Email Marketing via Amazon SES

Last Updated: April 23, 2024

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) has been favored by developers for sending transactional email for many years, but more and more marketers have been using SES for their marketing campaigns as well. That is because SES can be very cost-effective for sending high volume bulk campaigns, if you have the right setup. Typically, Amazon SES is used with another email platform, like BigMailer, for managing bulk campaigns, reporting, and assets (templates, images).

What is Amazon SES?

Amazon SES is one of the Amazon Web Services (AWS), used to send email. It is a simple email service that does not offer options to manage email campaigns, templates, or engagement reporting via UI. It’s UI is not very marketer friendly and constantly changing, so it doesn’t lend itself to use by non-developers.

Amazon SES has excellent deliverability and offers very affordable pricing (see Amazon SES pricing examples) which is why many companies started using it for sending marketing emails on the backend, while managing day-to-day operations in a platform like BigMailer.

Why Use Amazon SES with another ESP?

Using a platform like BigMailer, with a connection to your Amazon SES account, allows you to have detailed analytics and asset management features, while managing your transactional email templates in BigMailer, no application code changes for template updates.

BigMailer templatesHere are some of the top benefits of using BigMailer:

  • Automatic handling of bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes
  • Support for bulk + auto/drip + transactional email campaigns
  • Email campaign engagement tracking and reporting
  • Powerful segmentation and location-based targeting
  • Drag-and-drop and HTML template editors, templates library

How much does it cost?

Most providers offers simple pricing  that’s based on your list size. For example, BigMailer cost is $10 per 10,000 contacts per month and $0 for up to 1000 contacts on a free plan. You will also pay separate fees to Amazon SES based on sending volume – $0.1 per 1000 emails sent. You can tour the BigMailer on your own or give it a spin with a free account.

Amazon SES Email Providers Comparison

EmailOctopus Alternative - BigMailerAll Amazon SES customers can add a dedicated IP for $25 per IP per month.

BigMailer vs. Sendy

Unlike BigMailer, Sendy requires hosting on your own server, so your performance and sending speed will depend on the server size/capacity. On the smallest/cheapest server your campaign can take all day to go out, instead of <1hr on a hosted solution. Sendy also doesn’t offer a drag-n-drop email template editor and you have to manage your IP reputation yourself. Sendy vs. BigMailer Comparison »

BigMailer vs. Hosted Solutions

Compared to other hosted email platforms that connect to Amazon SES BigMailer offers several advantages:

  • Consolidating transactional, marketing, and automations in one platform.
  • Managing multiple connections to Amazon SES, mapping them to clients/brands.
  • Classic HTML editor for developers and drag-and-drop builder for marketers.
  • Engagement analytics and list management for your transactional emails.
  • Help when you need it – chat support 7 days a week.

See our detailed comparison pages for leading email marketing service providers and Amazon SES vs SendGrid.


Ready to give Amazon SES a try with BigMailer?

Getting Started With Amazon SES

If you already have AWS account you just need to follow instructions of the email provider you are connecting to. If you don’t have AWS account, you would need to create a new AWS account and verify it with either via phone or credit card. You can check your AWS account status on this page.

Getting an Amazon SES Account out of Sandbox Mode

Newly created Amazon SES accounts are automatically placed in sandbox mode. To start sending emails to your subscribers you need to get your new SES account out of sandbox by submitting a request to Amazon. Verifying a sender domain that you own can help speed up response and approval, while only having a gmail/yahoo email address associated with your account is likely to result in rejection. Most customers get their requests resolved within 1-2 business days. See more detailed information about getting your SES account out of sandbox.

Setting up Multiple Amazon SES Accounts

When you manage multiple brands, products, websites or clients, it’s practical to set up and manage multiple Amazon SES accounts. If you’re part of an agency, your clients may already have their accounts established with high sending limits built up. Unlike its competitors, BigMailer offers support for easily managing multiple Amazon SES accounts and assigns them to your brands.

About dedicated IP addresses

Yes, you can get a dedicated IP address and manage a dedicated IP pool with Amazon SES. The cost is $25 per dedicated IP address per month (view pricing). If you are a high volume sender you would want 1 IP for every 50-100k contacts on your list. All IPs from Amazon SES start at 2% of volume and warm up automatically – the more frequently you send the faster the warmup process.

About Amazon SES account suspensions.

If your account gets suspended you can ask for re-instatement if you have identified and addressed the reasons. Amazon typically doesn’t tell you why your account is suspended, but the main reasons are:

  1. Your bounce rate was too high – over 10%
  2. Your complaint rate was too high – over 0.1%
  3. Your sending volume suddenly increased (signals non-organic list growth via list purchasing)
  4. Brand confusion – your sender doesn’t match the name/logo used in the email body.

In your response/request to Amazon you have to clearly state what issue you had identified and resolved, before asking for a review. BigMailer can prevent your account from getting suspended due to bounce rate – we automatically pause a campaign with bounce rate over a rate configurable by you (8% by default).

Final Thoughts

Using Amazon SES for sending marketing emails can be very cost effective for infrequent senders, without any deliverability issues for high volume sending. It’s also much easier and cheaper to get dedicated IPs with Amazon SES, than with ANY other ESP.

Give it a try and happy email marketing!