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

Improving Deliverability with Amazon SES

The following recommendations can help improve your deliverability when you use Amazon SES.

  • Only send email to recipients who have requested it—Collect recipients' email addresses yourself, and with the recipients' permission. Do not buy mailing lists from third parties. Keep your mailing lists up-to-date and provide a mechanism for recipients to unsubscribe. If your mailing list is associated with a discussion group, consider unsubscribing recipients who have not interacted with you for a long period of time (for example, 180 days).

  • Keep your number of bounces and complaints low—High numbers of bounces indicate to ISPs that you do not know your recipients very well. High numbers of complaints indicate that recipients do not want to receive your emails. If an email bounces or is marked as spam by a recipient, make sure to remove that recipient from your list. For information about how to be notified of bounces and complaints, see Monitoring Using Amazon SES Notifications.

  • Authenticate your email—Authentication is a way to show ISPs that your emails are genuine and have not been modified in transit. For more information, see Authenticating Your Email in Amazon SES.

  • Send high-quality email—High-quality email is email that your recipients expect and find valuable. Value means different things to different recipients and can come in the form of offers, order confirmations, receipts, newsletters, etc. Inform your recipients of what you plan to send and understand what your recipients expect from an email program.

  • Check your sending statistics—Regularly monitor your number of delivery attempts, bounces, complaints, and rejected emails so that you can identify and correct problems right away. To check your sending statistics, see Monitoring Your Amazon SES Sending Activity.

  • Watch your sending limits—If you attempt to exceed your sending limits, your calls to the Amazon SES API will fail. Check the Amazon SES console or call GetSendQuota. If you need to raise your sending limits, see Increasing Your Amazon SES Sending Limits.

  • Watch for upward trends in rejected emails. Amazon SES will generate a MessageRejected error for any message that it does not accept; if you see a large number of rejections, make sure that none of your applications are trying to send the same rejected message repeatedly.

For a more in-depth discussion of these and other best practices, see the Amazon Simple Email Service Email Sending Best Practices whitepaper.