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 might be displayed in this dashboard, and provide tips and information that you might 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.

  • Under review – Your account is under review. If the issues that caused us to place your account under review aren't resolved by the end of the review period, we might pause your account's ability to send email.

  • Pending end of review decision – Your account is under review. Because of the nature of the issues that caused us to place your account under review, we need to perform a manual review of your account before we take any further action.

  • Sending paused – We've paused your account's ability to send email. While your account's ability to send email is paused, you won't be able to send email using Amazon SES. You can request that we review this decision. To learn more about requesting a review, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

  • Pending sending pause – Your account is under review. The issues that caused us to place your account under review haven't been resolved. In this situation, we typically pause your account's ability to send email. However, because of the nature of your account, we need to 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 within normal levels.

  • Almost healed – The metric caused your account to be placed under review. Since the review period began, the metric has stayed below the maximum rate. If the metric remains below the maximum rate, the status of this metric changes to Healthy before the review period ends.

  • Under review – The metric caused your account to be placed under review, 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 review period, we might pause your account's ability to send email.

  • Sending pause – The metric caused us to pause your account's ability to send email. While your account's ability to send email is paused, you can't send email using Amazon SES. You can request that we review this decision. To learn more about submitting a request for review, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

  • Pending sending pause – The metric caused us to place your account under review. The issues that caused this review period haven't been resolved. These issues might cause us to pause your account's ability to send email. A member of the Amazon SES team has to review your account before we take any further action.

Bounce Rate Notification

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

Why you received this notification

You should maintain a bounce rate below 5%. Higher bounce rates can impact the delivery of your emails. If your bounce rate is 5% or greater, we automatically place your account under review. If your bounce rate is 10% or greater, we might pause your account' ability to send additional email until you resolve the issue that caused the high bounce rate.

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 doesn't 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 might 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 Email Program Success Metrics.

Next, determine which email addresses are bouncing, and create and implement a plan for reducing or eliminating these bounces. If your account's ability to send email has already been paused, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com to request a list of recent complaints.

If your account is under review

At the end of the review period, if the bounce rate for your account remains above 10%, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. 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's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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

You should maintain a complaint rate below 0.1%. If your complaint rate is 0.1% or greater, we automatically place your account under review. If your complaint rate is 0.5% or greater, we might pause your account' ability to send additional email until you resolve the issue that caused the high complaint rate.

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 Email Program Success Metrics.

Next, determine which messages you are sending that result in complaints, and implement a plan for reducing these complaints. If your account's ability to send email has already been paused, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if the complaint rate for your account remains above 0.5%, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. 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's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 doesn't have detailed information related to the specific messages that caused the anti-spam organization to flag your content as problematic. We can't 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 isn't an exhaustive list; other factors might 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 might 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if the anti-spam organization continues to identify the email sent from your account as problematic, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your message, provide details of the changes you made. When we receive this information, we will extend the review period to ensure that we are only analyzing the anti-spam organization notifications we have received after you implemented your changes. At the end of this extended review period, your account is no longer listed by the anti-spam organization, we will remove the review period for your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 isn't visible in the complaints reported by mailbox providers directly, and isn't included in the bounce and complaint metrics shown on the reputation dashboard.

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

Recipients can 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 isn't 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if Amazon SES continues to receive a significant number of direct complaints about messages sent from your account, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Provide detailed information about the steps you've taken to resolve the issue, and describe how these steps prevent the issue from happening again in the future. If we agree that the changes you've made appropriately address the issue, we'll cancel the review period on your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 might or might 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, might 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 might be on this blocklist.

Amazon SES isn't 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if a significant portion of the email you send through Amazon SES still contains references to domains on the blacklist, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your message, provide details of the changes you made. When we receive this information, we will extend the review 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 review period, if the number of domain blocklist notifications has been reduced or eliminated, and we believe that you've taken steps to prevent this issue from occurring again in the future, we'll cancel the review period for your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 can't 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 doesn't 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 isn't a comprehensive list. The specific reason for this notification might 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 might 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 isn't exhaustive, but it should help you identify some of the most common factors that might lead to your email being flagged.

Amazon SES isn't 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 under review, or if your account's ability to send email is paused

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Provide detailed information about the steps you've taken to resolve the issue, and describe how these steps prevent the issue from happening again in the future. If we agree that the changes you've made appropriately address the issue, we'll cancel the review period or remove the sending pause from your account.

If we remove a review period or sending pause from your account, and we observe the same issue at a later time, we might place your account under review or pause your ability to send email again. In extreme cases, or if we observe repeated instances of the same issue, we might permanently suspend your account's ability to send email.

See Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs for more information about what to do if your account is under review, or your account's ability to send email is paused.

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 can't 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 isn't exhaustive; there might 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 might 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if the mailbox provider continues to identify the email sent from your account as being problematic, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your message, provide details of the changes you made. When we receive this information, we will extend the review 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 review period, if the mailbox provider no longer reports your account as being problematic, we might remove the review from your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 might 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if the mailbox provider continues to report a significant number of complaints, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your message, provide details of the changes you made. When we receive this information, we will extend the review 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 review period, if the number of mailbox provider complaints has been reduced or eliminated, we might remove the review from your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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

When we pause an account's ability to send email, we always send information about the reasons for the sending pause to the owner of that account. Refer to the email we sent to the owner of the related account for more information.

You should address the issues with the related account first. After you implement changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Provide detailed information about the steps you've taken to resolve the issue, and describe how these steps prevent the issue from happening again in the future. If we agree that the changes you've made appropriately address the issue, we'll cancel the review period or remove the sending pause from 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 can't 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 under review

At the end of the review period, if messages are still being sent to spamtrap addresses from your account, we might pause your account's ability to send email until you resolve the issue.

If you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your message, provide details of the changes you made. When we receive this information, we will extend the review 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 review period, if the number of spamtrap reports has been reduced or eliminated, we might remove the review from your account.

If your account's ability to send email is paused

You can request that we reconsider this decision. For more information, see Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs.

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request 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 might allow third parties to send emails using Amazon SES without your knowledge. To request a sample of the messages we believe were sent in this manner, email us at ses-review@amazon.com.

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 under review, or if your account's ability to send email is paused

When you have implemented changes that you believe will resolve the issue, send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. Include details of the actions you have taken to resolve this issue, as well as details of your plans to ensure that this issue doesn't occur again. We will consider your request and change the status of your account if necessary.

If we remove a review period or sending pause from your account, and we observe the same issue at a later time, we might place your account under review or pause your ability to send email again. In extreme cases, or if we observe repeated instances of the same issue, we might permanently suspend your account's ability to send email.

See Amazon SES Sending Review Process FAQs for more information about what to do if your account is under review, or your account's ability to send email is paused.

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 us for details on the specific issue. If possible, address this issue and send an email to ses-review@amazon.com from the email address associated with your AWS account. In your email, describe the changes you implemented. Depending on your specific situation and the nature of the issues we discovered, we might end the review period or restore your account's ability to send email.