Emails & AWS SES

Arshad Zackeriya
DevOps SriLanka
Published in
4 min readNov 22, 2017


Emails are pivotal for our day to day tasks. lets see how the email communication working as below.

When the sender is sending an email first it will execute in the senders email server. Check for the MX record and SPF records and send the email to the recipient. If the recipient email account is valid in the recipient email server the email will deliver successfully.

What is a MX record.

MX record as known as mail exchanger record is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System that specifies a mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient’s domain, and a preference value used to prioritize mail delivery if multiple mail servers are available. following results indicate the mx records and other related informations.

What is a SPF record.

An SPF record is a type of DNS record that identifies which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. The purpose of an SPF record is to prevent spammers from sending messages with forged From addresses at your domain.

What if you want to send multiple emails at a time? What if your only ip blacklisted ? best solution we can use an SMTP relay server.

What is an SMTP relay server?

SMTP Relay, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, lets you send email messages through your email account using your existing email service. the actual email messages are processed through our SMTP relaying services. This will bypass the email server IP address from the public, which will help to avoid any malicious attacks. Below diagram shows the architecture of a SMTP relay server.

lets assume to the above scenario. Zack is sending an email to chamal, but zack’s email server ip is invisible to the public. emails are relaying through the SMTP relay server.

What is AWS SES?

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cloud-based email sending service designed to help digital marketers and application developers send marketing, notification, and transactional emails. You can use AWS SES SMTP interface or one of the AWS SDK’s to integrate Amazon SES directly into your existing applications.

we have to validate the domain name prior to send email from AWS SES. or we can validate sender email address as well.


This is really important and should always keep an eye on the reputation level.

Good reputation level and should try to maintain this always for uninterrupted service. it should always healthy as below

If the reputation level is red as below, well its not a good sign.

Reasons for Blacklist

- No SPF Records Created.
- Send From Invalid Emails/ Domain.
- Send to Invalid Emails/ Domain and NDR rate is increasing.
- AWS SES Reputation Levels.
- Spam Contents.

How To Prevent Blacklist ?

- Always use SPF Records.
- Send From valid Emails/ Domain.
- Send to valid Emails/ Domain and NDR rate is low.
- Maintain a Healthy AWS SES Reputation Levels.
- Make sure to Not Send Spam Contents.



Arshad Zackeriya
DevOps SriLanka

Enabling DevOPs ☁ | A Cloud Enthusiast | AWS Community Builder | AWS Fanboy!!