Popular platforms like Netflix, Reddit, and Duolingo use the Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES). However, others have needed help with email delivery. As a result, they ask, “Why are my Amazon SES emails going to spam and what to do about it?”

If this happens to you, too, don’t worry. In this blog, we will teach you how to successfully send your Amazon SES emails and land in your recipients’ inbox.

In addition, you will learn the simple solutions and the best tools to avoid the spam folder!

So, Why Are My Amazon SES Emails Landing in the Spam Folder?

Your email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to your subscribers’ inboxes. However, this still depends on various factors. It is also a joint responsibility of the Amazon SES and your sending program.

Usually, your Amazon SES emails will be delivered successfully to your recipients, especially if they expect them. However, in some cases, a delivery may fail, or the recipient you’re sending may not want to receive the message.

You may encounter obstacles with your email delivery if your email bounces for specific reasons. These may include invalid addresses, inactive email addresses or spam traps, recipients generating email complaints, or spammy content.

What happens if you send an email to an address that’s on the global suppression list?

The Amazon SES global suppression list comprises recipient addresses that Amazon SES blocks due to causing a hard bounce for an Amazon SES sender.

Moreover, Amazon Web Services implemented this to make Amazon SES more intuitive to its users. Even so, Amazon SES will treat the email as a hard bounce. And just like any hard bounce, each suppression list bounce will count towards your bounce rate and sending quota.

Read also: How to Improve and Maintain Your Email Deliverability

8 Keys to Great Email Deliverability

What should you do to prevent your Amazon SES emails from going to spam? Below are the following steps:

1. Authenticate Your Email

Authenticating your email is the first and most crucial step to an excellent email deliverability. Doing so shows you’re telling the email providers that you are who you claim and say you are.

Meanwhile, a lack of email authentication, like Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), can lead to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) flagging your Amazon SES email as spam.

When you authenticate your email, you are proving to the email providers that you are indeed the owner of such an account. It also proves that your email communications or transactional marketing messages have remained the same during transit.

Meanwhile, if you’re using your email server, putting the records in place while sending emails can spot a difference. Using Amazon SES also makes the process much easier since it already has an easy DKIM feature.

Speaking of the DKIM feature, it makes the configurations automatic, even behind the scenes.

Check out this guideline from AWS to learn more about authenticating your email in Amazon SES.

Another vital mechanic that will make scammers’ lives difficult is the Reverse DNS. A forum in In a Stack Overflow mentioned this technique, a Q&A platform for professional and enthusiast programmers with user contributions licensed under CC By-. To follow this Stack answer, follow the link here.

Setting reverse DNS for your email means you will have all the domain names for all IP addresses. This will also be a spam filter by ensuring your IP corresponds to the domain name.

2. Verify Your Email Address

Verifying your email address is required by Amazon SES as it protects your sending identity. This is because a spammer can spoof an authentic email address or falsify an email header to make it appear that it originates from another source.

To do this, use the Amazon SES API or SES console. Some factors involved in the verification process include the identity that you use in the “From” field, “Sender,” “Source,” or “Return-Path.”

Therefore, keep in mind that email addresses are case-sensitive and that the verification status of one email address is not the same for each region. It’s also simply because Amazon SES has endpoints in several AWS regions.

So, verifying such an identity in each region is essential. This is especially true if you’re planning to send emails from the same identity but in more than one region.

3. Remove Non-Engagers

An email list cleaning is essential to keep your database from unwanted contacts. These contacts may eventually taint your IP reputation and, worse, damage the relationship with subscribers who are interested in receiving the content from you.

But first, define the timeframe that will make sense to your business before purging unresponsive contacts from your Amazon SES email list. If the recipient does not interact with your email within such a time frame, removing them from your email list is a wise move.

Another good reason you should remove the non-engagers is that you may be sent to a spam trap, which, by the way, is a silent reputation trap, too!

If you continue to email to spam traps, your emails will not just be in the spam folder. The worst that can happen is that your domain or IP address will be blocked, and AWS could even suspend your email service.

4. Use Double Opt-in Rather than Single Opt-in

Aside from the tactic above, maintaining list hygiene would be a great complement to double opt-in. It is a subscription process whereby a new email address will be added to a mailing list only if the email address owner clicks the confirmation link in the activation process.

This method helps validate the email before adding it to your AWS SES list.

5. Filter Your Content

Many email service providers, including Amazon SES, use content filtering to know if the incoming emails are spam. These filters also look for questionable content and will automatically block an email if it appears spam.

At best, you can use a mail tester to check your newsletter’s quality and spam score before sending it.

6. Send Quotas

Various email service providers have different email-sending limits. For instance, a free Gmail email only allows 100 messages maximum via SMTP and 500 emails via the browser. Meanwhile, Office365 provides up to 10,000 recipients per day.

However, suppose the email provider detects sudden spikes in the rate or volume of emails. In that case, it may suspect it is coming from a spammer and block that email. That’s why the Amazon SES account also set sending quotas for its users to restrict the number of emails received within 24 hours.

7. Send High-Quality Email

Sending high-quality emails from your AWS account lessens the risk of termination.

In addition, the effectiveness of your email will be dependent on the effort you put into your message. However, it’s not a place to ramble (with attention spans already at all-time lows).

So, your best approach is to make your message concise.

To get the maximum benefit of your campaign, more than just avoiding the spam folders, it is essential to pinpoint the audience in your sales funnel. That way, you can determine the type of content to send.

Some types of content include:

  • Prospecting email
  • Welcome email
  • Lead nurturing email
  • Promotional email
  • Newsletters
  • Transactional email
  • Cart-abandonment email
  • Post-purchase email, or
  • Branding email

8. Achieve a High Reputation

An ISP assigns organizations an email sender reputation or score, a crucial component of email deliverability. Therefore, achieving a higher email sender reputation score means that your emails are more likely to reach the inboxes of your recipients.

To build your reputation with Amazon SES, you need to send high-quality content to your recipients. Over time, your reputation becomes more trusted, and Amazon SES will even increase your sending quota.

On the other hand, excessive spam complaints and bounces negatively impact your sender’s reputation. It may also cause the platform to reduce your account’s email-sending quotas. Or worse, it could terminate your account.

So, to prevent it from happening, test your emails first using a Mailbox Simulator. This will not count toward your complaint and bounce metrics. However, you will know your maximum throughput without creating a fake email address to see how your mail looks.

To get ISP feedback quickly, you can also check out Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS).

Reach Your Subscribers’ Inboxes with Amazon Web Services

Amazon Simple Email Service is one of the most popular AWS services nowadays. With it, you can send email marketing campaigns without maintaining your email servers. It is easy to use, cost-effective, and scalable.

However, to avoid landing in a junk folder, you must do more than verify your domain.

What we shared above about Amazon SES emails going to spam may have given you insights into the technical details of how you can avoid the spam folder and increase your email deliverability.

InboxAlly’s email deliverability software can help deliver your message to the primary inbox from the start! Book a Live Demo today to find out how.