Amazon SES (Simple Email Service)

This is a scalable and highly available email service designed to help marketing teams and application developers send marketing, notification, and transactional emails to their customers using a pay as you go model.

Can also be used to receive emails: incoming mails can be delivered automatically to an S3 bucket.

Incoming mails can be used to trigger Lambda functions and SNS notifications.

Use Cases

  • Automated emails
  • Purchase Confirmations, shipping notifications, order status updates e.g. mobile phone company needs to send automated confirmation email every time a customer purchases pre-paid mobile phone minutes.
  • marketing communications, advertisements, newsletters, special offers e.g. online retail business that needs to let customers know about sales promotions and discounts


Email messaging service Pub/Sub messaging service, formats include SMS, HTTP, SQS, email
Can trigger Lambda function or SNS notification Can be used to trigger Lambda function
Can be used for both incoming and outgoing email Can fan out messages to large number of recipients (replicate and push messages to multiple endpoints and formats)
An email address is all that is required to start sending messages to a user Consumers must subscribe to a topic to receive the notifications

Exam Tips

  • Remember that SES is email only
  • Can be used for incoming and outgoing mail
  • No subscription based, you only need to know the email address
  • SNS supports multiple formats (SMS, SQS, HTTP, email)
  • Push notifications only
  • Pub/Sub model: consumers must subscribe to a topic
  • You can fan-out messages to large number of recipients (e.g. multiple clients each with their own SQS queue)