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Amazon Simple Email Service
Developer Guide

Reputation Dashboard Messages

The Amazon SES reputation dashboard provides important metrics related to your account. The following sections describe the messages that may be displayed in this dashboard, and provide tips and information that you may be able to use to resolve issues related to your sender reputation.

This section contains information about the following types of notifications:

Status Messages

When you use the reputation dashboard, you will see a message describing the status of your Amazon SES account. The following is a list of possible account status values:

  • Healthy – There are no issues currently impacting your account.

  • Probation – Your account is on probation. If the issues that caused your account to be put on probation are not resolved by the end of the probation period, your account may be suspended.

  • Pending end of probation decision – Your account is on probation. Because of the nature of the issues that led to this probation, a member of the Amazon SES team must review your account before any further action is taken.

  • Shutdown – Your account has been shutdown. While your account is shutdown, you will not be able to send email using Amazon SES. You can appeal this decision; see Amazon SES Enforcement FAQs for more information about submitting an appeal.

  • Pending shutdown – Your account is on probation. The issues that caused this probation have not been resolved. These issues may lead to your account being shut down. However, because of the nature of your account, a member of the Amazon SES team will review your account before any further action is taken.

Additionally, the Bounce Rate and Complaint Rate sections of the reputation dashboard display status summaries for their respective metrics. The following is a list of possible metric status values:

  • Healthy – The metric is below the threshold that could cause your account to be placed on probation.

  • Almost healed – The metric caused your account to be placed on probation. Since the probation began, the metric has stayed below the maximum rate. If the metric remains below the maximum rate, its status may change to Healthy before the probation period ends.

  • Probation – The metric caused your account to be placed on probation, and is still above the maximum rate. If the issue that caused the metric to exceed the maximum rate is not resolved by the end of the probation period, your account may be suspended.

  • Shutdown – The metric caused your account to be suspended. While your account is shut down, you cannot send email using Amazon SES. You can appeal this decision. For information about submitting an appeal, see Amazon SES Enforcement FAQs.

  • Pending shutdown – The metric caused your account to be placed on probation. The issues that caused this probation have not been resolved. These issues may lead to your account being shut down. A member of the Amazon SES team will review your account before any further action is taken.

Bounce Rate Notification

This section contains additional information about bounce rate notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

Amazon SES recommends that senders maintain bounce rates below 5%; accounts with bounce rates exceeding 10% will be placed on probation, and may be at risk for suspension.

The bounce rate is based on the number of hard bounces generated by your Amazon SES account. A hard bounce occurs when an email is sent to an address that does not exist. Soft bounces, which occur when a recipient's address is temporarily unable to receive your message, are not considered in this calculation. Bounced emails sent to verified addresses and domains, as well as emails sent to the Amazon SES inbox simulator, are also not considered in this calculation.

Most email providers interpret a high bounce rate as a sign that a sender is not properly managing their recipient list, and that the sender may be sending unsolicited email. Because email providers take bounce rates seriously, Amazon SES takes swift action to protect your sender reputation.

What you can do to resolve the issue

If you have not done so already, put a process in place to capture and manage bounces and complaints. All Amazon SES accounts are required to have these processes in place. For more information, see Metrics That Define Your Success.

Next, determine which email addresses are bouncing, and create and implement a plan for reducing or eliminating these bounces. If your account has already been shut down, contact us at the email address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team to request a list of recent complaints.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, the bounce rate for your account remains above 10%, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. In your email, describe the changes you implemented. If we agree that the changes will reduce your bounce rate, we will adjust our calculations to only consider bounces received after your changes were implemented.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Complaint Rate Notification

This section contains additional information about complaint rate notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

Amazon SES recommends that senders maintain complaint rates below 0.1%; accounts with complaint rates exceeding 0.5% will be placed on probation, and may be at risk for suspension.

The complaint rate is based on the number of complaint reports that are generated by the emails sent from your Amazon SES account. Not all email providers supply Amazon SES with information about the numbers of complaints they receive, so this value is adjusted based on the number of providers who do supply this information.

Most email providers interpret a high complaint rate as a sign that a sender is sending unwanted or unsolicited email. Because email providers take complaint rates seriously, Amazon SES takes swift action to protect your sender reputation.

What you can do to resolve the issue

If you have not done so already, put a process in place to capture and manage bounces and complaints. All Amazon SES accounts are required to have these processes in place. For more information, see Metrics That Define Your Success.

Next, determine which messages you are sending that result in complaints, and implement a plan for reducing these complaints. If your account has already been shut down, contact us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team to request a list of recent complaints.

While you should immediately stop sending to addresses that have complained, it is important that you identify the factors that are causing recipients to issue complaints. After you identify these factors, adjust your email sending behaviors to address them.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, the complaint rate for your account remains above 0.5%, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. In your email, describe the changes you implemented. If we agree that the changes will reduce your complaint rate, we will adjust our calculations to only consider complaints received after your changes were implemented.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Anti-Spam Organization Notification

This section contains additional information about anti-spam organization notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A reputable anti-spam organization has reported that some of the content being sent from your Amazon SES account has been flagged as unsolicited or problematic by their systems.

Amazon SES does not have detailed information related to the specific messages that caused the anti-spam organization to flag your content as problematic. We cannot provide the name of the organization that issued the report. Typically, anti-spam organizations consider a combination of the following factors: recipient feedback, message engagement metrics, attempted deliveries to invalid addresses, content that is flagged by their spam filters, and spamtrap hits. This is not an exhaustive list; other factors may cause these organizations to flag your content.

What you can do to resolve the issue

To resolve this issue, you need to determine what aspects of your email sending program may be causing the anti-spam organization to flag your email as problematic. You then need to change your sending program to address those issues.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, the anti-spam organization is still flagging your messages as problematic, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the anti-spam organization notifications we have received after you implemented your changes. If, at the end of this extended probation period, your account is no longer listed by the anti-spam organization, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Direct Feedback Notification

This section contains additional information about direct feedback notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A significant number of users have contacted Amazon SES directly to report messages that they received from an address or domain associated with your Amazon SES account. This type of feedback is not visible in the complaints reported by mailbox providers directly, and is not included in the bounce and complaint metrics shown on the reputation dashboard.

To protect the privacy of the users who reported these issues, we cannot provide their email addresses.

Recipients may complain to Amazon SES when they receive messages that they did not sign up to receive, when they don't receive the type of mail they expected to receive, when they do not find the email they receive to be useful or interesting, when they don't recognize that the messages are something that they signed up for, or when they are receiving too many messages. This list is not exhaustive; the factors that are relevant in your case depend on your specific email sending program.

What you can do to resolve the issue

We recommend that you implement a double opt-in strategy, as described in Building and Maintaining Your Lists, for acquiring new addresses, and that you only send email to addresses that complete the double opt-in process.

Additionally, you should purge your lists of addresses that have not interacted with your emails recently. You can use open and click tracking, as described in Monitoring Your Amazon SES Sending Activity, to determine which users are viewing and interacting with the content you send.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, Amazon SES is still receiving a significant volume of direct complaints about messages sent from your account, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the amount of direct feedback we received after you implemented your changes. At the end of this extended probation period, if the amount of direct feedback has been reduced or eliminated, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Domain Blocklist Notification

This section contains additional information about domain blocklist notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

Emails sent from your Amazon SES account contain references to domains that have been listed on a reputable Domain Blocklist. Domains on these lists are typically associated with abusive or malicious behavior. The domains in question may or may not be the domains from which you are sending email. Messages that include references or links to a domain on a blocklist, or that include images hosted on such a domain, may also be flagged.

Amazon SES is unable to provide the names of the domains that are causing your message to be flagged, or to identify which emails were flagged in this way.

What you can do to resolve the issue

Create a list of all of the domains referenced in the emails you send through Amazon SES, and then use the Spamhaus Domain Lookup tool at https://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/ to determine which domains referenced in your email are on the domain blocklist. More than one domain referenced in the emails you send may be on this blocklist.

Amazon SES is not affiliated with the Spamhaus Domain Blocklist, and makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the domains on this list. The Spamhaus Domain Blocklist and Domain Lookup Tool are owned, operated, and maintained by the Spamhaus Project.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, a significant portion of the email you send through Amazon SES still contains references to domains on the block list, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the number of blocklisted domains present in your email after you put your changes in place. At the end of this extended probation period, if the amount of domain blocklist notifications has been reduced or eliminated, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Internal Review Notification

This section contains additional information about internal review notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A comprehensive review of your account identified several characteristics that may cause mailbox providers or recipients to identify your messages as spam.

To protect our abuse detection process, we cannot reveal the specific factors that led to your account being flagged in this way.

Common factors that can lead to this determination include the following:

  • Messages being flagged by commercial anti-spam systems.

  • Message content that implies the recipient has not explicitly requested the email.

  • Mismatches between the message sender and the branding within the email body.

  • Content that does not make it obvious who the sender is.

  • Sending messages that deal with content that is associated with unsolicited email.

  • Formatting patterns associated with unsolicited email.

  • Sending from or making reference to domains with poor reputations.

This is not a comprehensive list; the specific reason for this notification may be a combination of any of these factors, or the reason might be something not listed.

What you can do to resolve the issue

The following suggestions may help reduce the severity of the issue:

  • Ensure that the only recipients you are contacting are those who have explicitly asked to receive email from you.

  • Never purchase, rent, or borrow lists of email recipients.

  • Do not attempt to hide your identity or the purpose of your communication in the messages you send.

  • Create a list of all of the domains referenced in the emails you send through Amazon SES, and then use the Spamhaus Domain Lookup tool at https://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/ to determine if any of those domains are on the Spamhaus Domain Blocklist.

  • Ensure that you are following industry best practices when designing your emails.

This list is not exhaustive, but it should help you identify some of the most common factors that may lead to your email being flagged.

Amazon SES is not affiliated with the Spamhaus Domain Blocklist, and makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the domains on this list. The Spamhaus Domain Blocklist and Domain Lookup Tool are owned, operated, and maintained by the Spamhaus Project.

If your account is on probation or suspended

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

If, after your probation or shutdown is listed, we detect the issue again, your account may be subject to an additional probation or shutdown. Repeated incidents may lead to your Amazon SES account being permanently disabled.

See Amazon SES Enforcement FAQs for more information about probation and suspension of Amazon SES accounts.

Mailbox Provider Notification

This section contains additional information about mailbox provider notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A major mailbox provider has reported to us that unsolicited or malicious email is being sent from an address or domain associated with your Amazon SES account.

We cannot share the identity of the organization that issued this report. Additionally, we do not have information about the specific factors that caused the mailbox provider to issue the report. Typically, mailbox providers make this kind of determination based on customer feedback, customer engagement metrics, attempted deliveries to invalid addresses, and content that is flagged by spam filters. This list is not exhaustive; there may be other factors that caused the mailbox provider to flag your content.

What you can do to resolve the issue

To resolve this issue, you need to determine which aspects of your email sending program may have caused mailbox providers to flag your mail as being problematic. You must then change your sending program to address those issues.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, the mailbox provider is still flagging your email as being problematic, we may suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the number of mailbox provider notifications we receive after you implement your changes. At the end of this extended probation period, if the mailbox provider no longer reports your account as being problematic, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Recipient Feedback Notification

This section contains additional information about recipient feedback notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A major mailbox provider has reported to us that large numbers of their users are reporting mail sent from your Amazon SES account as unsolicited. This type of feedback is not visible in the complaints reported by mailbox providers directly, and is not included in the Amazon SES bounce and complaint notifications.

A large number of complaints can have a negative impact on all Amazon SES users. To protect your reputation and that of other Amazon SES customers, we take immediate action when an account receives a certain number of complaints.

We are unable to provide a list of the specific email addresses that are reporting your email as unsolicited. Additionally, we are unable to share the name of the mailbox provider that has reported this issue to us.

What you can do to resolve the issue

To resolve this issue, you need to determine which aspects of your email sending program may be causing your recipients to issue complaints against the email messages they receive from you. After you identify these factors, change your email sending practices to correct them.

To acquire new addresses, we recommend that you implement a double opt-in strategy, as described in Building and Maintaining Your Lists. We recommend that you only send email to addresses that have completed the double opt-in process.

Additionally, you should purge your lists of addresses that have not interacted with your emails recently. You can use open and click tracking, as described in Monitoring Your Amazon SES Sending Activity, to determine which users are viewing and interacting with the content you send.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, the mailbox provider still reports a significant number of complaints, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the number of mailbox provider complaints that we receive after you implement your changes. At the end of this extended probation period, if the number of mailbox provider complaints has been reduced or eliminated, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Related Account Notification

This section contains additional information about related account notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

We have detected serious problems related to emails sent from another Amazon SES account. We believe that the problematic account is related to your AWS account, so we have taken action to avoid similar problems.

What you can do to resolve the issue

The related account should have received an email describing the issues that caused it to be suspended. Address the issues with the related account first.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. If we agree with your assessment, we may lift the probation or suspension on your account.

Spamtrap Notification

This section contains additional information about spamtrap notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A third-party anti-spam organization has reported to us that their spamtrap addresses recently received email from a verified address or domains associated with your Amazon SES account.

A spamtrap is a dormant email address that is used exclusively to lure unsolicited email (spam). A large number of spamtrap reports can have a negative impact on all Amazon SES users. To protect your reputation and that of other Amazon SES customers, we take immediate action when an account sends a particular volume of email to spamtrap addresses.

What you can do to resolve the issue

We cannot reveal the email addresses associated with the spamtrap you encountered. These addresses are closely guarded by the organizations that own them, and once the addresses are known, they become worthless.

Sending email to spamtrap addresses typically indicates that there is an issue with how you acquire your customers' email addresses. For example, purchased lists of email addresses can contain spamtrap addresses, which is why sending to purchased or rented lists is prohibited by the Amazon SES terms of service. To acquire new addresses, we recommend that you implement a double opt-in strategy, as described in Building and Maintaining Your Lists. We recommend that you only send email to addresses that have completed the double opt-in process.

Additionally, you should purge your lists of addresses that have not interacted with your emails recently. You can use open and click tracking, as described in Monitoring Your Amazon SES Sending Activity, to determine which users are viewing and interacting with the content you send.

If your account is on probation

If, at the end of your probation period, messages sent from your account are still being sent to spamtrap addresses, we will suspend your Amazon SES account.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. When we receive this information, we will extend the probation period to ensure that we are only analyzing the number of spamtrap reports we receive after you implement your changes. At the end of this extended probation period, if the number of spamtrap reports has been reduced or eliminated, we may remove the probation from your account.

If your account is suspended

You can appeal this suspension; see the Enforcement FAQ for more information.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

Vulnerable Site Notification

This section contains additional information about vulnerable site notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

A comprehensive review has found that messages are being sent from your account that we do not believe you intended to send. These messages are highly likely to be flagged as spam by mailbox providers and recipients.

Most often in these situations, a third party is abusing a feature of your website to send unwanted email. For example, if your website contains an "email to a friend," "contact us," "invite a friend," or similar feature, a third party can use that feature to send unsolicited email.

What you can do to resolve the issue

First, identify features of your website or applications that may allow third parties to send emails using Amazon SES without your knowledge. Contact us at the email address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team to receive a sample of the email messages we believe were sent in this manner.

Next, modify your application or website to prevent unsolicited sending. For example, add a CAPTCHA, limit the rate at which emails can be sent, remove the ability of users to submit custom content, require users to log in to send email, and remove the ability for the application to generate multiple simultaneous notifications.

If your account is on probation or suspended

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, please email us at the address shown in the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue does not occur again. We will consider your appeal and change the status of your account if necessary.

If, after your probation or shutdown is listed, we detect the issue again, your account may be subject to an additional probation or shutdown. Repeated incidents may lead to your Amazon SES account being permanently disabled.

See Amazon SES Enforcement FAQs for more information about probation and suspension of Amazon SES accounts.

Other Notification

This section contains additional information about other notifications shown in the Amazon SES reputation dashboard.

Why you received this notification

An automatic or human review has identified issues that are not listed in the previous sections of this document.

What you can do to resolve the issue

Refer to the email you received from the Amazon SES Enforcement team for details on the specific issue. If possible, address this issue and reply to the ticket with the steps you have taken to address the issue. Depending on your specific situation and the nature of the issues we discovered, we may lift your probation or suspension.