Sending Cold Emails with Amazon SES

Dealing with multiple Gmail and Outlook accounts to send cold email is a pain in the *you know what*.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Amazon SES to send virtually unlimited cold emails with great deliverability.

Why Use Amazon SES for Cold Email?

There’s a few reasons why Amazon SES is a great email sending service:

  • Great deliverability
  • Connect multiple domains to one account to send from
  • Easy SMTP connections for sending
  • Easier scalability

Basically, you can stop worrying about setting up multiple accounts, dealing with deliverability, and worrying about how to scale your campaigns up.

What You Need to Know Before Sending Cold Emails with Amazon SES

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

But there’s some extra preparation you need to be aware of before you start blasting out cold emails.

  1. For the love of God – DO NOT SPAM. You will get blocked swiftly and lose your account. If you don’t know what SPAM is, ask yourself “would I reply to this message?”.
  2. Clean your lists. You need to make sure every email on your list is 100% valid. Too many bounces and you’ll get blocked and lose your account.
  3. Personalize first lines or use spintax to make each message unique. Do not just send out mass emails with the same content or you can have some trouble.
  4. Keep in mind, this isn’t built for cold email. You need to be on your best behavior and only send to targeted leads with messages that read like you’re meeting them face-to-face at a trade show.

If you proceed with caution, you should have no problems at all.

I recommend our 7-Day Cold Email Bootcamp to make sure you’re prepared to get results with cold email.

Complete video tutorial

Getting Out of the SES Sandbox

To start sending email to your list using new SES account to you need to get it out of sandbox by submitting a request to Amazon and specify daily sending limit you would like.

Amazon typically approves within 1-2 business days, as long as you provide enough info about how you’re sending emails.

To make sure you get approved quickly:

  1. Provide a link to your website. I recommend providing the link where you collect email addresses (your newsletter page, signup, etc.)
  2. If you are using another platform on top of SES, like FluentCRM or EmailOctopus, write that you use a platform that automatically processes bounces, complaints and unsubscribes for you. Otherwise, you have to explain how you plan to process complaints and unsubscribes (required), which typically means custom development work.
  3. If you own a domain it would be best to add it as a verified sender identity before submitting a request to Amazon. If you add an email address with a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo, you will probably be denied. Amazon likes to see you use your own domain verified as a sender.

While in sandbox mode you can only send emails to your own verified email addresses or domains.

Do I need to have a website?

I highly recommend you have a professional website at the domain that you verified in Amazon SES. You are much less likely to get approved if you have no website at your domain.

If you verify a domain name but there’s no website, it becomes a red flag for your approval request.

I also recommend inputting your web page with your email newsletter signup form on it.

If you don’t have a website, make it clear where and how you get your email addresses (if you’re using Shopify, Etsy, or Amazon, let them know).

What if I don’t get an approval?

You can file another request after fixing your setup, e.g. adding a verified domain as a sender identity or launching a website.

How to Start Sending with SMTP

Now that your account is out of sandbox mode, it’s time to connect your SMTP and start sending emails.

  1. Go to the SES dashboard, on the left bar to “SMTP Settings”.
  2. Copy the server name and set that as the SMTP server
  3. Click the “Create My SMTP Credentials” button
  4. Copy the generated username and password and use it as the SMTP username and password
  5. Make sure to “Force SSL”

Now you’re ready to send with SMTP

Also remember to set up IMAP settings so you receive your replies (SES does not handle receiving emails).

Amazon SES FAQ

What is Amazon SES email?

Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is a cloud-based email delivery service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows businesses to send marketing, transactional, and other types of emails to their customers. It provides a low-cost, scalable, and reliable way to send email messages, and includes features such as email address verification, feedback loops, and bounce handling to help ensure email deliverability.

Is Amazon SES worth it?

Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is a cost-effective and reliable email delivery service that can be used by businesses of all sizes. It offers a range of features and benefits, including high deliverability rates, email tracking, spam filtering, and more. Whether or not it is worth it depends on the specific needs and requirements of the business.


It’s a bit of a hassle, but the returns are more than worth it if you’re serious about sending cold emails.

Proceed with caution and enjoy!

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