Amazon SES

Amazon Simple Email Service (or Amazon SES) is touted as the best email marketing solution.

They are by far the cheapest ($1 / 1000 emails). They are the most reliable as well.

You can send thousands of emails in few minutes.

But, and that’s the part no one will tell you. They don’t accept anyone to use their service. This is what I have learned the hard way.

Amazon SES – best thing after sliced bread!

Just like you, I read those countless reviews praising Amazon SES.

Not to mention those endless YouTube posts as well.

Yet, no one prepared me to the difficult sign-up process.

Still, some googling helped me ace it.

I entered my credit cards details. Got $1 deducted for confirmation. I was never refunded that 1$. When I emailed SES support they told me to email AWS Billing support!!!

Finally, I was greeted by this account dashboard:

Amazon SES Dashboard

Amazon SES Dashboard

Amazon SES Sandbox

You are given only 200 emails per day to test the system.

You need to dig very deep to find the AWS access key ID, Secret Access Key, and the Amazon SES region and endpoint.

Your DNS records need to be altered before you proceed to again confirm your account with Amazon SES.

(Add _amazonses Text key to your DNS records. If you were using CloudFlare, you will have to upgrade your account their to apply the Amazon SES DKIM)

Afterwards, one needs to apply with Amazon SES support to use their unlimited email services.

Which I did eventually, and then this reply below arrived:

Hello,

Thank you for your interest in using Amazon SES. We are reviewing your request and need more information from you to move forward. Please tell us the following:

– What type of mail do you plan on sending (Transactional, Marketing and/or System Notifications):
– Link to the site or app where recipients will opt-in to receive your messages:
– How do you plan on using Amazon SES?:
– Any additional information you feel will support your request:

You can provide this information by replying to this message. This information will help us process your limit increase request. Our team provides an initial response to your request within 24 hours. If we’re able to do so, we’ll grant your request within this 24-hour period. However, if we need to obtain additional information from you, it might take longer to resolve your request.

Thank you for contacting Amazon Web Services.

We value your feedback. Please share your experience by rating this correspondence using the AWS Support Center link at the end of this correspondence. Each correspondence can also be rated by selecting the stars in top right corner of each correspondence within the AWS Support Center.

Best regards,
AWS Trust and Safety
Amazon Web Services

This email reminded me of those “We need to talk” moments.

Still, I persevered and replied explaining that I need to send my newsletters and new blog post notifications to subscribers.

Nothing prepared me to their final reply below!

Amazon SES: We are unable to grant your request

Hello,

Thank you for providing us with additional information regarding your sending limits. We are unable to grant your request at this time.

We reviewed your request and determined that your use of Amazon SES could have a negative impact on our service. We are denying this request to prevent other Amazon SES customers from experiencing interruptions in service.

For security purposes, we are unable to provide specific details.

For more information about our policies, please review the AWS Acceptable Use Policy ( http://aws.amazon.com/aup/ ) and AWS Service Terms ( http://aws.amazon.com/serviceterms/ ).

Thank you for contacting Amazon Web Services.

We value your feedback. Please share your experience by rating this correspondence using the AWS Support Center link at the end of this correspondence. Each correspondence can also be rated by selecting the stars in top right corner of each correspondence within the AWS Support Center.

Best regards,
AWS Trust and Safety
Amazon Web Services

Amazon SES doesn’t want small customers

Intimidated just doesn’t start to express how I felt afterwards.

In other words, they meant to say…

… hey, your site stinks and we don’t want anything to do with it.

Now, why no one of those armies recommending Amazon SES mentioned that they are very picky and most probably will turn you down?

The funny part is, I will eventually go with an email marketing service provider which uses Amazon SES…

… and they will end up sending my emails, only costing me more money!

So here it is for you. Think wisely before you apply for Amazon SES, as it is not for small fish.

I shared my experience here with my Twitter followers, and they shared their frustration with AWS.

Good services. VERY complicated. Arrogant customer support, if they ever replied when you face a problem!

Funny part is how this story ends.

Afterwards, Amazon AWS started spamming me nearly everyday to promote their services. Can’t thing of anything more satisfying than clicking that Report as Spam icon.

Moving on, and after a lot of asking around, I chose Sender.net and will keep updating here how their service fares.

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