AWS Simple Email Service

AWS Simple Email Service notes - getting a SMTP account

Published: Tuesday, 16 June 2020
aws ses

AWS Simple Email Service (SES) can be used to send email.

Alternatives include SendGrid.

Setting up SMTP

A SMTP account can be created so applications can send email.

Pick a region

Choose an appropriate region for your application, a geographically closer region will have lower latency. Check the list of SMTP Endpoints to see which regions have SES available.

Verify a domain

Navigate to SES Home → Identity Management → Domains

Click on Verify a New Domain

It will ask you to add a TXT DNS record to the domain to prove technical ownership. e.g. to _amazonses.example.com

Once added, the Verification Status should change from pending verification to verified. This could take a few minutes.

Move out of the sandbox

The AWS account has limited sandbox access. To remove the restriction raise a ticket to support. Explain your use case – AWS will want to know that it won’t be used as spam, as this would impact the reputation of all SMTP users in that region.

This step may take many hours as it requires manual approval by AWS support.

Create SMTP accounts

For each user, generate credentials

  1. SES Home → SMTP Settings → Create My SMTP Credentials

    Note the server name and port

  2. Choose a IAM User Name.

    It is useful to have a naming convention. e.g. ses-smtp-user.example, where example is the user

  3. Configure your application

    Notify the user or configure your application with the given SMTP username, password, host and port.