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How to Set Up Amazon SES for Sending Emails with FluentCRM

Amazon SES is one of the most reliable transactional email service providers in the world. It offers excellent email deliverability at a very affordable price. In fact, sending 10000 emails will only cost you about $1 in Amazon SES.

If you’re using FluentCRM, it’s wise to integrate it with a good email sending service to ensure better email deliverability. Since Amazon SES is affordable and reliable, most of you would want to integrate it with FluentCRM. However, doing so requires some work and Amazon SES documentation is hard to follow, especially if you’re a beginner.

But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to set up Amazon SES with FluentCRM.

So without further ado, let’s integrate Amazon SES with WordPress in a few steps!

Setting up Amazon SES for sending marketing emails

In order to set up Amazon SES for sending emails through FluentCRM or any WordPress email marketing plugin, you need to configure a few things. This includes signing up for Amazon AWS, verifying your domain, email address, creating API credentials, and moving out of the sandbox mode. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Sign up for Amazon AWS

The first step is to sign up for Amazon AWS. This is a simple sign-up process that may require you to provide your billing details. But don’t worry, you won’t be billed until you’ve used any of Amazon’s web services.

2. Verify your domain with Amazon SES

The next step is to verify your domain with Amazon SES. This is especially important if you want to send your emails from your custom domain email or business email.

Note: It is recommended to use a custom email address for sending marketing emails. Sending emails from personal email addresses may cause them to go to spam. If you’re not sure how to create a custom domain email address, check out this article.

Next, simply search for Amazon SES from your AWS management console and go to Domains.

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Once you’re in the domain verification panel, you need to click Verify a New Domain and enter your domain. Also, make sure you check the Generate DKIM Settings checkbox to generate the required keys and records to verify your domain with Amazon SES.

Next, go to your domain’s DNS management and configure those values accordingly. Once you’ve done so, it will take a few minutes for Amazon SES to verify your domain.

3. Create API credentials

The next step is to create API credentials for integrating WordPress with Amazon AWS. In order to get API credentials, go back to your AWS management console and click on My Security Credentials.

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Then select Users from the left sidebar and click on Add User.

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Give a Username and select the access type as Programmatic Access and click the Next button.

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Now select the Attach Existing Policy tab. You’ll find AmazonSESFullAccess and AmazonSNSFullAccess by searching for SES and SNS. Check those and proceed to the next step.

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This step is for adding tags, and it’s completely optional. So we’ll skip that for now. Click the Review button to check if you’ve followed everything correctly.

Note that you must provide Programmatic Access and allow permissions for AmazonSESFullAccess and AmazonSNSFullAccess, as shown in the screenshot below.

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If everything looks ok, click Create User Button, and your access key and secret keys will be shown. Copy those details, and you can also download them in a CSV file if you want.

Note: You will never find these credentials again. So you must copy these while you’re in this stage.

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4. Verify your email address

Once you’ve acquired your API credentials, you need to verify your email address with Amazon SES so that you can send emails from your custom email address. 

Start by going to Email addresses and click Verify a New Email Address.

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Next, enter your email address and click Verify This Email Address. You’ll be sent a verification email. Click the confirmation link within that email, and your email will be added as a verified sender.

5. Moving out of sandbox mode

Even after you’re done with all the necessary steps, you may notice that your email sending limit is set to 200 emails per day and only one email per second. This is called Amazon SES sandbox mode. All accounts are initially sandboxed because Amazon wants to prevent spamming and misuse of their SES service.

If you want to send more marketing or transactional emails, you need to submit a request for moving out of the Amazon SES sandbox. To do so, go to your Amazon SES console and select Sending Statistics.

Then click the Edit Your Account Details button; a pop-up will appear.

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Here, select Yes to Enable Production Mode. Even if you only intend to send transactional emails, it’s better to select Marketing Email in the mail type.

Note that you need to explain how you intend to use Amazon SES here clearly. So you need to be honest and answer the following questions:

  • Main usage purpose (transactional and marketing)
  • Origin of the Email addresses in your list (opt-in forms..etc) mention your website’s URL. your website should include: privacy policy page, visible opt-in form with privacy note, contact us page preferably with your business contact info. It doesn’t matter if the domain/website is new or old, just needs to be legit-looking with some content.
  • Usage in detail (describe in detail and numbers what are you going to do)
  • Handling unsubscriptions (link in the footer, mailing app auto unsubscription..etc)
  • How are you going to maintain the list (how do you clean and manage your list)
  • Handling bounce and complaint (mention Amazon SNS and describe in detail how it is connected to your mailing app)
  • Understanding the terms of service (I have read and understand the terms…etc)

*Tip: You can send a message like the following:

Hello AWS Team,

My website URL is: [Your Website URL]. I have been collecting the email addresses of people through subscriptions. Those email addresses are authentic and verified. For a long time, I have been using other email service providers. But now, I would like to use Amazon SES.

In order to send emails through Amazon SES, I will use an email sending application named FluentCRM (https://fluentcrm.com/). This application can effectively handle bounce, complaint, and unsubscriptions.

I hope you will approve my request for Amazon SES production access in the region mentioned above. 

Let me know if you have any queries.
Cheers!

Provide the rest of the details as per your business preference and click Submit for review.

Once you submit this request, one of Amazon AWS support agents will review everything, and if you’re qualified, they will set a new sending quota and increase the number of emails you can send per second. In most cases, it takes 48 hours or more.

Setting up FluentSMTP with Amazon SES

Most SMTP plugins either do not offer Amazon SES SMTP connection for free, or their email sending speed is slow. That’s why we have created a free plugin named FluentSMTP. It offers a wide range of features, including free SMTP connection with Amazon SES, Gmail/Google Workspace, MailGun, SendGrid, Sendinblue, SparkPost, PepiPost.

Moreover, you can use multiple connections simultaneously and view email sending logs within your WordPress dashboard.

To get started with setting up FluentSMTP with Amazon SES:

  1. Install and activate FluentSMTP on your WordPress dashboard.
  1. Hover over to Settings>FluentSMTP, and you should see a few options, including Amazon SES. Select Amazon SES.
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  1. Once you select Amazon SES, you’ll need to provide a few details. In the From Address provide the address you verified in Amazon SES. You can set a From name if you want. For the Access Key and Secret Key fields, provide the API credentials you’ve acquired from Amazon SES and select the appropriate region. Click Save Connection Settings once done.
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  1. Finally, test if your connection is working properly by going to the Email Test tab. Simply send a test email to any email address, and if you see a success message, you’ve successfully configured FluentSMTP with Amazon SES. This also means you’ve configured Amazon SES with WordPress!
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Setting up FluentCRM to send emails through Amazon SES

Finally, you need to configure FluentCRM to send email via Amazon SES. This is a straightforward process. 

  1. Just go to your FluentCRM dashboard and Switch to Settings. Then go to SMTP/Email Service Settings and check if your email is listed as a verified sender. If you’ve done everything correctly, they should appear here.
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  1. Here, if everything seems fine, go to Email Settings and select your verified email address in the From Email Address field.
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  1. Done!

Wrapping up

Setting up Amazon SES with WordPress is a relatively easy process. And once you’ve integrated Amazon SES with WordPress, it’s even easier to integrate with FluentCRM. With the combination of Amazon SES, FluentCRM, and FluentSMTP, you will never face WordPress or marketing email sending issues anymore.

  • Want to configure Amazon SES bounce handler with FluentCRM? – check out our documentation!

We hope this article helped you set up an Amazon SES email sending service with FluentCRM. If not, let us know your issues in the comment section. For more tutorials like these, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter.

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5 Comments

  1. Amazon is asking more questions after following the above steps. What is the best way to respond to these questions. I don’t know the right verbiage to use. Thank you.

    Please tell us the following:

    – What is the nature of your business and How do you plan on using Amazon SES?:

    – How do you handle bounces and complaints?

    – Describe your Opt-out process in detail and provide the Opt-in link of your site:

    – Estimated monthly volume:

    – Samples/ Template of your email:

    – Please provide the sample of the email you plan to send to the customer ?

    1. Hi Olivia,
      Just be honest. If you’ve used the template we’ve shared, it’s likely that you’ve already answered most of their questions. Now they want to know other details such as Opt-in link, number of emails, email template samples, etc. For the opt-in link, just copy and paste the link from FluentCRM’s email settings and mention how many emails you’d send per month. I believe they will approve your request quickly.

  2. Hi,
    I spent over 1 hour implementing this tutorial and here is the result:

    Production access request denied
    Amazon SES has denied your request for production access. You may no longer request access from the Amazon SES console. For details about why your request was denied or to file an appeal, see case ID xxxxxxxxxxx in the AWS Support Center.

    Back to start without knowing what provider to use; what a waste of time.

    1. Hi Chris,
      This kind of issue happens if the domain is already blocked for spamming. You might want to try configuring with a different domain and then try to get your actual domain approved.

      1. Hi,
        I doubt this is the issue as the domain used is pretty new. Another example of amazon treating people with disregard. Any user here having managed this setup with success?

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