. Use only addresses that specifically requested your mail.

  • Use double opt-in to sign up new users. That is, when users sign up, send them a confirmation email that they need to click before receiving any additional mail. This prevents people from signing up other people as well as accidental signups.

  • Monitor engagement with the mail you send and stop sending to recipients who do not open or click your messages.

  • When new users sign up, be clear about the type of email they will receive from you, and ensure that you send only the type of mail that they signed up for. For example, if users sign up for news updates, do not send them advertisements.

  • Ensure that your mail is well-formatted and looks professional.

  • Ensure that your mail is clearly from you and cannot be confused for something else.

  • Provide users an obvious and easy way to unsubscribe from your mail.