Monitoring your Amazon SES sending activity - Amazon Simple Email Service Classic

This is the user guide for Amazon SES Classic. Updates and new features are only being documented in the new Amazon SES Developer Guide which we recommend to use.

Monitoring your Amazon SES sending activity

Amazon SES provides methods to monitor your sending activity. We recommend that you implement these methods so that you can keep track of important measures, such as your account's bounce, complaint and reject rates. Excessively high bounce and complaint rates may jeopardize your ability to send emails using Amazon SES.

You can also use these methods to measure the rates at which your customers engage with the emails you send. For example, these sending metrics can help you identify your overall open and clickthrough rates.

The metrics that you can measure using Amazon SES are referred to as email sending events. The email sending events that you can monitor are:

  • Sends – The call to Amazon SES was successful and Amazon SES will attempt to deliver the email.

  • Rejects – Amazon SES accepted the email, determined that it contained a virus, and rejected it. Amazon SES didn't attempt to deliver the email to the recipient's mail server.

  • Bounces – The recipient's mail server permanently rejected the email. This event corresponds to hard bounces. Soft bounces are only included when Amazon SES fails to deliver the email after retrying for a period of time.

  • Complaints – The email was successfully delivered to the recipient. The recipient marked the email as spam.

  • Deliveries – Amazon SES successfully delivered the email to the recipient's mail server.

  • Opens – The recipient received the message and opened it in their email client.

  • Clicks – The recipient clicked one or more links in the email.

  • Rendering Failures – The email wasn't sent because of a template rendering issue. This event type only occurs when you send email using the SendTemplatedEmail or SendBulkTemplatedEmail API operations. This event type can occur when template data is missing, or when there is a mismatch between template parameters and data.

  • Delivery Delays – The email couldn't be delivered to the recipient because a temporary issue occurred. Delivery delays can occur, for example, when the recipient's inbox is full, or when the receiving email server experiences a transient issue.

You can monitor email sending events in several ways. The method you choose depends on the type of event you want to monitor, the granularity and level of detail you want to monitor it with, and the location where you want Amazon SES to publish the data. You're required to use either feedback notifications or event publishing to track bounce and complaint events. You can also choose to use multiple monitoring methods. The characteristics of each method are listed in the following table.

Monitoring Method Events You Can Monitor How to Access the Data Level of Detail Granularity

Amazon SES console

Deliveries and rejects

Sending Statistics page in Amazon SES console

Count only

Across entire AWS account

Amazon SES console

Bounce and complaint rates

Reputation Dashboard page in Amazon SES console

Calculated rates only

Across entire AWS account

Amazon SES API

Deliveries, bounces, complaints, and rejects

GetSendStatistics API operation

Count only

Across entire AWS account

Amazon CloudWatch console

Sends, deliveries, opens, clicks, bounces, bounce rate, complaints, complaint rate, and rejects

CloudWatch console


Some metrics don't appear in CloudWatch until the associated event occurs. For example, bounce metrics don't appear in CloudWatch until at least one email that you send bounces, or until you generate a simulated bounce event by using the mailbox simulator.

Count only

Across entire AWS account

Feedback notifications

Deliveries, bounces, and complaints

Amazon SNS notification (deliveries, bounces, and complaints) or email (bounces and complaints only)

Details on each event

Across entire AWS account

Event publishing

Sends, deliveries, opens, clicks, bounces, complaints, rejects, and rendering failures.

Amazon CloudWatch or Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, or by Amazon SNS notification

Details on each event

Fine-grained (based on user-definable email characteristics)


The metrics measured by email sending events may not align perfectly with your sending quotas. This discrepancy can be caused by email bounces and rejections, or by using the Amazon SES inbox simulator. To find out how close you are to your sending quotas, see Monitoring your sending quotas.

For information and discussions about a variety of topics related to Amazon SES, see the AWS Messaging and Targeting Blog. To browse and post questions, go to the Amazon SES Forum.